Thrust into an everyday role because of injuries, Jake Marisnick is making the most of his opportunity.
Marisnick homered early off Chris Sale, then made two dazzling defensive plays in center field to help the host Houston Astros beat the mistake-prone Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Friday.
"There's not much not to like [about him] in a game like that," manager AJ Hinch said. "When you're a bench player ... you just want an opportunity. You just want a chance to show it."
It looks like Marisnick could get more chances for consistent playing time after George Springer injured his left hamstring sliding to try and catch a foul ball in his first game back after missing four games with a stiff back. Hinch said they would know more on Saturday, but it looks as if Springer will be headed to the injured list.
"I'm not looking forward to the diagnosis," Hinch said.
In a matchup of the past two World Series winners, the Red Sox committed three errors, not looking nearly as sharp as they did in their last visit to Minute Maid Park, when they captured the pennant with a 4-1 win in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series in October. The Astros took two of three last weekend at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox did end Ryan Pressly's MLB-record streak of 40 consecutive scoreless appearances when Jackie Bradley Jr. launched the first pitch from the Houston reliever for a home run in the eighth inning.
Cleveland 3, Tampa Bay 1: Roberto Perez's infield single scored Francisco Lindor with the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning as the host Indians ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Rays. Brad Hand earned his 13th save.
Philadelphia 6, Milwaukee 4: Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning and the Phillies used stellar relief work to beat the host Brewers, overcoming Christian Yelich's major league-leading 20th homer. McCutchen's two-hit hit drove in Scott Kingery for a 5-4 lead.
Atlanta 5, St. Louis 2: Dansby Swanson homered twice and Freddie Freeman also connected, helping Mike Foltynewicz and the Braves beat the host Cardinals. The Braves improved to 11-3 since manager Brian Snitker put Swanson in the No. 2 slot ahead of Freeman on May 10.
Los Angeles 10, Pittsburgh 2: David Freese hit a grand slam off opener Michael Feliz and Cody Bellinger added his 18th homer, helping the Dodgers beat the host Pirates. Feliz made his first major league start in 157 career appearances in an effort to address Pittsburgh's injury-riddled rotation.
Cincinnati 6, Chicago 5: Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Cubs reliever Steve Cishek, rallying the visiting Reds.
San Diego 6, Toronto 3: Hunter Renfroe hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Padres beat the host Blue Jays, who became the first team to start two players with Hall of Fame fathers after calling up Cavan Biggio — son of Craig — for his big-league debut. Biggio started at second and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was at third.
Detroit 9, N.Y. Mets 8: JaCoby Jones homered and drove in four runs, including a go-ahead double in the seventh inning, and Miguel Cabrera also connected as the Tigers halted their nine-game losing streak with a wild victory over the host Mets.
Colorado 8, Baltimore 6: Trevor Story hit a walkoff drive for his second two-run homer, helping the Rockies win in the Orioles' first visit to Denver since 2004.
• Former Twins All-Star righthander Ervin Santana agreed to a minor league contract with the Mets pending a successful physical. The Mets also agreed to a minor league deal with veteran outfielder Matt Kemp.
• Arizona called up first baseman Kevin Cron, the younger brother of the Twins' C.J. Cron. Kevin Cron, 26, is hitting .339 with 21 homers and 62 RBI in 44 games at Class AAA Reno.