BOSTON — George Springer hit his American League-leading 17th home run Friday night and the Houston Astros continued their torrid May with their ninth straight victory, 3-1 over the Boston Red Sox.

Springer’s two-run shot in the eighth off Rick Porcello put the Astros up 2-1 and Houston held on. The Astros improved to 12-3 this month and matched the 2017 World Series championship team for the best start in franchise history at 30-15.

Will Harris (1-0) got the win with one scoreless inning of relief. Roberto Osuna picked up his 11th save, getting Mookie Betts to fly to right with two on to end it. Boston went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.

Houston won the opener of the three-game series between the last two World Series winners and a rematch of last year’s ALCS, which Boston won in five games.

Christian Vazquez went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI for Boston, which entered the game second to only Houston for the best record in May at 10-3.

Porcello (3-4) pitched seven shutout innings for Boston, but Houston caught up to him in the eighth. Jake Marisnick hit a leadoff double and Springer followed with a drive over the Red Sox bullpen to the seats in left-center, putting Houston up 2-1.

Porcello was replaced by Ryan Brasier, who allowed an unearned run after walking Michael Brantley and running into some defensive problems. Brantley took second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch before scoring on Josh Reddick’s sacrifice fly to right.

Gerrit Cole pitched five scoreless innings for Houston, allowing six hits, walking one and striking out three. He was replaced by Hector Rondon, who allowed the game’s first run after Xander Bogaerts led off with an infield single and scored on a single by Vazquez.

Boston had been 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position before Vazquez came through and put Boston up 1-0.

Porcello allowed two runs and six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

• Dustin Pedroia went 1 for 3 with a single, a strikeout looking and a groundout in his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Pawtucket, a 7-5 loss to the Gwinnett Stripers. Pedroia, who scored from first base on a double to the right-center field gap by Sam Travis, played five innings in the field at second base but didn’t see any action.

ATHLETICS 7, TIGERS 2: Frankie Montas pitched two-run ball into the ninth inning and visiting Oakland beat Detroit for the 14th straight meeting.

Montas (5-2) pitched a career-best 8 2/3 innings, allowing four hits while striking out a career-high 10. Lou Trivino relieved and got the final out after Montas allowed an RBI double to Miguel Cabrera.

ORIOLES 5, INDIANS 1: Dylan Bundy kept Cleveland’s lineup in check – and in the ballpark – for 5 2/3 innings, and Jonathan Villar hit a three-run homer as visiting Baltimore ended a three-game slide.

Bundy (2-5) cooled off the Indians, who scored a season-high 14 runs in Thursday’s series opener and had scored 23 times in the past two games. Bundy, who has had a problem giving up homers, didn’t allow an earned run on three hits. He struck out seven and threw a season-high 118 pitches.


DODGERS 6, REDS 0: Cody Bellinger hit the last of Los Angeles’ four homers at Cincinnati, Rich Hill stuck out a season-high 10 and the Dodgers won their fourth straight,

Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy also homered at one of the Dodgers’ most comfortable stops. They’re 34-22 at Great American Ball Park, the second-best mark by any NL team, trailing only the Mets’ 32-19 record.

MARLINS 8, METS 6: Miami scored for the first time in 27 innings, pounded Jacob deGrom for seven runs and snapped a seven-game losing streak with a victory at home.

Garrett Cooper’s two-run single in the third brought home Miami’s first runs since Saturday – also against deGrom. Jorge Alfaro hit a 456-foot home run, only the Marlins’ second homer this month, and drove in three. Brian Anderson doubled twice and scored twice.

PHILLIES 5, ROCKIES 4: Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer, Bryce Harper lined a two-run double and Cole Irvin tossed six effective innings to lead Philadelphia at home.

Irvin (2-0) gave up four runs – three earned – and five hits to win his second career start. Jose Alvarez and Pat Neshek each tossed a scoreless inning, and Hector Neris finished for his sixth save in six tries.


RAYS-GIANTS: Tampa Bay acquired journeyman catcher Erik Kratz from San Francisco for cash or a player to be named.

DODGERS: The team put Kenta Maeda on the 10-day injured list after he hurt his left thigh. Maeda was one of its best starters in May.

TWINS: Minnesota placed Nelson Cruz on the 10-day injured list with a strained left wrist that was showing improvement but not enough to avoid sidelining him.

WHITE SOX: Left-hander Manny Banuelos was placed on the injured list, another blow to a pitching staff that already lost Carlos Rodon and Nate Jones for the season this week.

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