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Steve Pearce comes up huge for the Red Sox again

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The Red Sox were three batters into Game 5 of the World Series and they already had a lead, thanks again to first baseman Steve Pearce. In the lineup strictly because lefty Clayton Kershaw was on the bump, Pearce drilled a first-pitch 92 MPH fastball over the fence in left-center to put the Red Sox up 2-0.

The game is far from over, though, as the Dodgers responded in the bottom half of the first. David Freese, also in the lineup strictly because of lefty starter David Price, hit a leadoff solo home run to make it 2-1.

Entering Sunday’s game, Pearce was hitting .265/.419/.500 with a pair of home runs and a pair of doubles, nine walks, eight RBI, and 10 runs scored in 43 plate appearances this postseason. He has reached base safely in all 13 playoff games.

Pearce hit a game-tying solo homer off of Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning of Saturday night’s Game 4. He then blew it wide open with a bases-clearing double off of Kenta Maeda in the top of the ninth inning. He would later score on a Xander Bogaerts single and the Red Sox went on to win 9-6.

Collin McHugh headed to injured list with elbow discomfort

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Astros starter Collin McHugh will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to discomfort in his right elbow, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. The Astros recalled Brady Rodgers from Triple-A Round Rock.

McHugh, 31, has struggled to a 6.04 ERA with a 48/16 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings across eight starts and two relief appearances. If the elbow injury is really an elbow injury and not just an excuse for the Astros to give McHugh a reprieve, this could be bad news.

Rodgers, 28, posted a 3.22 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 16 walks in 44 2/3 innings in the minors this season. He had a cup of coffee with the Astros in 2016, yielding 14 runs in 8 1/3 innings. Here’s hoping his latest stint goes a bit better than that.