BOSTON — Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts could only hope that no one noticed.
Jose Altuve hit his first grand slam after Bogaerts made a mental gaffe on a play that would have ended an inning Sunday, carrying the Houston Astros to an 8-1 victory over Boston.
Leading 2-0, the Astros got a break when manager Bo Porter won a challenge and they scored four runs after Bogaerts’ mistake. The shortstop picked up Marwin Gonzalez’s grounder, ran to second for what looked like a force and fired to first. The problem was he threw the ball about a step before he tagged the bag. After Joe Kelly walked the bases full, Altuve homered into the Green Monster seats.
“I knew right away that once I let that ball go that I stepped after,” Bogaerts said. “It’s kind of something that I knew I messed up right there, but hopefully the umpires would not look at the replay and we’d get a double play.”
Helton’s number retired
DENVER — Todd Helton brought the crowd at Coors Field to its feet again Sunday when the Colorado Rockies retired the No. 17 jersey of their longtime first baseman.
Helton, a career .316 hitter, retired after last season following a stellar 17-year career, all with the Rockies. He is the first player in the team’s 22-year history to have his number retired.
- Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, sidelined for 2ƒ months by a fractured left shoulder, was activated Sunday. He started both games of the team’s doubleheader against visiting Cincinnati.
- The Cardinals recalled right-hander Carlos Martinez from Triple-A Memphis and demoted struggling lefty Kevin Siegrist to the minors.
- St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday got the day off to rest his sore knee and get refreshed after going hitless in his past 18 at-bats.
- The Pirates put right-hander Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list with right hip inflammation and recalled infielder Brent Morel from Triple-A.
- Derek Jeter was the DH for the second straight game and sixth time this season. Jeter fouled a ball off his lower left leg Saturday. He went 1 for 5 Sunday.