BOSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve hit a home run in the eighth inning and the Houston offense woke up to seven runs in the ninth on Tuesday night as the Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox 9-2, the evening of the AL Championship Series two games. In.
Going 3–1 in the best-of-seven series and six outs from Game 5 at Fenway Park—where Boston didn’t lose all postseason—the defending AL champion instead played at least one game back in Houston. guaranteed to do.
In a series that was dominated by offense – Boston in particular – teams traded first-inning homers and then both pitching staff put six straight zeros on the Fenway scoreboard before Altuve’s leadoff shot in the eighth.
Carlos Correa doubled and scored in the ninth to advance on Jason Castro’s two-out single. But it was just the beginning for Houston, which saw Boston bully its pitcher for 10 homers in the series, including three record-setting Grand Slams that turned Games 2 and 3 into routs.
After Alex Bregman hit a single homer in the Green Monster seats for the first time, Xander Bogarts topped with a huge, two-run drive on Lansdowne Street to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
Then, the pitchers took over: it was still 2–1 when Altuve took the eighth-place lead with a homer against Garrett Whitlock.
Game 2 winner Nathan Iovaldi, making his first relief appearance since coming back from an injury in 2019, came in ninth and dropped Korea’s leadoff double. With two outs and two ons, Castro singled out in Korea to give Houston the lead.
And the Astros just kept scoring.
Michael Brantley hits a three-run double off Martin Perez. Yordan Alvarez added an RBI single. Korea reaches an infield single to score a run. Kyle Tucker scored another run.
The Red Sox, the first team in major league history to score double points in six consecutive hits in a single post season, had just five on Tuesday – two of them behind seven in the ninth.
Iovaldi lost four for four, recording only two outs. Houston’s fifth pitcher Kendall Graveman bowled two unscored innings for the win.
Bogarts cleared the wall, seats and billboards above them before landing on Lansdowne Street with a first-ever 403-foot shot at the top of the Green Monster’s seats behind Bregman’s 354-foot homer.
Nick Pivetta allowed just one more hit after Bregman’s homer before going through five innings to lead 2–1.
It was the third game in a row that the Red Sox got five or more innings from a starter, and the third straight game a Houston starter did not get out of the second inning; Jack Greinke got just four outs on Tuesday.
Pivetta was charged with one run on two hits and two walks, with one run out of three. He placed Rafael Devers in third to finish fifth on a hard grounder to Altuve. First baseman Kyle Schwarber makes a good play to scoop the throw; Replays showed he pulled his leg out of the bag, but the Astros did not challenge the call.
home run history
Altuve has 21 career postseason home runs, breaking a tie with Derek Jeter for the third-most in baseball history. Manny Ramirez is the leader with 29, and Bernie Williams scored 22.
coming in hot
Red Sox manager Alex Cora had to be withdrawn by third base coach Carlos Fables after JD Martinez was called on strike for second in the third inning.
With Alex Verdugo stealing second on the 3-2 pitch, umpire Laz Diaz called out Martinez on a pitch that was off the plate. Martinez said a few words, then Cora came out of the dugout and was held back by Fables and on-deck hitter Christian Vazquez.
Astros manager Dusty Baker also came out, apparently to point out that Martinez had interfered with catcher Martin Maldonado as he tried to take out Verdugo. Diaz dropped Verdugo in second, and Hunter Renfro was dismissed to end the innings.
Astros: CF Jake Meyers, who injured his left shoulder after crashing into a wall at a Division Series clinch, was originally listed in the starting lineup but “wasn’t quite ready yet,” Baker said. Chas McCormick started in the center instead.
Red Sox: Schwarber is seen twisting his left hamstring on the swing in the fourth inning. He limped a groundout and remained in the game.
Game 5 is Wednesday at 5:08 p.m. Chris Sells is in line to start for the Red Sox after allowing a run in 2 2/3 innings in Game 1. It’s Framber Valdez’s turn again for Houston. He conceded two runs in 2 2/3 innings during the first match of the series.
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