Red Sox vs. Astros score: Eovaldi and Bradley Jr. come up grand to lift Boston past Houston in ALCS Game 3
The Red Sox take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series
The Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros 8-2 on Tuesday afternoon in Game 3 of the 2018 American League Championship Series. The Red Sox now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 with two games remaining in Houston before the series shifts back to Boston. Here's what you need to know about Tuesday's game.
Eovaldi makes history near hometown
For those who didn't listen to the broadcast, they made a point to note how Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi grew up about 30 miles away from Minute Maid Ballpark in Alvin, Texas. That happens to the home of Nolan Ryan, who works for the Astros and was behind the plate.
Eovaldi didn't have a Ryan-like performance, but he did notch a quality start. He threw six innings, allowed two runs and two walks on six hits, and struck out four. The fastest pitch Eovaldi threw on the afternoon clocked in at 101 mph -- yes, 101 mph.
Eovaldi's counterpart, Dallas Keuchel, put together a somewhat similar final line: five innings, four hits, two runs, two walks, but no strikeouts. Oh, and rest assured, he didn't hit 101. His fastest pitch went 92 mph.
Red Sox break game open against Osuna
Astros closer Roberto Osuna hadn't pitched in either of the first two games of the series. He got into his Game 3 in the eighth inning in an attempt to keep the Astros within. He failed -- big time. Here's a look at the play-by-play log:
- J.D. Martinez flew out;
- Xander Bogaerts singled;
- Steve Pearce reached on a fielder's choice, with Bogaerts out at second;
- Rafael Devers singled, advancing Pearce to second;
- Brock Holt was hit by a pitch;
- Mitch Moreland was hit by a pitch, with Pearce scoring;
- Jackie Bradley Jr. homered, scoring four.
That's two outs, three hits, two hit batsmen and five runs. Ouch.
To make matters worse, Osuna threw 27 pitches and coerced zero swinging strikes. Odds are, he'll recover fine but the Astros are one step closer to going home because of his shoddy outing.
Bradley Jr.'s grand slam, by the way, was the fourth in postseason history by a No. 9 hitter:
It's fair to write the Red Sox didn't expect Steve Pearce to play as much as he has. But with Mitch Moreland banged up, Pearce has become an important part of the postseason lineup -- and he's delivered.
In addition to providing some highlight-reel-worthy stretches at first base, Pearce had hit .286/.375/.429 in the ALCS prior to Tuesday's game. Hethat put the Red Sox up 3-2:
That was Pearce's first career postseason home run. It was a big one, however -- and it may not be his last one. (Note: Click here to read about the rest of the Red Sox's approach against Keuchel.)
Bregman shines again
It wouldn't be an Astros game without Alex Bregman showing off.
Bregman entered the game hitless in the series -- yet with an OBP of .700 thanks to walking six times in 10 plate appearances (he'd also been hit by a pitch).
Bregman recorded not one, but two hits (the second a "double" that could have been charged as an error to third baseman Rafael Devers) while also taking a walk. Oh, and he made a number of fantastic defensive plays, leaving no doubt that he's a capable defender.
At this point, Bregman is clearly the best player on the Astros -- and, beyond that, one of the best players in the game.
Kemp makes leaping catch
Kemp took away sure extra bases from the aforementioned Pearce, leaping up against the left-field wall for a grab:
There was some controversy as to whether the ball hit the wall or not. But after a replay, the umpires ruled that Kemp had made the grab.
Red Sox in good position, historically
With the Red Sox up 2-1, it's time to check the historical data to see what their odds are of advancing to the World Series. Per the Baseball Gauge, host teams to go up 2-1 have won 73.9 percent of best-of-seven series. A win in Game 4 would improve the Red Sox's chances to 84.1 percent. In other words, it's not a must-win for the Astros, but it's close.
The Red Sox and Astros will play Game 4 on Wednesday evening. Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Astros, while Rick Porcello goes for the Red Sox. The game is set to begin at 8:39 p.m. ET and will be televised on TBS. You can stream on fuboTV (Try for free).
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