Clay Buchholz scratched from Tuesday start, could be placed on disabled list

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The Red Sox were hoping that Clay Buchholz would be ready to make his next scheduled start during Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Rays, but Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports that he has been scratched due to continued discomfort in his neck.

Buchholz left his start last Saturday due to neck tightness. While Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he “felt a little bit better” while throwing today, he’s not ready to test things with a bullpen session. Felix Doubront is now scheduled to pitch one of the two games on Tuesday, but the Red Sox may end up placing Buchholz on the disabled list in order to make room for the other starter.

“Yeah, we are (considering a trip to the DL) and Clay’s well aware of that and we had a chance to talk about where our threshold might be to make a decision,” Farrell said. “Still, bottom line being we’re not going to put him out there until we go through the normal build-up and make sure he’s in a safe place physically.’’

Buchholz leads the majors with a 1.71 ERA and is tied with Detroit’s Max Scherzer for the American League lead with nine wins. The 28-year-old right-hander missed a start late last month due to soreness in his AC joint, but it’s not believed to be related to his current injury.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).