Bullpen delivers, Betts seals it for Sox in Game 2


For starters, the Astros had to lose a postseason game for the first time this fall, and lose a game at Fenway Park for just the fourth time in 11 games dating to the start of 2017.

In the ALCS for the first time since 2013, the Red Sox got four innings from Sale, who struggled early and allowed two runs on one hit while working around four walks.

Springer will attempt to claim sole possession of the record as the Astros face off against the Red Sox' David Price for Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday night.

A head-to-head matchup of Price and Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole, both former No. 1 overall picks in the draft, ended with no clear victor.

Matt Barnes struck out Gonzalez to end the inning and then pitched a flawless sixth to earn the victory. Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello are the most likely candidates.

Until the 2018 Red Sox, no playoff team had ever walked 10 opposing players in a game while also hitting at least three batters. He took the first two pitches for balls and swung through a fastball before sending a line drive over the head of Gonzalez, the Astros left fielder.

Kimbrel, however, induced a fly out from Bregman to secure the win. Leadoff man Betts crushed a ringing double, and then Andrew Benintendi drove him with a single. They have sent their aces to the mound in Boston, with Justin Verlander getting the ball in Game 1 and Gerrit Cole in Game 2.

The ball skipped just under Eduardo Núñez's glove at third base and almost made it to the warning track in left field before Andrew Benintendi scooped it.

The ball bounced off the Green Monster and rolled awkwardly off the side wall before it was corralled by Gonzalez.

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An RBI double that inning by right fielder Mookie Betts brought home the final Boston run and gave Kimbrel an extra cushion.

- David Price went home a victor in a postseason start for the first time in his career.

Price had been 0-9 in his first 10 career postseason starts, and his teams had lost all 10 - the longest such losing streak in baseball history.

The Sox managed to keep it close for much of the night, until Houston hit two home runs off Brandon Workman in the ninth inning to put the game out of reach.

He threw 13 pitches in a scoreless inning out of relief against the Yankees two days before he was scheduled to pitch in a potential Game 5 in the ALDS. In the fifth, he walked Bregman with one out and then, with two outs, he walked White.

"But you can't argue balls and strikes", he said. Just venting? Who knows?

The Astros did not have any lineup changes, but manager A.J. Hinch said he plans to start Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton in Games 3 and 4. The Yankees set a Major League Baseball record for home runs by a team during the regular season, and cutting off their power was key to winning the series in four games.

Jackie Bradley Jr.is known for his impeccable aim as an outfielder, but on Sunday night he showed off a different kind of pinpoint placement. After a lengthy review for a rules check, Bradley resumed his at-bat. It's a big pitch right there. He allowed two runs in five innings in the Game 3 clincher against Cleveland.

Cole was of course outstanding during the regular season, but he wasn't entirely unfamiliar with first-inning fits and starts.