Three takeaways from the Red Sox’s Game 2 ALCS win

Credit Courtesy          WHITE

Credit Courtesy WHITE

Boston finally struck against Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, scoring a pair of runs to tie the game 2-2. Reddick opened the inning with a solo drive to center field, and Gurriel hit a three-run homer inside the Pesky Pole down the right field line with one out. Houston only got one hit off of Sale, but he loaded the bases with two outs in the second on two walks and a hit batter before reigning World Series MVP George Springer singled in two runs past the glove of third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who slipped as he stretched for the ball.

Verlander's only trouble came in the fifth as he walked three straight following a single.

That Sale kept the Astros at bay and finished somewhat strong are the only positives for Boston from an otherwise gloomy outing-four innings, one hit, two runs, four walks, five strikeouts and just 58% of his pitches going for strikes.

The Astros will attempt to go for a second win against the Red Sox today in Game 2 on TBS.

"Alex told me before we even got off the field that night" that he would get another start, Price said before the game.

Game 3 is Tuesday in Houston.

"I gotta do what I gotta do for my players", he said.

Around 9:30 p.m. ET last night, the Red Sox announced that Sale reported a stomach illness and was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital for observation earlier in the afternoon.

"We've got to get them off the plate", Cora said.

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel gave up an RBI single to Jose Altuve with two outs in the ninth before Alex Bregman hit a flyball that was caught on the warning track in left field to end it, handing Houston its first loss in five playoff games this year. It's not that we're trying to hit them, but we have to let them know that we will pitch there.

Cora continued to yell from the dugout and was tossed by Hoye.

Things got slightly better as the night went on.

Verlander issued his first bases-loaded walk since August 3, 2015, when he walked Mitch Moreland to make it 2-1.

But by that point, his fastball had dipped to 88-89 miles per hour, and with the top of the order looming for a third time and Sale already at 86 pitches, manager Alex Cora asked for no more, turning to righty Joe Kelly in the fifth. We're not gonna hang our heads in the locker room.

"We won. That's my first team win as a starter".

Boston catcher Christian Vazquez hit second-base umpire Joe West on his right shoulder with a throw when Jake Marisnick stole second in the eighth.

Even in victory, the Red Sox were weakened, though the degree to which is still unknown.

Pedroia was 16 for 58 against Price in his career before the left-hander signed a free agent deal with the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season.

"I didn't look back at him (after I scored) at all,". Cora opted to gamble for offense over defense, with Price carrying a 2.37 earned-run average in 13 games with Leon and a 4.68 ERA in 17 games with Vazquez during the regular season.

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