Red Sox blows too late, let the golden opportunity slip in ALCS Game 1 loss to Astros | MCU Times

Red Sox blows too late, let the golden opportunity slip in ALCS Game 1 loss to Astros

HOUSTON – Alex Cora must have wanted the place he was at.

Despite a less-than-ideal start from Chris Sale, the Red Sox took a two-run lead into the late innings. They had chased Astros starter Framber Valdez early on, and with a fully rested bullpen, the Red Sox were in a good position to steal the first game of this ALCS.

Then an all-too-familiar story unfolded in Minute Maid Park: The Astros’ post-season saviors came alive again.

With a few swings, the Astros, and especially Carlos Correa, reminded the Red Sox what time it was. Jose Altuve smoked a game-tie-to-run homer in the sixth, and Carlos Correa followed an inning later with a back-breaking go-ahead solo homer, and the Red Sox could not recover. Kiké Hernandez hit two home runs as he did his best to save the Red Sox, but they slipped a golden opportunity in a 5-4 loss to open the best-of-seven championship series.

“It’s hard,” Sale said. “We fought to the last. This team just never gives up. We know who we got across the road. They are here for a reason, and so are we. At the end of the day, you just chalk this one up to a hard loss and keep painting until tomorrow. ”

Sale felt he had made great strides from his last two starts, but he went only 2 2/3 innings, his third in a row out of three innings or fewer. Still, the Red Sox led 3-1 when he left, but Cora had to patch 19 outs with his bullpen, which turned out to be too high of an order.

It all seemed to go his way. Adam Ottavino produced four quick outs, and Josh Taylor and Ryan Brasier put together a pointless fifth. But it fell apart when he went to Tanner Houck in the sixth. After giving up a single-out for Chas McCormick, Houck let a shooter find too much of the plate against Altuve, who sat on the first lane. He made no mistake and smashed it to the left-center of his 20th home career of his career, igniting new life from sold-out crowd in Houston.

With momentum back on their side, the Astros did not give it away. In a draw in the seventh, Cora turned to Hansel Robles, who got Alex Bregman to a groundout and beat Yordan Alvarez. But with two outs and two strikes on Correa, the All-Star shortstop saw a change he liked and hit one no doubt for the Crawford Boxes on the left.

Correa presented a detailed celebration. He stood at the home plate, tossing his bat aside and pointing to his wrist before shouting, “This is my time!” to his teammates in the Astros’ dugout.

“When the playoffs start, they always tell me it’s your time now to go out there, beat homers, this and that,” Correa said after blasting his 18th career post-season homer. “They told me to turn on the clock, and when I hit the Homer – I did it in Chicago for the first time on my own, and today they told me that if you hit a Homer, hit them with” it’s your time. ” .

Although the bullpen could not hold the lead, Cora was still encouraged. ‘The pen has already come through for him several times this post-season and they were a few mistakes in doing it again.

“It’s hard, but we’ve done it before, so we’ll keep doing it,” Cora said. “Of course we want our starters to go deeper into the game, but we feel like today we were very close to pulling it off the pitching way.”

Suddenly in a one-run hole, Cora went to her bench right away in the eighth. In a surprising move, he turned to left-handed Danny Santana — whose last record appearance came on Sept. 10 — to pinch-hit Hunter Renfroe, one of their best threats at home, to face left-wing Kendall Graveman, whose numbers is better against righties. But Santana struck in a stroke of nine strokes.

“I think the guy on the mound dictated what we did,” Cora said. “Danny made a good move. …

“We are going to use everyone. We will try to use everyone on the roster to try to win matches. ”

With a runner on and two outs in the eighth, Travis Shaw stabbed Christian Vazquez and hit a high fly ball that came short at the warning lane to finish the inning.

In the ninth, the Astros added an insurance run off Hirokazu Sawamura to make it a 5-3 game. Hernandez — who had turned momentum in the Sox ‘favor in the second with a dive catch before hitting a game-binding homer — hit another home run to make it a one-run again. But the convention fell short.

The Red Sox went 1-on-9 with runners in scoring position. They came up empty despite putting the bases in the first, and could not add to their three-run third with runners on second and third with one out. Both missed opportunities ultimately threatened big.

“We did not do a good job of adding the lead, and at the end of the day, therefore, we lost,” Hernandez said. “We could not add more races. We went up 3-1 and we stayed there until the ninth inning and we could only add one. That’s basically it. ”

Although they let a huge opportunity get away from them, the Red Sox were noticeably optimistic after the loss. They’ve been in situations like this before – they also lost Game 1 of the 2018 ALCS to the Astros and lost Game 1 of the ALDS to the Rays before returning. And with Nathan Eovaldi on the mound for Game 2, they know they have a great chance of leveling the series before moving to Boston.

“I don’t think there’s another guy on the planet I’d rather line up tomorrow than Nate,” Sale said. “We have the right guy on the right hill tomorrow, and that’s all we can say. Our lineup is going to bang with the best of them. There is no doubt about it. We have to do the little things right, and when Nate takes the ball tomorrow, that’s all we could ask for. ”


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