ALCS GAME 5: RED SOX 4, ASTROS 1

Season over: Red Sox continue to dominate, beat Astros 4-1 in Game 5 to clinch AL pennant

Justin Verlander had a rough outing. Elsa/Getty Images

Boston's offense continued to overpower the Astros in Game 5, backing up a dominant start from David Price to win Game 5 of the ALCS 4-1, eliminating the Houston Astros from the 2018 postseason and sending the Red Sox to the World Series.

The Astros offense simply had no answer for Price in Game 5, while the Red Sox were able to do damage against Justin Verlander to win the series. Verlander went six innings, during which he allowed two home runs, one a solo shot to J.D. Martinez and the other a game-defining three-run home run by Rafael Devers. Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo homer late, but it would be a futile run in the loss.

Verlander got the win-or-go-home Game 5 started in the top of the first and was able to do something the Astros hadn't done in the three previous games; keep the Red Sox off the scoreboard in the first inning. Verlander was able to get two quick pop outs and then work around a two-out walk to get through the first frame. Jose Altuve got the first hit of the night in the bottom of the inning, a two-out single, but would be left stranded there with Price striking out Carlos Correa to end the inning.

A rare error by Alex Bregman allowed Boston to get a runner on first in the top of the second, then Boston got a two-out single to put runners on first and second, followed by a walk to load the bases, but Verlander was able to strike out Mookie Betts to strand all three. Yuli Gurriel led off the bottom of the inning with a single but would be unable to advance with Price retiring the next three in order.

J.D. Martinez, after getting saved by the umpire on what should have been a strike three, took the next pitch to the Crawford Boxes to give Boston a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Price meanwhile made it a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to send things on to the fourth.

Verlander was able to get a three up, three down inning of his own in the top of the fourth. Gurriel made it 2-for-2 on the night with a two-out double in the bottom of the inning, but Price would get a strikeout to strand him again.

Martinez continued to hit Verlander well, getting a two-out single in the top of the fifth, but Verlander would erase that with a lineout to end the top half. Price continued to match Verlander inning for inning, putting the Astros down in order yet again in the bottom of the inning.

Verlander allowed a leadoff double to start the sixth, then a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. That set up Rafael Devers who delivered for Boston with a huge three-run homer to make it 4-0 Boston. Houston continued to get shutout on offense in the bottom half of the inning, with Price adding another 1-2-3 inning to his dominant night.

Verlander's night was done after the four-run six innings of work, and first out of Houston's bullpen was Roberto Osuna, who had a quick inning to keep the score at 4-0. The bottom of the seventh also marked the end of the line for Price, who would end his night with six terrific shutout innings for Boston. Matt Barnes was the first reliever for the Red Sox and watched the lead be trimmed down to three with a two-out solo home run by Gonzalez to make it a 4-1 game. Kemp was next and worked a walk, resulting in another call to the bullpen to bring in Game 3 starter Nathan Eovaldi, who would get the third out.

Osuna made it a multi-inning appearance by returning in the top of the eighth and worked around a one-out double to keep the lead at three runs. Eovaldi stayed in the game for Boston in the bottom of the inning and worked around a two-out single by George Springer to put the Red Sox three outs away.

In the top of the ninth, the Astros stayed with Osuna's hot hand, and he was able to retire the side. Boston went to closer Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the inning, who get the save to end the game and the Astros' season. 

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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 7-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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