LEADING OFF: Red Sox seek to clean things up vs Astros

Cardi B

Cardi B

David Price was good enough, the Red Sox bullpen was even better, and Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered a go-ahead, three-run double off the Green Monster on Sunday night to lead Boston to a 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros and tie the AL Championship Series at one game apiece.

Game 3 is Tuesday in Houston.

Devers' RBI single off Gerrit Cole put the Sox up 2-0 in the first inning. He said the Boston bullpen was "tremendous" as they closed out the game, and said it feels great to play a role - however small - in a postseason win. "Got to the point during the season that we had to actually take him out of the lineup for three, four, five days during the week - actually right before we went to Houston". Seems like now he understands who he is as a hitter. That brought Cora out of the dugout with the hook, and as Price handed over the ball and walked off the mound, the Fenway crowd mostly cheered in approval, numerous fans on their feet. Mookie Betts, who played like an MVP, led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a passed ball and then raced home on yet another passed ball that catcher Martin Maldonado couldn't handle. Springer added another double in the ninth inning of Game 2.

Kimbrel retired the first two batters in the ninth, then George Springer hit his second double of the game. The Sox roughed up Cole with two runs in the very first inning, but Bradley's wall double made it 5-4 and bailed out Price's uneven start. You can never count a team out after what we witnessed in 2004 but that was a once in a lifetime comeback. He was on the hook for four runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. His middling, 4⅔ -inning stint, which started poorly and ended tenuously, didn't gain him the first win in a postseason start in his career, but it put the Red Sox in position to win, which is more than he can usually say.

"It wasn't the line I dreamed up to have tonight, but our offense, our defense, everybody rallied together", Price said. "That's what we've done all year". The spotlight will no doubt be back on the lefty whenever he makes his next start, but for now, we're viewing his short outing as a positive. "So that was big".

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Rick Porcello made his second appearance as a relief pitcher of this post-season, working a flawless eighth inning before Craig Kimbrel closed it out in the ninth. He allowed two runs in five innings in the Game 3 clincher against Cleveland. "All I want to do is win", Price said. Devers then slapped a single to left. He allowed the Astros to tie the score in the top of the second and Marwin Gonzalez belted a two-run homer off of him one inning later.

It's tough to blame Price for those two runs, but the two that Houston scored in the top of the third fall squarely on his left shoulder. He crashed to the ground, was attended to by a trainer for a few minutes and stayed in the game.

"He ignited them from the very beginning of the game", Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. He's played a couple of balls off this wall nearly like a home player. Price wasn't good in this game, either, but he was admittedly operating with a pretty low bar of expectations. He banged his back, upper back and neck. Matt Barnes replaced Price in the fifth, and got Gonzalez swinging to end the threat. "But it's a well-placed hit".

Jackie Bradley Jr. gave the Red Sox the lead for good in the third inning. It was Cole. "Early I thought he was a little over-amped", said Hinch.

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