Boston Evens ALCS With 7-5 Win Vs. Astros At Fenway Park

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The 29-year-old slugger hasn't exactly destroyed Price during previous matches - he's played to a.208 average and a single home run in his last 24 at-bats against the lefty - but a dominant start from Price is anything but guaranteed as he posted just 1 2/3 innings of three-hit, three-run ball during Game 2 of the ALDS. And a Red Sox victory.

Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel added insurance in the ninth with home runs off Brandon Workman. If the Astros win the series, it will likely have a lot to do with their third baseman. 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.

Entering yesterday's ALCS opener against the Red Sox, the Astros' hot-hitting outfielder had hit safely in his last nine playoff games with the team, a streak that extended all the way back to Game 1 of the 2017 World Series.

For the bottom half, it was Astros ageless veteran Justin Verlander doing the same in holding the vaunted Boston attack to just two hits and two runs.

Where did it go wrong, Boston's silenced designated hitter J.D. Martinez was asked?

Both starters - and in particular Sale - struggled at times with walks, errors and hit batsmen with what was certainly a weird four hour, three minute opening to the highly anticipated series. He couldn't spot his fastball - 19 of his 25 pitches in that first inning were heaters - and the Red Sox took advantage. They have pitching, hitting and defense in spades.

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"He didn't find his slider till the fourth", said Boston manager Alex Cora, who was ejected after the fifth inning for arguing a strike call on Andrew Benintendi.

"The tying run scoring was a little disappointing", Verlander said.

"I read somewhere in social media", Cora said, "that his only postseason start (in which) he went nine (innings), it was under 50 degrees, he went nine innings and gave up two runs". He pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.

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. That's a whopping 113 fewer than the Red Sox.

Who will they turn to to get things started?

Ryan Pressly worked around a throwing error by Correa in a scoreless seventh, Lance McCullers Jr. pitched a ideal eighth and Collin McHugh finished up. If Sale gets another start, he'll need to be noticeably better than he was on Saturday. The Fenway crowd showered him with a standing ovation as he departed with two outs in the fifth inning. They can see another World Series on the horizon.