Lone Star shocker for Boston Red Sox

Lone Star shocker for Boston Red Sox

Lone Star shocker for Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale accepted responsibility for his performance during Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Astros and Red Sox.

Sale, making his first career postseason start, was shaky throughout his five-plus innings of work. He also surrendered three home runs, including back-to-back shots in the first inning to Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve.

It will be all hands on deck for Game 3 against the Astros on Sunday as the Red Sox look to avoid a second straight ALDS sweep - and that means Chris Sale in the bullpen. The Red Sox were the better matchup for the Astros, so maybe it wasn't a awful thing that the team struggled in August. In Game 2, the Astros would tally eight runs on 12 hits-this time only hitting three home runs.

State of the series: The clubs play again Friday at Minute Maid Park, with Drew Pomeranz starting for the Red Sox against the Astros' Dallas Keuchel.

"Every single game, 1 through 9, everybody can do damage, everybody can go deep", said Houston's Carlos Correa, whose first-inning homer started the party Friday.

Keuchel last pitched September 26 but threw a simulated three-inning game Sunday in Boston. He was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks overall. The Astros won three of those games, too, and have scored 38 runs in their last six games, all against the Red Sox. They were playing the Yankees on the final day of the season and we had to win the game in order to win the division things were going according to plan when suddenly up to the plate steps up Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. "[I'll] just try to treat this just like another game", he said.

We knew this going into it, but it was fun to see it borne out so quickly: Altuve is the best (and most fun) player in this series, if not the whole playoff field.

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Verlander, a trade-deadline acquisition for the Astros, has gone 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA since coming over from Detroit. Cleveland beat Boston in three straight past year.

Houston will turn to right-hander Brad Peacock to wrap up the series on Sunday.

What you missed on TV: After what looked like a brilliant diving catch by Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.in the bottom of the fourth on a sinking liner by Josh Reddick, the Astros called for their first challenge.

"It's going to take some time to heal, but we don't have that kind of time right now", he said. "I feel like that will serve us well, much as it's needed". The Yankees, who led the majors with 241 home runs this year, have connected six times in three games so far. The Red Sox have opted to have yet another former Tiger, Doug Fister, pitch Game 3.

Jose Altuve had just arrived in the Astros dugout after launching his third home run of the game when George Springer grabbed his right biceps and examined it, as if searching for an explanation for his team-mate's extraordinary pop.

Despite his poor start on Thursday, it's entirely likely that Sale could be pressed back into service later in the series on short rest given the rotation's uncertainty in recent weeks.

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