He allowed four runs through 4 2/3 innings-his best playoff start in a Red Sox uniform. Four of those Houston runs came on a pair of home runs allowed by Brandon Workman, who wouldn't have been pitching in the ninth inning had the previous eight innings gone differently.
The Astros won and never trailed but they certainly took advantage of a sloppy Boston side. The left-hander issued a one-out walk to Bregman and then a two-out free pass to White to put runners on first and second and end his night.
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. Compared to the 2016 ALCS Game 1, the viewership was up 42% vs. 2016 with double-digit growth across all key demos.
- Boston retook the lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Where did it go wrong, Boston's silenced designated hitter J.D. Martinez was asked? Primetime seems to agree with him: He doesn't have a hit yet in the series, but he's reached base at a.700 clip in two games after six walks and a hit by pitch. "They pitched their way out of it, but we didn't hit our way into it".
That mortifying backdrop explains the warm reception the 33-year-old got upon leaving the game with two outs in the fifth inning and Astros on first and second.
Cora disagreed with a strike call that resulted in Andrew Benintendi stranding the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
"The tying run scoring was a little disappointing", Verlander said.
"I guess Verlander executed his pitch, and he called it a strike", Cora said. Price has been solid when healthy in three seasons with Boston, going 39-19 with a 3.74 ERA, but he has also solidified his reputation as an anti-clutch pitcher who wilts in big situations over that time. These are the World Champion Astros, after all. That's a whopping 113 fewer than the Red Sox.
Cora is betting that Price is too good a pitcher to continuously flop in the playoffs, that eventually he will break through and justify his confidence.
Ryan Pressly worked around a throwing error by Correa in a scoreless seventh, Lance McCullers Jr. pitched a flawless eighth and Collin McHugh finished up. It was the first extra-base hit of the game and extended the Astros post-season homer streak to 13 games in a row, matching an American League record. They'll need to pitch better, hit better and field better. That outing consisted of one uneventful seventh inning. And based on their form from September bleeding into October, they look capable of shortening this series in a hurry.