Red Sox catcher plunks umpire Joe West with errant throw to second

Red Sox catcher plunks umpire Joe West with errant throw to second

For the bottom half, it was Astros ageless veteran Justin Verlander doing the same in holding the vaunted Boston attack to just two hits and two runs.

George Springer extended his postseason hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run single off Chris Sale in the second, and Correa delivered a single off Joe Kelly (0-1) that made it 3-2 after Verlander's laborious inning. Three of them and one of his two wild pitches came in a fifth inning that nearly chased him from the game.

The Astros came back from an early deficit against the Red Sox in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series in Boston. In this one, David Price goes for the Red Sox, and he'll be opposed by Gerrit Cole of the Astros.

There hasn't been a playoff team to simple walk 10 since the 2008 Tampa Bay Devil Rays walked 10 Red Sox in a 9-8 win in Game 2 of the ALCS.

"Anytime you get two quick outs then you load up the bases and give them two runs, that's not what you're looking for this time of year", Sale said.

On the other side, when the Red Sox tied it up with two of their own off Verlander in the fifth, it was a similar breakdown in command from the starter.

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"That was the pitch the changed the whole game", he said.

The Red Sox managed just three hits with their ace on the mound in (realistically) a must-win Game 1. Later in the ninth, first baseman Yuli Gurriel belted a three-run shot and the rout was on.

Judged exclusively by the early innings of the boxscore from Saturday's opener of the best-of-seven ALCS, the game unfolded pretty much as billed. I'd say the same if it was A.J. Hinch.

"We'll see tomorrow", Boston catcher Sandy Leon said. They can be beaten but the Sox need to hit, pitch and defend with stark consistency throughout the series to have a chance at knocking off the champs. Sale gave up two runs, one hit, four walks and a hit batter, and his average fastball velocity of 92 miles per hour was down 3 miles per hour from the Division Series.

"I did expect to make more starts for us in this year's playoffs", Price said, "but Alex told me before we even got off the field that night, so for him to tell me before we even took our jerseys off to put on our postseason shirts, that was special".

The vaunted Verlander focus certainly wasn't sidetracked by the 108-win Red Sox and the sellout crowd at Fenway.

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