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Red Sox strike first in ALDS Game 4, take 3-0 lead

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Update (9:21 PM ET): It’s now 4-0 as Christian Vásquez was able to sneak a solo home run over the fence in right field off of Zach Britton in the top of the fourth inning.

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The Red Sox got to CC Sabathia in the third inning of Tuesday night’s ALDS Game 4 in the Bronx. After Sabathia held the Sox scoreless in the first two frames, he led off frame number three by hitting Andrew Benintendi with a pitch (unintentionally). Steve Pearce followed up with a single to move Benintendi to third, who promptly scored on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly.

Given the circumstances, Yankees manager Aaron Boone probably should’ve had a reliever warming up after Sabathia hit Benintendi and certainly after Pearce singled. But no one stirred. Sabathia got Xander Bogaerts to ground out, bringing up Ian Kinsler. Sabathia uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Pearce to move to third. Kinsler then doubled to left field, plating Pearce to make the score 2-0. Eduardo Núñez brought Kinsler home with a single to left field to push the lead to three runs. Sabathia finally got out of the inning by inducing a ground out from Jackie Bradley, Jr.

Sabathia is certainly done after three innings, but he probably should’ve been done a lot sooner than that. Boone made some questionable decisions in Game 3 and his decision not to have a reliever warm up in the third inning of Game 4 will certainly be a hot topic of conversation, especially if the Yankees end up getting eliminated tonight.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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