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Jun 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) hits a two-run RBI double to left field against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox broke a three-game losing streak and avoided a sweep on the backs of two of their best players.

Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-5 with a two-run double, while starter Martin Perez pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings, as the Red Sox earned a 5-1 win over the Houston Astros Thursday night. The win stopped the bleeding for the Sox, who had lost the first three games of the series in a row.

Bogaerts broke what had become his first prolonged slump in an otherwise productive 2021 season. The Red Sox shortstop had gone 0-for-19 at the plate in his previous six games.

Perez, meanwhile, became the first Red Sox starter to record an out in the eighth inning in 2021. He nearly made it through eight while throwing just 82 pitches, 59 for strikes (71.9 percent). Perez is eighth in the American League with a 3.09 ERA and the Red Sox are 7-4 in his starts so far in 2021.

Despite the bounceback win, the Red Sox are still just 5-5 in their last 10 games. Amid their recent slump, the Sox (33-23) slipped to second in the American League while the surging Tampa Bay Rays (36-22) jumped into first. Boston will now gear up for a big weekend series on the road against the New York Yankees (31-26).

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.