Red Sox even ALCS with 7-5 comeback win over Astros

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The Boston Red Sox were winning a playoff game started by David Price, against the undefeated-in-October Houston Astros.

Then with two outs in the top of the third inning, Marwin Gonzalez launched a two-run blast over the Green Monster in left field to give the Astros a 4-2 lead.

Matt Barnes followed Price by getting the next four outs. Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello are the most likely candidates. The lefty lasted only four innings, gave up two runs on one hit, walked four men and struck out five. 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. This came after the offense scored two runs to tie the game at two in the frame against Justin Verlander.

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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 took an unusual hop in the dirt and ended up bouncing off the side wall in left field not once, but twice, before it fell to the ground.

Boston added an insurance run when Mookie Betts scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. Coming into Game 2, the Astros in the 2018 postseason had outscored their opponents 18-1 (!) from the seventh inning onward.

That Sale kept the Astros at bay and finished somewhat strong are the only positives for Boston from an otherwise gloomy outing-four innings, one hit, two runs, four walks, five strikeouts and just 58% of his pitches going for strikes.

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Three Boston pitchers combined to throw 3 1/3 innings scoreless innings behind Price. In the fifth, he walked Bregman with one out and then, with two outs, he walked White.

"He threw the ball well", said Red Sox manager Alex Cora of Price. Just venting? Who knows? The Red Sox beat the Astros, 7-5, to even the series at a game apiece. If the Sox elect to go Sale for games 4 and 7, that leaves trying to find a start for games 3, 5, and 6.

After Cole fanned Ian Kinsler with the bases loaded later in the bottom of the third, Bradley sliced a double down the left field line, near the foul pole and off the wall for a 5-4 Red Sox lead. After a lengthy review for a rules check, Bradley resumed his at-bat. Whether the issue is mechanical or physical or a combination of the two (or perhaps a reaction to the chilly weather; temperature at first pitch was 50 degrees and dropped from there), the Red Sox stand no chance of defeating Houston if Sale isn't right.

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The Red Sox have not officially announced their starters for Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS. He allowed two runs in five innings in the Game 3 clincher against Cleveland. "This is about the Boston Red Sox". Hitting just 91 miles per hour with his first fastball of the night, Sale labored through four precarious innings, his velocity sapped and his command non-existent.

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