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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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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