ALDS Game 3

Lose, not woos: Red Sox crush Astros 10-3, avoid sweep

It was a rough day for Marwin Gonzalez and the Astros. Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

After being limited to four total runs in the first two games of the series, the Boston Red Sox offense came alive in Game 3 of the ALDS to avoid the sweep and force a Game 4.

Boston rallied for 10 unanswered runs after falling behind early in the 10-3 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday in Boston, fueled by strong performances from the bottom of their lineup.

For the third time in as many games, the Astros jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Josh Reddick drove in the first run with a RBI single to score George Springer, followed by a two-run homer to center by Carlos Correa, making it back-to-back games with first-inning homers and giving the Astros a 3-0 lead.

After putting two on base and getting just one out in the second inning, Red Sox manager John Farrell had seen enough of Doug Fister and brought in Joe Kelly. Kelly was able to get out of the jam thanks to Mookie Betts saving a would-be home run from Reddick at the right-field wall.

Brad Peacock got into his own trouble in the bottom half of the second, giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning followed by a walk to load the bases. Sandy Leon put the first run on the board for Boston with a RBI single to make it a 3-1 game. Peacock battled back, though, and got out of the inning with a strikeout, groundout, and fly out.

Peacock would not fare as well in the bottom of the third, however, giving up back-to-back two-out hits to Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez allowing Boston to trim the lead down to 3-2, and resulted in A.J. Hinch ending Peacock's day. Liriano was brought in to get the last out of the third but was unable to do so before giving up a go-ahead two-run home run to Rafael Devers, giving Boston their first lead of the game and series, 4-3.

The score would remain 4-3 in Boston's favor all the way to the seventh inning as both teams would go to long relievers; David Price for the Red Sox and Lance McCullers for the Astros, his first relief appearance since moving from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Price was impressive, going four scoreless innings, while McCullers would pitch into the bottom of the seventh but be pulled in favor of Chris Devenski after giving up a walk and single. Devenski gave up a single of his own to load the bases with no outs, then allowed the Red Sox to extend their lead to 7-3 after a two-RBI double by Ramirez and blooper RBI single by Rafael Devers, resulting in another call to the bullpen.

Joe Musgrove came in next and did not fare any better, giving up a three-run home run to Jackie Bradley Jr. to blow the game open for Boston and extend the lead to 10-3. Boston would get shutout innings from Addison Reed and Carson Smith to wrap up the 10-3 win.

Next Game: The first pitch of Game 4 from Fenway Park is scheduled for 12:08 PM Central tomorrow and can be seen on FS1. Unless the Astros change their minds, they are scheduled to send out Charlie Morton, who finished the regular season with his strongest month, posting a 4-1 record and 2.54 ERA in September. The pitcher for Boston has not yet been named. 

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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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