Boston, Massachusetts, USA : Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a go-ahead, bases-clearing double with two outs in the third inning, and the Boston Red Sox evened the American League Championship Series at one game apiece with a 7-5 victory over the visiting Houston Astros on Sunday night
Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers had RBI singles in the opening inning off Gerrit Cole (0-1) before Bradley’s key hit two innings later.
Mookie Betts scored on Benintendi’s hit and also scored an insurance run in the seventh on the second passed ball of the inning by catcher Martin Maldonado. He added an RBI double in the eighth off Hector Rondon.
Houston’s George Springer extended his postseason hitting streak to 11 games with two hits, including a two-run double. Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who host the next three games after losing for the first time in this year’s postseason.
Boston left-hander David Price remained winless as a starter in the postseason. In his 11th career playoff start, he allowed four runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings. Price exited to a nice hand from the crowd after issuing two walks in the fifth, and it was the first time his team won any of his postseason starts.
Matt Barnes followed Price by getting the next four outs. Ryan Brasier retired Yuli Gurriel with tying run on base to end a scoreless seventh, and Rick Porcello struck out two in a perfect eighth.
Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a two-out double to Springer in the ninth. Springer took third on a wild pitch and scored on Jose Altuve’s single off the Green Monster, but Kimbrel got the save when Benintendi made a twisting catch in front of the wall on Alex Bregman’s fly ball to left.
Cole allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in six innings.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead two batters into the bottom of the first when Betts doubled to deep center and scored on Benintendi’s single. After Cole made a throwing error on a ground ball by Xander Bogaerts, he walked Steve Pearce to load the bases. Devers then slapped a single to left.
The Astros tied the game in the second when Springer doubled down the right field line past Pearce’s dive at first base. Gonzalez made it 4-2 when he hit Price’s full-count fastball off an advertisement above the Monster seats with two outs in the third.
Gonzalez nearly exited the game in the bottom of the third when he crashed into the Green Monster attempting to catch Pearce’s fly ball. He crashed to the ground, was attended to by a trainer for a few minutes and stayed in the game.
After Cole fanned Ian Kinsler with the bases loaded later in the bottom of the third, Bradley sliced a double down the left field line, near the foul pole and off the wall for a 5-4 Red Sox lead. The ball caromed off the wall and onto the padding in front of the left field seats, allowing Devers to score the go-ahead run.
Game 3: The series, now a best-of-five, will shift to Houston for the next three games. Both teams will have a travel day on Monday, then resume the series on Tuesday at 4:09 PM Central. The game can be seen on TBS. Dallas Keuchel has been named the starter for Houston, while Boston’s starter, though not officially named, will likely be Nathan Eovaldi. The Astros will look to benefit from the comfort of their home stadium and support of their home crowd to shift the momentum back their way after the Game 2 loss.
Image : Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. hits a bases loaded three-run double off the wall in left field against the Houston Astros during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.