BOSTON (AP) - George Springer hit his American League-leading 17th home run and the Houston Astros continued their torrid month of May with their ninth straight victory, 3-1 over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Houston right-hander Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect eighth inning, setting a record with his 39th consecutive scoreless appearance. Former Boston closer Craig Kimbrel had 38 in 2011 while with the Atlanta Braves.
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 out to right with two runners 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 a 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 in infield single and scored on a single by Vazquez.
Boston had been 0 for 9 with runners in scoring postion before Vazquez came through and put Boston up 1-0.
Porcello allowed two runs and six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.