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Friday, November 26, 2021

ALCS: Astros Uses 7 Early 9th Inning To Win Game 4, Even Streak

JIMMY GOLEN Sports Writer AP

BOSTON – Six strikeouts from a 3-1 backlog in the AL series and a relegation clash in Game 5 in Boston – where the Red Sox have yet to lose this postseason – the Houston Astros offensive has awakened.

Tied in the eighth inning with solo homer Jose Altuve, the Astros intimidated the Boston bullpen seven times in the ninth to win 9-2 on Tuesday night and even a top-of-seven playoff in two games apiece.

“This is one of the greatest things about baseball,” said Dusty Baker, 72-year-old manager of the Astros. “When you’re dead in the water and things aren’t going well, and then suddenly boom, boom, boom, and you have seven descents.

“This is what they did to us throughout this episode,” he said. “And we can do it too.”

Jason Castro ignored Nathan Eovaldi’s potential third hit before riding the clock with Carlos Correa with a good move in the ninth, and then the AL West champions continued to score to guarantee themselves at least one more home game.

Game 5 will take place Wednesday at 2:00 pm PT in Boston, with Games 6 and 7 returning to Houston on Friday and Saturday, if necessary.

Red Sox 5-0 after losing playoffs under manager Alex Cora.

“We feel pretty confident,” said Eovaldi, the second game winner who was born for the first time since 2019. “One of our strengths is the ability to turn the page and come tomorrow.”

In a series dominated by offense – especially in Boston, where 10 homers were scored in that series, including a record three Grand Slam events that turned Games 2 and 3 into rallies – teams traded home runs from the first inning.

Alex Bregman landed a single hit to the Green Monster seats, then Xander Bogerts took the lead with a towering two-way pass on Lansdowne Street in the lower half to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.

Then the pitchers took over.

The score was still 2-1 when Altuwe homegrown against Garrett Whitlock to equalize in eighth place. It was his 21st postseason home run, ending a draw with Derek Jeter and finishing third in baseball history, behind only Manny Ramirez (29) and Bernie Williams (22).

Eovaldi, who made his first shift since returning from injury two years ago, finished ninth and dropped Correa’s first double.

The Red Sox thought they were out of the inning when Eovaldi’s 1st and 2nd goal seemed to catch the plate for a third hit on Castro. Still alive, Castro singled out to Correa to bring Houston ahead.

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“Yes, many thought it was a strike,” said Cora. “It was a good game to the end, wasn’t it? We were one step away from the end of this half, and that didn’t happen, and then they scored seven. “

Michael Brantley hit Martin Perez with three rounds. Jordan Alvarez added RBI single. Perez’s mistake when throwing a single ball from Correa allowed to score a run, while Kyle Tucker singled out in another run.

Houston has scored 36 runs with two strikeouts in the postseason, including 18 of 22 in that streak.

“We knew we were playing with this team, we wanted to increase our leadership,” Baker said. “And we put the leash that we made, you know what I mean? That one race might not have held up, especially in this stadium. “

The Red Sox, which were the first team in major league history to hit double-digit six consecutive hits in a single postseason, averaged just five on Tuesday – two of them when they were seven behind in the ninth.

Nick Pivetta allowed another shot after Bregman’s Homer before walking away 2-1 in five innings. Eovaldi accepted defeat, allowing four runs and only two outs.

Kendall Graveman, Houston’s fifth pitcher, threw two scoreless innings to win. The Astros had special praise for Christian Javier, who pitched three scoreless innings to get them in five as Houston’s bullpen delivered 7-2 / 3 shutout innings.

“What the feeders did today was amazing,” Altuve said.

It was the third straight Red Sox game to receive five or more innings from a starter, and the third straight game in which the Houston starter failed to make it out of the second inning; Zach Greinke got just four outs on Tuesday.

COACH ROOM

Astros: Center fielder Jake Meyers, who injured his left shoulder after crashing into a wall in the playoff of the Division series, was originally listed in the starting lineup but “wasn’t fully ready yet,” Baker said. Instead, Hour McCormick started in the center.

Red Sox: Schwarber appears to have straightened his left hamstring on his fourth serve. He limped and stayed in the game.

NEXT

Game 5 takes place on Wednesday at 2:08 pm PT. Chris Sale kicks off for the Red Sox after allowing one run in 2-2 / 3 innings in Game 1. Framber Valdez moves to Houston. He gave up two earned runs in 2-2 / 3 innings during the opening series.

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