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Mitch Moreland put some recent struggles behind him with a clutch hit in the ninth inning. Helped the major league-leading Boston Red Sox do the same with their weekend woes Adidas Justin Faulk Jersey , too.

Moreland singled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth and the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 6-5 on Sunday night to avoid a three-game sweep in a matchup of AL division leaders.

"Yeah, I'll take those every time if I could," he said, breaking into a grin. "It was at the right time to do it, I guess."

Coming into the game in a 2-for-26 slump, the first baseman had a pinch-hit single in the eighth before his walkoff bloop.

"Yeah, he gets jammed and he gets a single," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, adding "we need this guy to get going offensively. We know how good he is."

With runners on first and second, Moreland sent his opposite-single to left against Hector Rondon (2-3), and pinch-runner Tzu-Wei Lin raced home easily. Left fielder Marwin Gonzalez tried to barehand the ball for a quick throw but lost his grip and let it dribble toward the Green Monster.

J.D. Martinez hit his 40th homer and drove in four for Boston, which snapped Houston's seven-game winning streak even after the Astros rallied with a four-run sixth inning to tie the game at 5.

The East-leading Red Sox sliced their magic number to 11 for their third straight division title. Boston leads the second-place Yankees by 8 ? games after they lost at Seattle.

Jose Altuve and Gonzalez each hit a solo homer for the West-leading Astros, who saw their lead over Oakland cut to 2 1/2 games. The Athletics beat Texas earlier in the day.

"This was a really good game, really good series," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "We win this series, which is one of the goals coming into this."

Craig Kimbrel (5-1) pitched a perfect ninth to preserve a tie.

Trailing 5-1 in the sixth, the Astros rallied against starter Rick Porcello and Boston's recently struggling bullpen. Altuve led off with a shot over the Monster, Germany Tyler White had a two-run double off Heath Hembree, and Josh Reddick hit a tying double off Brian Johnson.

Boston had built its lead on Martinez's three-run shot an inning earlier. Martinez's sacrifice fly had pushed Boston ahead 2-1 in the third.

"Just one mistake pitch to J.D.," Houston starter Dallas Keuchel said after giving up five runs in six innings. "I knew he was swinging. We have a long history together."

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but reliever Tony Sipp entered and struck out pinch-hitters Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez.

Porcello gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

LONG WAIT

There was a 3-minute, 50-second review of a key play at the plate where Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon jumped for a throw from shortstop Xander Bogaerts to get Altuve in the seventh. He was called out, and replays were inconclusive on if the tag was applied before he touched the plate with his left hand.

"He did get in there. It's clear as day Alex Ovechkin Jersey Kids ," Hinch said. "I'm tired of these questions because replay's set up for precisely that type of play, and we feel like we have clear evidence."

CLUB MILESTONE

Martinez became just the fourth Red Sox player to hit 40 homers in his first season with the team.

Dick Stuart had 42 in 1963, Jimmie Foxx 41 in '36 and Manny Ramirez hit 41 in 2011.

HOUSTON INVASION

There was a large contingent of Astros fans all weekend, filling Fenway Park, restaurants and bars in the area. The Houston Texans faced the New England Patriots about 45 minutes away in Foxborough, Massachusetts, earlier in the day.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Lefty Chris Sale is still set to be activated off the disabled list and start Tuesday. Cora said the plan is for the ace to go about two innings the first time as he gradually works back from mild left shoulder inflammation that landed him on the DL twice in less than three weeks.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (14-9, 2.73 ERA) is scheduled to pitch in Detroit on Monday for the first time since being traded last season by the Tigers. LHP Francisco Liriano (4-9, 4.90) is slated to start for the Tigers.

Red Sox: After an off day, Sale (12-4, 1.97) is set to face Toronto LHP Ryan Borucki (3-4, 4.39) when the teams open a three-game series Tuesday at Fenway.

Two miserable seasons. One measly win.

Still, Cleveland coach Hue Jackson continues to have the ”unwavering” support of owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who believe his third year will bring out the best in him – and the Browns.

”I think we will see the real Hue Jackson,” Jimmy Haslam said Saturday before practice.

Jackson has lost 31 of 32 games since taking over a Cleveland franchise that has undergone numerous coaching changes and front-office upheaval since the team’s NFL expansion return in 1999. However, the Haslams feel the worst is over, and thanks to a roster overhaul directed by general manager John Dorsey, Jackson has the pieces to win.

”He has good quarterbacks, he has some skill players, he has a veteran offensive lineman – now, we have to figure out left tackle – and three really good (running) backs and a good defense.”

Jackson has also been helped by not also handling offensive coordinator duties. With some urging and the blessing of the Haslams, he turned his offense over to Todd Haley, who was fired after six seasons with Pittsburgh.

”You have to give Hue credit for bringing in Todd Haley Saquon Barkley Color Rush Jersey , which I think will allow Hue to be the head coach,” Haslam said. ”I think this will be the first opportunity Hue will have to do what we know he can do as head coach as a leader. Even though Todd will be calling all of the shots on offense, I think Hue will obviously have some impact there like he will defense. We are excited to see it.”

The Browns went 0-16 last season, matching the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to lose all 16 games. But while there were many Cleveland fans calling for Jackson’s firing, his players remained united behind him and the Haslams decided to bring him back for another year.

That doesn’t mean Jackson’s job is permanently safe, but Haslam refused to say there was a mandate on wins this season.

”No, we’re excited about Hue Jackson,” Haslam said. ”I think our commitment to him has been unwavering and still is.”

As the 2017 season unraveled, the Haslams chose to fire head of football operations Sashi Brown, whose analytics-heavy approach yielded mixed results and not enough wins. Dorsey, who guided Kansas City’s turnaround from 2013 to 2016, replaced Brown and spent this past offseason acquiring talent.

Haslam felt it was fair to assess Jackson’s upcoming third season as his first.

”I think in some ways you could say because of the talent he’s had, particularly at quarterback, particularly last year, it could view it as his first year, but we don’t look at that,” Haslam said. ”I know everybody’s saying Hue has to win this many games or he has to win that many games. We don’t look at it (like that).”

”We’re really excited about the relationship that Hue and John have and not just that they have but their staffs have, how the building is working together. I mean we’re in here at 7 this morning talking about who else we might need to add to the roster. So we feel good about the chemistry, we feel good about the work ethic, but at the same time, we all understand we’ve got to win games.”





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