With its collective back against the wall and the smell of defeat brewing in the air at Fenway Park, Boston came alive in a thrilling ALDS Game 3 and lived to fight another day vs. Houston.
On the cusp of being swept from ALDS for the second postseason in a row, Game 3 did not start well for the Red Sox at all. Starter Doug Fister gave up three in the top of the first before recording two outs, including a towering two-run shot from Carlos Correa. With that smell of defeating growing more and more pungent and boos raining down, the Red Sox finally woke up.
Sandy Leon and Hanley Ramirez knocked RBI singles in the second and third respectively to cut the lead to one. After the latter, Astros Manager AJ Hinch pulled starter Brad Peacock in favor of Francisco Liriano. Up came rookie 3B Rafael Devers, largely struggling to that point. The 20-year-old couldn’t have picked a better time to provide a spark, hammering a mammoth home run over the bullpens to give the Red Sox their first lead of the entire series, 4-3.
With a lead to protect for the first time, Boston’s bullpen answered the bell and floored the Astros’ potent lineup. Leading the way was the resurgent David Price, who fired four shutout frames. Price’s fortunes in the playoffs as a starter have been woeful, but he has looked like a new man in his new role as a reliever. 0-8 in his postseason career as a starter, the southpaw has thrown 6.2 innings this series and has not allowed a run yet. Who saw that coming?
Fired up by the homer and Price’s gallant effort, the Red Sox erupted offensively in a big way and poured on six runs of insurance to ensure that Game 4 will be necessary. Jackie Bradley Jr’s three-run shot highlighted the barrage and capped off 10 unanswered runs.
With some momentum finally on its side, Boston puts its faith in Rick Porcello tomorrow opposite Charlie Morton for the ‘stros. Will the Sox force Game 5, or will Houston reach the LCS for the first time in 12 seasons? 1:00 ET on FS1, don’t miss it!