Red Sox tie up championship series with win over Astros


The game went back-and-forth in the first two innings, but the Red Sox took control in the third and held on for a 7-5 win over the Astros at Fenway Park on Sunday.

So no, the left-handed Price didn't last long enough to claim the elusive "W", getting pulled by manage Alex Cora after 4.2 innings.

The acclaim was not a salute for a brilliant performance by Price, for it was not that at all. It's not overly confident; it just means we show up at the ballpark ready to play.

Price was not eligible for the victory because he did not last the five innings required by baseballs rules. Coming into Game 2, the Astros in the 2018 postseason had outscored their opponents 18-1 (!) from the seventh inning onward.

"We won", Price declared afterward. His team prevailed in a must-win scenario. "Baby steps are baby steps", Price said after the outing. "I came here to win, period. But Im very happy that we won".

Game 3 of the ALCS is scheduled for Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park, in Houston. He entered Game 2 of the ALCS with an abysmal record: 10 playoff starts, 10 playoff losses for his team, a 6.03 ERA, untold tabloid headlines and derisive tweets reminding him that he would be the story every time he pitched in October. His final line may not look pretty but Price pitched better than the numbers suggest.

Like the rest of his Red Sox teammates, Jackie Bradley Jr. made the most of his second chance.

But where the Red Sox seem to have to scramble to be competitive (using starter Rick Porcello to toss the eighth on Sunday, followed by that nervous ninth being the latest example), the Astros go after it with proven depth. The two runs Cole yielded in the first inning Sunday were. Mercifully, for the Red Sox and their fans, Kimbrel got Bregman to fly out to Benintendi just in front of the Monster in deep left field. Kimbrel, who was on the mound when the Yankees nearly overcame a three-run deficit in the deciding Game 4 of the division series, put another scare into Red Sox fans on Sunday night before finally recording the save.

The American League Championship Series is tied at 1-1.

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Red Sox victories tend to melt the most hardened of hearts. As the ball bounced back toward the infield, it hopped on the padding along the side wall, just out of Gonzalez's reach.

"I knew I missed it", Bregman said.

All four of those runs he allowed came with two outs. After Cole made a throwing error on a ground ball by Xander Bogaerts, he walked Steve Pearce to load the bases. "This isnt about me". I understand the narratives. I get that. I deserve those narratives. But this is bigger than David Price. The Astros are -135 favorites at the majority of sportsbooks, while the Red Sox can be had at +125. Boston's bullpen allowed only one baserunner over the next 3 1/3 scoreless inning to get the ball to their closer.

In the third inning, Marwin Gonzalez cleared the Monster off David Price.

The fastball stayed up in the zone, and Gonzalez crushed it.

Gerrit Cole - the top pick in the 2011 draft - took the mound for the Astros and was shaky early, as he surrendered five runs in the first three inning.

His winless streak as a postseason starter continues.

Houston's Game 2 starter ran into some trouble in the first frame. The jinx, perhaps, is starting to crumble.

"That was big - going back to the second inning when I had an opportunity to have a shut-down inning and wasn't able to do that, giving up the two-out double to Springer, that stung", said Price. "It wasn't the line I dreamed up to have, but our offence, our defence, everybody rallied together".