Six outs away from being 3-1 behind in the AL Championship Series, and facing elimination in Game 5, Boston — where Red Sox had not lost this postseason — Houston Astros offense woke up.
After Jose Altuve’s solo homer tied the score in the eighth, the Astros bullied Boston for seven runs in ninth. They won 9-2 and the best-of-7 playoff at two games each.
Dusty Baker, the Astros’ 72 year-old manager, said that “this is one of the greatest things about baseball.” “When things aren’t going well and you feel dead in the water, then suddenly, boom boom boom, boom! You get seven runs.
He said, “That’s exactly what they’ve done to us this entire series.” “And that’s what we are capable of doing as well.”
Jason Castro viewed a possible third strike by Nathan Eovaldi, before driving in watch-tapping Carlos Correa in the ninth. The AL West champions continued scoring to ensure at least one more home game.
Game 5 will be played in Boston on Wednesday, and Games 6 and 7 in Houston on Friday, and Saturday, if needed.
After losing the playoffs, Alex Cora’s Red Sox are now 5-0.
Eovaldi, Game 2 winner and his first relief appearance since 2019, said that he is feeling confident. “That’s one of our strengths has been being able to turn page and come back tomorrow.”
The series had been dominated in offense, especially Boston’s. In the series, the Boston Red Sox have hit 10 homers, including three grand slams that turned Games 2 and 3 into routs. Both teams traded their first-inning home runs.
Alex Bregman made a solo run into the Green Monster seats. Then, Xander Bogaerts topped the score with a two-run, towering drive onto Lansdowne Street at the bottom to give the Red Sox a 2-1 advantage.
The pitchers then took control.
Altuve’s home run against Garrett Whitlock tied the game in the eighth at 2-1. He scored his 21st postseason home run in his career, breaking a tie for third with Derek Jeter and trailing only Manny Ramirez (29) or Bernie Williams (22).
Eovaldi made his relief debut two years back, and he came on for the ninth. He gave up Correa’s leadoff single.
When Eovaldi’s breaking ball of 1-2 appeared to reach Castro, the Red Sox thought that they were out of the game. Castro singled in Correa for Houston to take the lead.
Cora stated, “Yeah. A lot of people thought that it was a hit.” It was a great game right up to the end. We were just one pitch away from winning that inning. But it didn’t happen. Then they scored seven.
Martin Perez gave Michael Brantley a three-run run double. Yordan Alvarez added an RBI single. Perez’s throw error on Correa’s infield single allowed for a run, and Kyle Tucker added another run.
Houston has scored 36 runs in the postseason with just two outs, 18 of which are in this series.
Baker stated, “We knew that with this team we were playing we wanted to protect the lead.” Baker said, “And padd the lead we did. You know what I mean?” This one run may not have held up, especially in this park.
The Red Sox were the first major league team to record six consecutive double-digit hits in one postseason. They had only five on Tuesday, two when they were already seven behind in the ninth.
Nick Pivetta only allowed one more run after Bregman’s homer, before taking a 2-1 lead in five innings. Eovaldi lost, allowing four runs and getting only two outs.
Kendall Graveman, fifth Houston pitcher, pitched two scoreless innings to win. The Astros were particularly proud of Cristian Javier, the fifth Houston pitcher. He pitched three scoreless innings to help them get through five. Houston’s bullpen was able to deliver 7 2/3 shutout innings.
Altuve stated, “What the relievers did this morning was incredible.”
The Red Sox had five innings or more from their starter for the third consecutive game. It also was the third straight game that Houston’s starter failed to make it past the second inning. Zack Greinke only got four outs Tuesday.
Astros: CF Jake Meyers was injured when he crashed into the wall during the Division Series clincher. Baker stated that Meyers was initially listed in the starting line-up but was not “quite ready yet”. Chas McCormick was instead in the center.
Red Sox: Schwarber seemed to strain his left hamstring during a fourth-inning swing. He was able to walk out of the game and continue playing.
Game 5 will be Wednesday at 5:08 pm. Chris Sale, the Red Sox’s starter, will take over for Game 1. After allowing just one run in Game 1, Chris Sale will begin. Framber Valdez goes for Houston. During the series opener, he gave up two earned runs over 2 1/3 innings.