The Red Sox faced off against a familiar foe in the ALDS with the Houston Astros. The Astros took 3 out of 4 of the last series in Boston, so they definitely had the mental advantage. The game was sold as a pitchers duel with Chris Sale vs. Justin Verlander. The game ended up turning into a home run derby and Sale ended up giving up 7 runs in 5 innings of work. The Astros won the first game easily and the Sox will now look to Drew Pomeranz in Game 2 to right the ship.
Sale followed the trend of the starting pitchers in the final week of the season by allowing multiple runs in the first inning. Sale gave up back to back solo home runs to Bregman and Altuve. Sox 0-2. The Sox got one of those runs back in the top of the 2nd when Sandy Leon hit an RBI single to just barely score Moreland from 2nd before Pedroia was thrown out at 3rd. Sox 1-2. The Sox tied the game up in the 4th when Devers hit an RBI sac fly to score Betts. Sox 2-2.
Sale gave all that hard work from the Sox offense right back in the bottom of the 4th. Sale gave up a 2 run RBI double to Gonzalez to put the Astros back out in front. Sox 2-4. In the 5th Jose Altuve took Sale deep for the 2nd time in the game. Sox 2-5. Sale went back out for the 6th, but he probably shouldn’t have. Sale gave up a double and a walk and Farrell went out to get him. Joe Kelly came into the game, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to limit the damage. Kelly gave up a single to load the bases and then gave up a 2 run RBI single to McCann to have the Astros up 7-2. Austin Maddox was tapped to come in for the 7th inning. Maddox had to face Jose Altuve and he took him yard as well. Altuve hit three homers in the game and sure looked like the guy who should win the MVP. Sox 2-8. Rick Porcello came out of the pen to pitch the 8th inning. He pitched a scoreless frame, but there wasn’t any miraculous comeback from the Sox bats in the 9th.
And to add injury to insult, Edward Nunez was out of the game in the first inning. Nunez hit a groundout and his knee buckled from under him before he could get to first base. John Farrell and the training staff had to physically carry him off the field and into the clubhouse. The Sox will do testing on his knee, but it seems pretty obvious Nunez will be out for the rest of 2017. The Sox will need to replace him on the roster with another position player, so Farrell said that if they do need to DL Nunez, they will replace him with Chris Young.
Red Sox 2 Astros 8 BOXSCORE
WP: Verlander (1-0) LP: Sale (0-1)