By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Final — Red Sox 7, Astros 5
Kimbrel got Bregman to fly out to left to end the game, and the Sox and Astros will head to Houston tied at 1-1.
Stick with us for much more analysis on this one throughout the night!
Top 9th, Red Sox 7-5: The tying run is now stepping to the plate, and its name is Alex Bregman.
Altuve rocketed one off the Monster to score Springer to make it a 7-5 game. Things are getting mighty interesting at Fenway Park.
Top 9th, Red Sox 7-4: No 1-2-3 inning for Kimbrel, as George Springer doubles to left to keep the Astros alive.
He advanced to third on a wild pitch from Kimbrel. It looked like he and backstop Sandy Leon got crossed up on the pitch.
Top 9th, Red Sox 7-4: Houston is down to their final out as Kimbrel strikes out Reddick on three pitches. All three offerings hovered around 98 mph.
Top 9th, Red Sox 7-4: Kimbrel wins the battle with Gattis, getting him to fly out to Kinsler for the inning’s first out.
Top 9th, Red Sox 7-4: Evan Gattis is hitting for Maldonado. Solid beard vs. beard battle coming up.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-4: Benintendi flies out to center to end the inning. It’s now up to Craig Kimbrel to close things out, and send this series to Houston tied 1-1. This will be his first appearance since that rough ninth inning against the Yankees in the ALDS-clincher.
He’ll be facing Maldonado (or whoever pinch-hits for him), Reddick and Springer.
Bottom 8th, Red Sox 7-4: Mookie adds some more insurance with an RBI double to center field. The Sox are still threatening too with runners on second and third and two outs.
Bottom 8th, Red Sox 6-4: Mitch Moreland comes through with a pinch-hit single through the shift, and the Red Sox now have two on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
Moreland hit for Vazquez, and since he can’t run, is being lifted for a pinch-runner. That pinch-runner happens to be Sandy Leon, who can’t really run either. That’s just a long way of saying Leon will be catching Kimbrel in the ninth.
Middle 8th, Red Sox 6-4: Just another 1-2-3 inning of relief for Rick Nasty. He gets Correa swinging and missing at a nasty slider to retire the side.
Devers, Kinsler and Bradley Jr. are due up for Boston, looking to add some more insurance for Kimbrel in the ninth.
Top 8th, Red Sox 6-4: Porcello retires Gonzalez on three pitches, getting him to swing and miss at some high cheddar for the K. Two down for Porcello, with Correa now up.
Top 8th, Red Sox 6-4: After just missing on a 2-2 fastball (it was a strike), Porcello gets Kemp to ground out to first. The pitcher made a nice play to get the throw from Pearce, who ranged to his right to snag the grounder, and beat Kemp to the bag for the inning’s first out.
Gonzalez is coming up next for Houston.
Top 8th, Red Sox 6-4: Pinch-hitter Tony Kemp nearly snuck one around the Pesky Pole in right, but it’s just a short (but loud) strike.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-4: The Red Sox add a run off two passed balls by Maldonado. Rick Porcello is heading out of the bullpen for the eighth inning.
Bottom 7th, Red Sox 6-4: Martinez struck out, but Betts comes around to score a big insurance run on another passed ball by Maldonado.
He rounded the bases without having to really do much, aside from taking advantage of some terrible play behind the plate/pitching from the Astros.
The Astros have seen enough of McCullers tonight, and are replacing him with Josh James in the middle of Xander Bogaerts’ at-bat. He’ll start with a 1-0 count on X.
Bottom 7th, Red Sox 5-4: The Red Sox are threatening to add to their lead, with Mookie Betts on third with just one out. Betts got on with a leadoff walk, and moved to second on a wild pitch by McCullers (on a Benintendi strikeout). He moved to third on a passed ball by Maldonado with Martinez at the plate.
Middle 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Brasier gets Gurriel to ground into a fielder’s choice, and Bregman is retired at second base 6-4.
After the Boston bats do their thing, it looks like Porcello will get the eighth inning as the Red Sox try to build their bridge to Craig Kimbrel.
The top of the order is due up for the Red Sox, with Lance McCullers Jr. coming on for the Astros in relief of Cole.
Top 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Brasier was cruising, getting Altuve to lined out to center after a nine-pitch at-bat for the inning’s second out.
But he issued a two-out walk to Bregman, who seems to be drawing a walk whenever he steps to the plate. So the Astros have a little life with two outs, as Rick Porcello warms in the Boston bullpen.
Top 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Brasier only needed one pitch to retire the always-dangerous Springer, who flew out to right.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-4: Vazquez grounds out to end the inning, and Cole has now set down 10 straight.
Ryan Brasier is making his way in from the Boston bullpen for the seventh inning.
Bottom 6th, Red Sox 5-4: Crew chief Joe West said foul ball after the review, so Bradley Jr. was given new life.
Should be an interesting explanation as to why the reviewed the play, but at least they got it right. And it didn’t mean much, as Bradley Jr. flied out to left field on the very next pitch.
Bottom 6th, Red Sox 5-4: We’ve got some controversy, as Jackie Bradley Jr. was called out after chopping one at home. Maldonado quickly pounced on the ball and tagged Bradley out, but the Sox outfielder argued that he was hit with the ball while in the box.
Bradley Jr. was indeed hit by the ball as it came down. Umpires huddled to discuss and are now reviewing the play — despite the fact that the play isn’t actually reviewable. So we’ll see how this plays out.
The ruling on the field was it was a fair ball and Bradley Jr. is out.
Middle 6th, Red Sox 5-4: Barnes gets the job down with a 1-2-3 inning. He got Correa to ground out to shortstop to start the inning, Maldonado to fly out to Devers for the second out, and Reddick to ground out to third to end the inning. Devers made a real nice play on the final out of the inning on Reddick’s sharp grounder.
Those are four huge out by Barnes, and he needed just 15 pitches to record them.
Top 6th, Red Sox 5-4: Matt Barnes is back out for another inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 5-4: Boston goes 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth, as Cole has now set down seven straight.
Middle 5th, Red Sox 5-4: Barnes makes quick work of Gonzalez, who struck out on four pitches.
Price’s line is set, with those four runs in 4.2 innings. Not great, but a lot better than anything else he’s given Boston as a playoff starter.
Top 5th, Red Sox 5-4: David Price’s night is over. He walked two in the top of the fifth and his evening ends after giving Tyler White a free pass on four straight pitches.
For now, Price has allowed four runs off five hits and those four walks. He was greeting with cheers as he walked off the mound. Standards are fairly low for Price in the postseason.
Houston has two on and two out with Matt Barnes trying to get out Boston out of the inning unscathed. He’ll face switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez, who already has a two-run shot on the night.
Top 5th, Red Sox 5-4: After getting Altuve to ground out to start the inning (a solid play by Devers at third and an even better pick by Pearce at first), Price walks Bregman on seven pitches.
Bregman has now worked five walks through the first two games of the series.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-4: The Red Sox go quietly in the bottom of the 4th, as Cole gets a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
Betts grounded out to Cole to start the inning, followed by flyouts by Benintendi and Martinez.
Middle 4th, Red Sox 5-4: Price comes through with a huge shutdown inning, his first 1-2-3 frame of the night.
After striking out Maldonado, Price got Reddick to fly out to left and Springer to fly out to shallow right to end the inning. He needed just 10 pitches to set the Astros down in order, and is at 64 for the game.
Top 4th, Red Sox 5-4: Price starts off his inning by striking out Maldonado on four pitches for his fourth punchout of the night. He threw three changeups in the at-bat, more than the two threw in the first three innings combined.
Maybe he should stick with that pitch now.
Bottom 3rd, Red Sox 5-4: Bradley Jr. grabs plenty of wall with a high fly ball to deep left, driving in three runs to give Boston the lead again.
Devers was able to come in and score from first when the ball hopped along the padding atop the side wall in left field, out of Gonzalez’s reach. Those are the first runs Bradley Jr. has driven in this postseason.
The Red Sox bats are alive and well tonight. At least the ones that are not in Ian Kinsler’s hands.
Bottom 3rd, Astros 4-2: Just like his first at-bat, Kinsler goes down by way of the K on three straight pitches.
Jackie Bradley Jr. now comes up with the bases loaded and two outs. Boston cannot let this scoring opportunity to slip away without any runs.
Bottom 3rd, Astros 4-2: Devers worked a four-pitch walk, so Kinsler now steps to the dish with the bases loaded and just one out.
Kinsler struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat.
Bottom 3rd, Astros 4-2: The Red Sox are threatening to answer Houston’s 2-run top of the inning, with runners on second and third and just one out.
Steve Pearce just launched one off the Monster, which was just out of the reach of Gonzalez in left (the ball caromed off the top of his glove). Gonzalez hit hard as he went for the catch and was in a good amount of pain for a few minutes but is remaining in the game.
The Sox have to take advantage of this opportunity right now with Pearce at second and Xander Bogaerts at third. Devers is coming to the plate, and already has an RBI on the night.
Top 3rd, Astros 4-2: Whoa-boy did Marwin Gonzalez just crush a David Price fastball.
After working the count full, and fouling off a pair of pitches, Gonzalez sent the seventh pitch he saw from Price over the Monster seats for a two-run blast. No doubt about that one off of the bat.
All four runs scored by Houston tonight have come with two outs. Price’s postseason struggles continue, but at least Boston fans can switch over to the Patriots in a few minutes.
End 2nd, 2-2: The Red Sox go 1-2-3 after the Astros scored two. Vazquez had a loud flyout to left to start the inning. Betts flied out to center and Benintendi flew out to left, as Cole needed just nine pitches to retire the side.
Middle 2nd, 2-2: Price comes back to strike out Altuve for his third K of the game. But the damage was done as the Astros take advantage of Bogaerts’ miscue and plate two runs of their own.
Top 2nd, 2-2: George Springer comes through again, punching a two-run double down the right field line to tie things up at 2-2. Springer is now riding an 11-game postseason hitting streak.
So that misplay by Bogaerts really comes back to hurt the Sox, and the damage might not be over just yet with Altuve coming up.
Top 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Josh Reddick helps Price out by swinging at the first pitch, lifting it to shallow right field for an easy out. Two down for Price, with the top of the Astros lineup coming up.
Top 2, Red Sox 2-0: The Astros are now threatening after Martin Maldonando lines a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third with one out.
That non-play by Bogaerts looks huge at the moment.
Top 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: The Astros have their first hit of the game, as Carlos Correa is awarded an infield single after sending a hopper to Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts has no urgency to make the throw and crow-hopped it to first, and Correa easily beat it out.
Bottom 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Kinsler struck out on three pitchers and Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out to second to end Boston’s threat. The Sox plated two, but they could have used a few more considering they had the bases loaded and just one out. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to haunt them by the end of this one.
But we’ll take the two for now, a nice cushion for David Price to work with.
Bottom 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Devers fell behind 0-2 but fought back and got a pitch to hit, sending a Cole fastball into left field to drive in Benintendi to plate Boston’s second run of the inning.
The Sox still have the bases loaded and just one out. Collin McHugh is now warming for the Astros.
Bottom 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Cole looks rattled, as he just walked Pearce on four straight pitches. None of them were particularly close, and the Red Sox now have the bases loaded with just one out.
Bottom 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox are in business thanks to a Cole throwing error. Xander Bogaerts sent a chopper back to the pitcher, who airmailed his throw to first base.
Boston now has runners on second and third with just one out and Steve Pearce stepping to the plate.
Bottom 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Andrew Benintendi didn’t wait around, sending the first pitch he saw from Cole into right field for an RBI single.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: Mookie Betts gets the Red Sox offense started with a long double to deep center off Cole.
It’s Betts’ second extra-base hit of the postseason. Boston has a golden opportunity to get to Cole early in this one, which would be huge with Price on the hill.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Price works around the back-to-back walks by striking out the final two batters of the inning. He got out of the jam by getting Tyler White swinging at a 93 mph fastball.
Price ending up throwing 22 pitches in the inning, 13 of which went for strikes. Boston will take a scoreless inning from Price any way they can get it.
Top 1st, 0-0: Price comes back by getting Gurriel on three pitches. He set him down by painting the inside corner to get Gurriel looking for the second out of the inning.
Top 1st, 0-0: Houston now has two on with one out as Bregman works a six-pitch walk. Not an ideal start for Price at the moment, with Yuli Gurriel stepping to the plate.
Top 1st, 0-0: The Astros have an early baserunner with Altuve working a seven-pitch walk. The always-dangerous Alex Bregman will now bat with one man on.
Top 1st, 0-0: Good start so far for Price, who got leadoff man George Springer to pop up to Steve Pearce at first base for the first out.
Price’s first pitch was up and out of the zone for a ball, but he came back with a 91 mph fastball to even the count before getting Springer to pop out.
7:00 p.m.: Jonny Gomes threw out the first pitch ahead of this one. There is no guarantee that he won’t toss on a uniform and try to play some outfield later tonight.
6:45 p.m.: While a lot of the pressure is on Price, the spotlight is also set on another Boston star that has struggled during his postseason career: Mookie Betts.
Betts was 1-for-4 in Game 1 and is just 4-for-20 this postseason, bringing his averaged to .234 for his playoff career. But there is hope that he’ll get it going tonight.
In his career against Cole, Betts is 5-for-8 with an RBI. Now seems like the perfect time for him to break out of his postseason slump.
6:00 p.m.: Down 0-1 in the ALCS to the Houston Astros after a tough Game 1 loss last night, the Boston Red Sox turn to David Price tonight to turn things around.
That means the pressure is on Price, who as you’ve probably heard at least a dozen or so times in within the last hour alone, has yet to win a playoff game as a starter. Tonight’s Game 2 would be a wonderful time for the lefty to finally add a one of those to his postseason resume, so the Red Sox can avoid going to Houston down 0-2 in the series.
While his postseason record is all folks want to talk about, Price has had success against the Astros while in a Red Sox uniform. Over the last three seasons, he is 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA against Houston, holding their hitters to a .205 average. Price was solid against Houston in the ALDS last postseason, tossing 6.2 shutout innings out of the Boston bullpen. So maybe he will finally get the postseason victory that has eluded him for the last decade.
Boston manager Alex Cora is changing things up for Game 2, with a trio of newcomers in the Red Sox lineup. Rafael Devers will get the start at third over Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler is in for Brock Holt at second base, and Christian Vazquez gets the nod over Sandy Leon behind the plate. Here is Boston’s complete lineup that will take on Houston righty Garret Cole:
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. J.D. Martinez, DH
4. Xander Bogaerts, SS
5. Steve Pearce, 1B
6. Rafael Devers, 3B
7. Ian Kinsler, 2B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9. Christian Vazquez, C
— David Price, LHP
Devers isn’t really a defensive upgrade over Nunez in the field, which is a scary thought, but his bat should provide a little more pop to the Boston lineup.
As for the Astros, with another lefty on the mound for Boston, A.J. Hinch is going with the same lineup as Game 1:
1. George Springer, CF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Alex Bregman, 3B
4. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
5. Tyler White, DH
6. Marwin Gonzalez, LF
7. Carlos Correa, SS
8. Martin Maldonado, C
9. Josh Reddick, RF
— Garret Cole, RHP
Cole made two starts against Boston in the regular season, going 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA with 15 strikeouts. He is coming off a 12-strikeout victory over the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, allowing just three hits and one run in his seven innings of work.
We’ll be bringing you all the live updates and analysis throughout the night, so check back early and often when Game 2 of the ALCS gets underway. First pitch is set for 7:09 p.m.\\