Andrew Benintendi lofted the tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon as the Boston Red Sox edged the New York Mets 4-3 in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Boston’s Mookie Betts left the game with what the team announced was left side soreness, but he said the injury won’t keep him out.
“I’ll be ready to go Tuesday,” Betts said.
Betts fielded Wilmer Flores’ fly ball to right field and made an accurate throw home to try to throw out Austin Jackson, who slid in safely for a run.
The Red Sox challenged the call, which was upheld. After the review, the 25-year-old Betts was pulled out of the game following a trip to the outfield by manager Alex Cora and the team trainer. Cora said after the game Betts was removed as a precaution.
The Red Sox (103-47) won the final two games of the series. Their magic number for winning the American League East dropped to 2 thanks to the New York Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Boston will have a chance to clinch the division at the Yankees’ expense when the two rivals begin a three-game series in the Bronx on Tuesday afternoon
The Mets have lost consecutive games for the first time since a three-game skid from Aug. 26-29.
Cy Young Award candidates Chris Sale and Jacob deGrom each pitched up to their credentials in a matchup of marquee starting pitchers, though neither one factored into the decision,
Sale, who is being eased back into action after missing much of the second half with a sore shoulder, allowed one hit and struck out one over three innings as he lowered his ERA to 1.92 in 150 innings.
DeGrom, who is trying to become the first starting pitcher to win the Cy Young with fewer than 13 wins, allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out 12 over seven innings. It was the 27th straight start in which he allowed three runs or fewer, extending his own single-season record. DeGrom’s record remained 8-9 while his major league-leading ERA rose from 1.71 to 1.78.
The Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead against deGrom in the third, when Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez singled with one out before Mookie Betts hit a sacrifice fly. Brock Holt followed with a two-run homer.
The Mets at least spared deGrom another hard-luck loss by rallying for two runs in sixth and the tying run in the seventh. Wilmer Flores delivered a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Amed Rosario scored on a double by Michael Conforto. Amed Rosario laced an RBI single in the seventh.
The Red Sox broke the tie in the eighth against Seth Lugo (3-4). Tzu-Wei Lin, who entered when Betts departed, led off with a double, went to third on Holt’s fly out and trotted home on Benintendi’s sacrifice fly.
Brandon Workman (6-0), the Red Sox’s sixth pitcher, earned the win with a hitless eighth. Steven Wright recorded his first career save with a scoreless ninth.
In June, Betts missed 14 games with a left abdominal strain. He said Sunday that his side doesn’t hurt at the plate but that it is sore when he throws.
Betts, a three-time All-Star, leads the American League in batting at .337. He has 29 home runs and 71 RBIs on the season, along with 42 doubles, five triples and 28 stolen bases.