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18th of November 2018

Sport



Price didn’t win, but Red Sox did to tie ALCS with Astros | The Star

By The Associated Press

Sun., Oct. 14, 2018

BOSTON—David Price was good enough, the Red Sox bullpen was even better, and Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered a go-ahead, three-run double off the Green Monster on Sunday night to lead Boston to a 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros and tie the AL Championship Series at one game apiece.

Price fell one out short of his first career post-season win as a starter, but still went back to a winning clubhouse for the first time in 11 playoff starts.

Mookie Betts, celebrating an RBI double in the eighth, and the Red Sox head for Houston after splitting a pair at Fenway Park.Mookie Betts, celebrating an RBI double in the eighth, and the Red Sox head for Houston after splitting a pair at Fenway Park.  (David J. Phillip / AP)

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel gave up an RBI single to Jose Altuve with two out in the ninth before Alex Bregman hit a fly ball that was caught on the warning track in left field to end it, handing Houston its first loss in five playoff games this year.

Game 3 goes Tuesday in Houston, followed by two more at Minute Maid Park and a chance for the defending champion Astros to clinch a second straight AL pennant at home.

Price was spotted a two-run lead in the first inning and then fell behind 4-2 before Bradley clanged one off the Monster that Astros left fielder Marwin Gonzalez helplessly chased as it bounced back toward the infield.

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Price left with a 5-4 lead after walking Tyler White on four pitches with two out in the fifth, his second walk of the inning; in all, the Red Sox left-hander was charged with four runs on five hits and four walks, striking out four.

Matt Barnes struck out Gonzalez to end the inning and then pitched a perfect sixth to earn the victory. Ryan Brasier pitched a scoreless inning and erstwhile starter Rick Porcello set the Astros down 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Kimbrel retired the first two batters in the ninth, then George Springer hit his second double of the game. Altuve followed with a drive off the left-field wall, stopping at first when he slipped rounding the bag. Bregman launched a high fly to left that Andrew Benintendi caught a step in front of the Monster.

Gerrit Cole, who was so dominant in his division series start against Cleveland, gave up a double to Mookie Betts — the first batter of the game — as Boston sent eight batters to the plate in the first. Benintendi singled to score Betts and scored himself on a single by Rafael Devers, who was making his first appearance of the series.

The AL Central champs tied it in the second on Springer’s two-run double down the right-field line. And when Gonzalez cleared the Monster — and the seats above them — with a two-run homer in the third, it looked like Price was headed for his 10th straight loss as a playoff starter. (He has won two post-season games in relief.)

But Boston, which won the AL East and a franchise-record 108 games, came back in the bottom half, starting with Xander Bogaerts’ one-out single and then a double that sent Gonzalez crashing back-first into the metal scoreboard on the left-field wall. He fell to the warning track, but after the training staff and manager A.J. Hinch went out to check on him he stayed in the game.

Cole walked Devers on four pitches to load the bases and struck out Ian Kinsler on three pitches before Bradley lofted one down the left-field line and off the Monster. As the ball bounced back toward the infield, it hopped on the padding along the side wall, just out of Gonzalez’s reach.

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Betts scored an insurance run in the seventh, walking to lead off the inning and coming around to make it 6-4 on a wild pitch and a pair of passed balls. He gave Boston a 7-4 lead with an RBI double in the eighth.

Cole vs. Price was the first-ever post-season matchup of No. 1 draft picks, with Price going first to Tampa Bay in the 2007 draft and Cole the top pick by Pittsburgh in 2011.

Dallas Keuchel, who was 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in the regular season, will start Game 3 for Houston. He allowed two runs in five innings in the Game 3 clincher against Cleveland.

With Porcello pitching in relief on Sunday, the Red Sox are expected to start Nathan Eovaldi on Tuesday. He was 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA in the regular season and allowed one run in five innings for the win against the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS — his first career post-season appearance.

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