Clutch homers from Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa power Astros past Red Sox in Game 1 of ALCS

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HOUSTON – The fierce attacks from his teammates didn’t stop him. Dustbins thrown on the field, long, succulent boons, “Cheaters!” The chants of fans from coast to coast didn’t stop him.

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The assumption that the 2017 Houston Astros were deceitful and always will be, and perhaps, from a purely character standpoint, a case can be made.

But now it’s 2021, with safeguards apparently in place to guard against schemes like the ’17 Astros’ electronic sign-theft, yet one thing hasn’t changed: the historic dominance of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa in October.

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With the Boston Red Sox on the verge of capturing Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, Houston’s post-season Giants responded once again, taking a home pairing 5-4 from the Boston relievers. Runs away for the win.

4 hours, 7 minutes of play set the tone for the series: a slog and, at times, a slugfest. Starting pitchers Chris Sells and Framber Valdez failed to complete three innings, and a combined 15 relievers kept the game close, if not aesthetically pleasing.

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Leave it to the Astro Sluggers for that.

Altuve went first, providing a familiar sight to atone for a crucial third inning error: a line drive vanished into the bobbing throng of an orange into the Crawford box in left field. His two-out, two-run shot off Tanner Hawke – who had conceded just three hits in his post-season work seven innings – leveled the score at 3-3 in the sixth and extended the four-inning stretch. In which the Astros trapped seven runners.

Correa provided the decisive two-out dagger later in the innings, with a giant fly down the left field line, which prompted him to drop his bat on contact and bathe in the adoration of 40,534 fans, which sparked a historic scandal. Filled the space like this, after which an epidemic came. never happened.

No, they love Altuve and Correa here just as they love their harsh individualism, and if they’re cheaters, they’re definitely Houston’s cheaters.

Yet with each passing game, the pre- and post-Scandal Astros are practically imperceptible.

Korea had three hits from three Red Sox pitchers, and eight of 17 batsmen this post season. His go-forward home run was the 18th of his career, joining him for the seventh time alongside Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson and Nelson Cruz.

Altuve walked and scored, homemade and attacked a sacrificial fly that proved to be the decisive run; His post-20 career home runs saw him pair with Derek Jeter for the third time.

With both players scoring seven home runs in the 2020 and ’21 postseasons, the mental stress of playing with their secrets has long been exposed – and their sign-stealing security blankets presumably removed – apparently no deterrent. Is.

His Game 1 Heroes overshadowed a command performance from Boston center fielder Kike Hernandez, whose leadoff homer began a three-run knock in the third kick, which put his club 3–1, and whose ninth-inning Homer made up the deficit.

In an innings before his first homer, Hernandez made a superb diving catch of a sinking fly ball off Michael Brantley’s bat, driving the ball off the grass to save at least two runs.

Hernandez is now 14 for 28 with four homers this season, and his 30 totals is more than half the all-time record of 50 set by St. Louis David Freeze in 2011.

The way this series is going, Hernandez should have plenty of chances to pile on that total.

The Boston sales struggled again, retiring only eight batters, allowing six baserunners, and they left the Boston bullpen in a compromised position.

Meanwhile, Astros lefty Valdez took his command in 2⅔ innings, moving three and forcing a seven-man bullpen relay that kept Boston at bay until Hernandez’s ninth inning fired a close shot at Ryan Pressley.

But Pressley hung on, and Houston is just three wins away from the World Series return trip. A familiar outcome with a familiar hero.

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