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Houston knocks Trevor Bauer around in seventh to take lead

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Trevor Bauer came into the game in the sixth inning, pitching in his third straight game in relief. The idea with Bauer this postseason, by the way, is to use him like Andrew Miller: a multi-inning relief ace. It’s a great theory, as he has electric stuff and can strike out guys by the boatload, theoretically putting out fires. He did well enough in the sixth inning with that, but it didn’t go so well in the seventh.

The inning led off with a Tony Kemp single. An errant pickoff throw by Bauer allowed Kemp to reach second, after which George Springer reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Kemp came home on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Altuve that saw Springer forced out but which put Altuve on first. The game was tied at two.

The next batter up was Alex Bregman who grounded back to Bauer, who sought to turn a double play. His throw to Francisco Lindor at second was wide of the bag, preventing Lindor from getting the out at second. Lindor’s relay throw to first was late too, so two runners were on with only one out. Then Bauer walked Yuli Gurriel to load the bases. Bauer, by this point, was visibly angry and rattled. As you might be too if you had two throwing errors in the inning.

Marwin Gonzalez came up next. After Bauer fell behind him 3-0, Gonzalez hit a 3-1 pitch down the left field line which fell in for a two-run double to make it 4-2 Houston. The pitch, by the way, was way high and outside. I have no idea how Gonzalez did anything with it, frankly, but rather than a bases-loaded walk, Houston scored two. That knocked Bauer out of the game.

Andrew Miller came into the game with runners on second and third and one out to face Josh Reddick, who flied out to shallow left, failing to advance the runner at third home. Then it was Carlos Correa‘s turn: he walked to load the bases for Houston once again.

That brought up Tyler White, pinch hitting for Brian McCann, which in turn caused Terry Francona to go to the pen to call in Cody Allen. Allen struck out White, leaving the bases loaded.

We enter the seventh inning stretch with Houston up 4-2, nine outs away from moving on to the ALCS.

Red Sox even ALCS 1-1, defeat Astros 7-5 in Game 2

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Game 2 of the ALCS, held Sunday night in Boston, was a play in three parts. For the first three innings, it was a back-and-forth affair between the offenses of the Red Sox and Astros. The middle three innings involved both team’s pitching staffs calming things down. The final third of the game saw the Red Sox add insurance. Ultimately, the Red Sox went on to win 7-4 to even the ALCS at one game apiece.

The Red Sox opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, with Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers hitting RBI singles off of a shaky Gerrit Cole. The Astros returned the salvo in the top of the second against David Price as George Springer fisted a double that just barely stayed fair down the right field line to plate two runs to tie the game. Marwin González broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the third, turning on an inside cut fastball for a two-run homer over the Green Monster. In the bottom half of the third, the Red Sox put together a rally, loading the bases with one out. After Ian Kinsler struck out, Jackie Bradley, Jr. drilled an opposite-field double off of the Monster with the carom taking left fielder Marwin González back towards the infield, allowing all three runs to score, putting the Red Sox back on top at 5-4.

Price, whose postseason woes are well-publicized, pitched better than his line indicated. He was on the hook for four runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. His counterpart, Cole, went six frames, on the hook for five runs (four earned) on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts.

Once Price was out of the game, Matt Barnes got four outs with nary a scrape. Ryan Brasier worked around a two-out walk in the seventh for a scoreless frame. In the bottom half of the seventh, facing Lance McCullers, Jr., Mookie Betts led off with a walk. As Benintendi struck out, Betts moved to second base on a wild pitch. During J.D. Martinez‘s at-bat, Martín Maldonado allowed a passed ball, which gave Betts the opportunity to move to third base. Martinez struck out, but Maldonado was unable to handle a pitch from reliever Josh James, so Betts ran home to score a crucial insurance run.

Rick Porcello took over in the eighth, setting down Tony Kemp, González, and Carlos Correa in 1-2-3 fashion, striking out the latter two. In the bottom half of the eighth, Betts added yet another insurance run with an RBI double to right-center.

Kimbrel has had a rough postseason thus far, giving up a run in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees followed by two more in Game 4. Those struggles continued on Sunday. He got Evan Gattis to pop up, then struck out Josh Reddick. So far, so good. Unfortunately for Kimbrel, Springer poked a double to left field, then advanced to third base on a wild pitch while José Altuve batted. Altuve then ripped a single off of the Monster to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Alex Bregman. Mercifully, for the Red Sox and their fans, Kimbrel got Bregman to fly out to Benintendi just in front of the Monster in deep left field.

David Price’s team won a postseason game he started for the first time. This was his 10th postseason start and he had been 0-8 with one no-decision.

With the ALCS tied up at one game each, the Red Sox and Astros will take Monday off to travel to Houston. Game 3 is slated for a 5:09 PM ET start on Tuesday. The Red Sox haven’t yet named a starter but the Astros will go with Dallas Keuchel.