Mookie Betts

Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Mookie Betts gets his groove back and Red Sox follow his lead in Game 2 win

John Tomase
October 15, 2018 - 1:31 am

Mookie Betts finally made some noise on Sunday night.

The presumptive American League MVP had struggled to a .200 average through the first five games of the playoffs, and after failing to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, he admitted the need to do more.

In Game 2, he delivered.

Known for igniting the offense all season, Betts returned to form in Sunday's 7-5 victory over the Astros. He went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs, two doubles, and an RBI. He got things rolling off Astros All-Star Gerrit Cole with a booming double high off the center field wall leading off the first. He also doubled home a run in the eighth, and manufactured a run in the seventh by walking and then rounding the bases on a wild pitch and two passed balls.

"I mean, it is what it is," Betts said. "I just go out and do what I can to help the team win, try and be consistent in having some good at-bats and getting some timely hits and whatnot. But it's not just me. We've got 25 guys out here to win."

One of the guys who helped was No. 8 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr., who cleared the bases with a three-run double in the third after the Astros had taken a 4-2 lead.

With third baseman Rafael Devers going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs, the bottom half the order picked up the slack.

"I think it just extends the lineup," Bradley said. "We like to be able to put together great at-bats up and down the lineup no matter who's up. We like to have that mindset of do your job and kind of pass the baton to the next person, get on base any way you possibly can. And I like to be aggressive. I know they're not going to pitch around me to get to Marcus or whoever is behind me. So I just continue to try to see good pitches and compete."

Marcus is Betts' birth name. He praised Bradley's contributions.

"When those guys started rolling, it definitely makes our whole lineup a lot better," he said. "We have some good bats in our lineup. And I think when that lineup is extended and you start getting guys on base throughout the whole lineup, it makes definitely for a long day for the pitcher."