Red Sox Pitching Struggles, Astros Take Game 1 7-2

Billie Weiss  Boston Red Sox  Getty Images

Billie Weiss Boston Red Sox Getty Images

He left Game 2 having limited enough damage for the Red Sox to win 7-5 and salvage a split of the first two games.

Houston extended the lead in the ninth to 4-2 on a solo shot by Josh Reddick off Workman before Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run homer to right to blow the game open. The lefty lasted only four innings, gave up two runs on one hit, walked four men and struck out five. They needed Rick Porcello, their theoretical Game 3 starter, for an inning of relief Sunday night - he delivered a 1-2-3 eighth and punctuated an inning-ending strikeout with a couple of animated fist-pumps - which likely pushes him back to Game 4 and puts Nathan Eovaldi in line to start Game 3 against Houston's Dallas Keuchel. His middling, 4⅔ -inning stint, which started poorly and ended tenuously, didn't gain him the first win in a postseason start in his career, but it put the Red Sox in position to win, which is more than he can usually say. They trotted out a pair of Cy Young Award candidates-ace Justin Verlander, whose 6.2 WAR was third in the league, and No. 2 Gerrit Cole, whose 5.3 was sixth-in the first two games and should probably have won both.

Houston only managed one hit off of Sale, but he loaded the bases with two outs in the second on two walks and a hit batter before reigning World Series MVP George Springer singled in two runs past the glove of Eduardo Nunez, who slipped as he stretched for the ball.

The Red Sox went down in order in the second, third and fourth innings before awakening the shivering, sold-out Fenway crowd in the fifth with Steve Pearce's single - just their second hit in the game - and two walks.

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Cora continued to yell from the dugout and was tossed by Hoye.

"It wasn't the line I dreamed up to have tonight, but our offense, our defense, everybody rallied together", Price said.

After ALCS Game 1 loss, staff won't be fine-tuning pitches on the strike zone's edges. "But we didn't throw as many strikes as we like, and moving forward I think we could be a little more aggressive".

Verlander was charged with two runs and four walks while striking out six. "But once that happens, then you've got to reset and not relinquish the lead". Sale gave up two runs, one hit, four walks and a hit batter, and his average fastball velocity of 92 miles per hour was down 3 miles per hour from the Division Series. "We trust those guys".

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"Ken served us very well".

"We won. That's my first team win as a starter". He did, however, guide his team to victory for the first time in 11 career postseason starts, and that was all he cared about after the game.

- David Price went home a victor in a postseason start for the first time in his career. We went out there to make sure there was no issue with his head. He allowed the Astros to tie the score in the top of the second and Marwin Gonzalez belted a two-run homer off of him one inning later.

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