Sunday, June 3, 2018

Game 59: Red Sox at Houston Astros (June 2, 2018)

Let me tell you, after a full day of being out in the hot sun I was ready to relax inside and watch this Sox game. My oldest daughter had four tournament games and I had to coach my son's rec game, so by the time the Sox and Astros started, I was exhausted! The pitching matchup of David Price and Justin Verlander looked good on paper, but with the way Verlander has been pitching and how maddeningly inconsistent Price has been since he joined the Red Sox, it didn't seem like it would go Boston's way. As the old saying goes, that why they play the games...



For the first time in this series, the Sox got on the board first when JD Martinez drove in Andrew Benintendi with an RBI single in the first inning. As has been the team's bugaboo for the last few years, though, they gave it right back in the next inning when Marwin Gonzalez drove in Yuri Gurriel with a triple. When Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to put Houston up 3-1, it looked like the Astros were going to run away with it. Thankfully, Price pitched well enough to keep it close so that JD could bring them within a run with another RBI single in the sixth. This was followed by perhaps the biggest hit of the night when Christian Vazquez hit a solo homer in the top of the seventh to tie the game. I call this the biggest hit of the game because the Sox finally tied it up and the momentum seemed to finally be going their way. Later in the inning, Benintendi hit the other biggest hit of the game when he launched a two-run homer to right centerfield to bring in Jackie Bradley and put the Sox up 5-3. Heath Hembree pitched a clean seventh inning and Joe Kelly was mostly good in the eighth, although he did allow Jose Altuve to reach base after which he promptly stole second and third. This was followed by Gurriel driving the reigning AL MVP in to cut the Sox lead to 5-4. Kelly was able to get the final out and Craig Kimbrel shut down the Astros with two strikeouts in the ninth to pick up his 19th save of the season.

David Price held up his end of the deal, going six innings and only giving up three runs on five hits. He struck out seven against only one walk and while he wasn't lights out, he was very, very good. He went toe to toe with Verlander, who also pitched six innings, striking out six and walking two while giving up two runs. With Chris Sale struggling, this outing from Price was just what the Sox needed. Offensively, the heroes of the game were JD, Vazquez, and Benintendi. It was nice to see the Sox get some clutch hits and score some runs with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia out. Let's hope they can do it one more time to earn a series split when Rick Porcello and Charlie Morton square off in the finale tonight.

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