Red Sox

Red Sox crushed by Astros, 12-2, but magic number reduced to 1


Red Sox crushed by Astros, 12-2, but magic number reduced to 1

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox stumbled on their way to an AL East title -- and got a pretty scary look at what's waiting for them if they get there.

Major league batting leader Jose Altuve had three of Houston's 17 hits, Carlos Correa had four and the Astros chased Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez in the second inning on Thursday night to win 12-2 and keep Boston from clinching the division title.

"We ran into a buzz saw tonight," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

If the standings don't change, the Red Sox and A.L. West champion Astros would meet in the ALDS. The Red Sox were guaranteed no worse than a tie for the division title when the Yankees lost 9-6 to Tampa Bay, lowering Boston's magic number to one.

"I'm pretty sure we'll see them again," Houston third baseman Alex Bregman said. "Now we've seen them once."

Boston needs one more win or Yankees loss to clinch the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history; otherwise, the teams would meet in a one-game tie-breaker in New York on Monday to see who needs to play in the wild-card game and who advances to the AL Division Series.

"The sooner the better," Farrell said. "But still we're not taking anything for granted."

Altuve had two singles and his 39th double to raise his batting average to .350. Brad Peacock (13-2) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, striking out two and walking one as he tried to convince manager A.J. Hinch that he deserves a spot in the postseason rotation.

"I'm sure they'll tell me something in the next couple of days," said Peacock, who is fighting to join the staff that will include Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel and potentially Collin McHugh, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers. "They've got six good starters to choose from."

Marwin Gonzalez hit a three-run double in the first inning, and Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer off Rodriguez (6-7) in the second. Correa had an RBI double in the fourth, when the Astros scored four runs, and added a two-run homer in the seventh. Brian McCann also homered for Houston.

Mitch Moreland homered for Boston.

The Astros had already clinched the A,L, West title. They remain one game behind the Cleveland Indians in the chase for the best record in the league and home-field advantage through the American League playoffs.


Rodriguez got in trouble early, loading the bases with one out in the first on a walk and two singles. After Evan Gattis struck out looking, Gonzalez hit a bases-clearing double into the right-center gap.

Rodriguez got the first two outs of the second before George Springer singled and Bregman hit an 0-2 pitch out to make it 5-0. After a visit by the pitching coach, the Red Sox left-hander walked Correa and that was it. In all Rodriguez allowed five runs, six hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings, striking out two.

"We've got to lead the way from the mound," Farrell said.


Astros: RF Josh Reddick (sore back) missed his fourth straight game. He had been expected to return on Thursday night, but Hinch said Reddick felt sore after the flight to Boston. "Any semblance of soreness or tentativeness on his part, and he's just not going to play. It's not worth it for one game until the soreness is gone," Hinch said.

Red Sox: RF Mookie Betts returned to the lineup after missing two games with inflammation in his left wrist. He was hitless in three at-bats.


The teams play Game 2 of their four-game, season-ending series on Friday night. RHP Charlie Morton (13-7, 3.63 ERA), who has won two straight starts and three of four in September, will face Boston RHP Doug Fister (5-8, 4.87), who is winless in his last three starts as he faces his former team.

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.