Joel Embiid hoisted diminutive comedian Kevin Hart not unlike the way a parent would toss up a toddler. Embiid then pulled him in for a hug as confetti rained on the court, team flags waved around them and the promise of a rowdy late-night celebration was on deck.
Hart grabbed the mic and yelled, “Let’s give it up for Joel Embiid!”
Believe it, Philly.
“For him to come to this type of game … I was just happy,” Embiid said.
Hart talked trash, wandered onto the edge of the court to rile up fans and palled around with Mill as the young and gettin’ it Sixers proved they just might be the team to beat in the East.
They’ll have plenty of time to rest and recover — Embiid again played in a black mask to guard a face injury — with the other Eastern Conference playoff series expected to stretch into the weekend.
Betts got the Red Sox on the scoreboard with leadoff homer in the first — his third such shot of the season and 14th of his career — over the left-field fence. He then put the Red Sox in front for good in the seventh, taking reliever Danny Barnes (1-1) deep over the right-field wall for his eighth homer of the season — a two-run shot that also drove in Brock Holt.
Alex Cora said it is games like this that has Betts keeping the very best of company in the major leagues.
“They’re special,” the Red Sox manager said. “The Trouts, the Altuves, the more at-bats they get the better you feel about it,”
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 106 pitches.
One night after giving up a walk-off home run to Curtis Granderson, closer Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Though Boston has now won all of Rodriguez’s four starts this season, after the recent losing skid, the left-hander was more than happy to give credit to the guy who jump-started the offense.
“We needed something like that, somebody to get us in front and do it like he did it today,” he said.
However, Yangervis Solarte wasn’t handing out much credit after the game. The third baseman’s sixth home run of the season into the second deck of left field in the sixth inning gave Toronto its only lead of the game at 3-2.