Red Sox infielder carried off the field by manager John Farrell

Red Sox infielder carried off the field by manager John Farrell”

In a game that was touted as a battle of aces, it was Jose Altuve and the Astros' offense that stole the show in Houston from Justin Verlander and Chris Sale.

"He makes sure he stays on top of his gym routine, whatever it is", Springer said.

After everything Altuve has done this season - and particularly after what he did in an 8-2 pounding of the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of their American League Division Series - even his Astros teammates are running out of ways to put his feats into context. Maddox failed to do so, with Altuve's solo shot giving Houston an 8-2 lead in the seventh inning.

"I couldn't believe any of my homers", said Altuve, who went 3 for 22 - all singles - when the Astros lost a division series two years ago.

That's about the last time the Red Sox had good luck in the game. Joining Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, George Brett and Albert Pujols on the list of those with three-homer games in the postseason?

Sale might have been exhausted from a long season - he led the league in innings (2141⁄3) and threw 3,428 pitches, second only to Astros starter Justin Verlander, who went six innings and gave up two runs - but his velocity numbers didn't show it.

Nunez missed 19 of Boston's last 20 regular-season games with what the team called a sore knee. He seemed as surprised as anyone else that he was now in a category with the Sultan of Swat, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.

"I've always been a guy who hasn't had [next-day] soreness", Price said in September, according to Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post.

And his thoughts after the third? I don't think anyone could have seen this type of success from a young fire-baller who was, to put it frankly, horrendous in 2016 (5.83 ERA with only 71 IP).

Justin Verlander pitched six effective innings to remain unbeaten since Houston got him in late trade with Detroit. Between Games 2 and 5 of that ALDS, he went 0-for-17 with a walk.

They will send Drew Pomeranz for Game 2 tomorrow against former Cy Young Award victor, Dallas Kuchuel.

Entering his second career postseason, presumptive AL MVP Jose Altuve made a massive statement.

So, how good is Altuve? Houston manager A.J. Hinch asked.

"Recent performances are going to have something to do with the roles as we now play with a greater sense of urgency", Farrell said. He tried to get himself to first base but collapsed two-thirds of the way there in obvious pain. He finished second in the majors with 204 hits and sixth with a.410 on-base percentage. The Red Sox closer had a vintage year in 2017, and if you can get a bridge from the starters to him, you'll win. Friday's 1 p.m. game from Minute Maid will feature Drew Pomeranz on the mound for the Red Sox versus Dallas Keuchel (game three starters for Sunday have yet to be named). Sale didn't pitch against the Astros this season while Pomeranz gave up a run in each of his two outings as Boston won each. The Boston attack consisted of eight hits and a pair of bases on balls with Sandy Leon and Rafael Devers driving in runs while Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland scored.

When Sale mislocated pitches, it was often in the middle of the plate, and the best offense in the league teed off.

"At this point, no", Farrell said plainly before the team worked out at Fenway Park. They are seeking to end that this season. Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious have also had fantastic years, combining for 58 home runs and 177 RBI.

"We as fans need to watch out for ourselves, too". Having Chris Sale get the start for game 1 seems like the most obvious decision, at a time where there are many hard decisions. "This is a new season for me".

You typically wouldn't expect your 12-year team veteran to make rookie mistakes in the most crucial of times, especially when that veteran is Dustin Pedroia. They are the number three seed in the American League and would have to beat the Astros in a best of five series in order to move on to face either the Cleveland Indians or the victor of the American League Wild Card Game.

Nunez aggravated a preexisting right knee injury that had limited him to two-at bats in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Hanley Ramirez replaced Nunez and doubled to left in the second inning.

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