By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — After dropping Game 5 of the ALCS on Wednesday night, the Red Sox face a must-win situation Friday night in Houston if they want to keep their season alive.

Boston catcher Christian Vazquez is supremely confident that the Red Sox will do just that, and force a deciding Game 7 against the Astros on Saturday night.

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“We’re going to play two games in Houston,” the Red Sox backstop said following Wednesday’s 9-1 loss at Fenway Park. “For a fact. For sure, yeah.”

The Red Sox held a 2-1 series lead after two dominant wins in Games 2 and 3. Boston was six outs away from a 3-1 series lead in Game 4, but the Astros tied the game in the eighth inning before putting up seven runs in the ninth inning to even the series at 2-2.

Houston took another game at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, and have now outscored Boston 18-3 over the last two games to take a 3-2 series lead with the series now returning to Minute Maid Park. The Boston offense, meanwhile, has gone ice cold. Vazquez had one of just three Red Sox hits in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

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But Vazquez says there is no quit in his team, and the 2021 Red Sox are used to overcoming adversity. The squad was seen as a borderline playoff team heading into the season, and was written off despite their red hot start when COVID issues hit the club in the middle of the year. An August and September swoon had the Red Sox fighting for their postseason lives in the final week of the season, but they came back on the final day of the regular season to clinch home-field in the Wild Card game. After sending the Yankees home in that one-game play-in, they did the same to the 100-win Rays in the ALDS, winning the series in four games.

Boston lost the first game against Houston before rattling off two straight victories in convincing fashion. Now the Red Sox will look to win two straight once again, and punch their ticket to the World Series.

It won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. The 2018 World Champion Red Sox won all three of their games down in Houston to clinch the ALCS before going on to win the Fall Classic.

Vazquez is confident the team has some more October magic left in them this weekend.

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“We need to win two, so why not this year too?” said Vazquez. “I think they have a great team, but I like my team. I don’t doubt my team. So keep the pressure on and score and, you know, make the routine plays, get the outs, and executing pitches. That’s the key for winning.”

CBSBoston.com Staff