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ALCS Preview: David Price, Mookie Betts need to improve for Red Sox to win

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ALCS Preview: David Price, Mookie Betts need to improve for Red Sox to win

In this episode of The Baseball Show presented by Twin River Casino, Lou Merloni is joined by NBC Sports Boston Red Sox insider Evan Drellich to preview the American League Championship Series showdown between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros:

0:46 - Evan and Lou discuss Alex Cora's decision to start David Price in Game 2 after the lefty lasted just 1.2 innings in his start vs. the Yankees.

4:28 - Alex Cora deflected questions about Price by essentially saying he doesn't believe players can be clutch or not clutch. Evan wonders, "would it be so bad for Cora to say, 'You know what, David has to learn how to handle pressure better.'"

7:25 - Lou and Evan discuss the bullpen plan for the Red Sox in the series and wonder if Cora will use some of his starters (Nathan Eovaldi or Chris Sale) in relief.

10:28 - "Are you getting sick yet of the Alex Cora, A.J. Hinch narrative? There's a lot else to focus on here." Evan and Lou take a look at some of the storylines that will dominate this series.

14:14 - After Mookie Betts hit just .188 in the ALDS vs. the Yankees, it's clear he needs to improve if the Red Sox are going to beat the Astros. Evan and Lou talk about who else needs to step up for the Sox.

17:21 - Evan asks Lou how the Red Sox should assemble their ALCS roster and which players could be added or removed.

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Rafael Devers sets Red Sox record for home runs by a third baseman

Rafael Devers sets Red Sox record for home runs by a third baseman

In another disappointing loss in a disappointing Red Sox season, Rafael Devers continues to make history.

Saturday, in the Red Sox' second consecutive 5-4, walk-off loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, Devers added the Sox home run record for third baseman to his resume.

The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic brought the Sox back from a 3-1 deficit with a two-run homer in the eighth inning with an opposite-field shot to left - his 31st of the season - surpassing Butch Hobson's Red Sox mark of 30 in 1977.

Per the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham, Devers met Hobson, a Sox third baseman from 1975-80 who also managed the team from 1992-94, this past January at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods, but he said he was unaware he had set the record until being told after the game. 

“No, this is actually the first time I’m hearing this,” Devers said through his interpreter after the game, “It’s pretty cool, but obviously it’s a record I broke now but there’s more records I want to continue to break. So it’s just about trying to stay healthy and moving forward, try to break as many records as I can.”

Devers (.307, 50 doubles, 112 RBI) is just the second third baseman in Major League Baseball history with a 30-homer, 50-double season (the Astros' Alex Bregman did it last season) and he and Xander Bogaerts are the first teammates to reach the 30-50 mark in the same season.

Bogaerts (.305, 51 doubles) hit his 32nd homer and drove in his 110th run Saturday, putting himself in Devers' in more exclusive company. 

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Highlights of the Red Sox' 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Rays

Highlights of the Red Sox' 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Rays

FINAL SCORE:  Rays 5, Red Sox 4

IN BRIEF: A night after being officially eliminated, the visiting Red Sox go ahead in the 11th inning on a Mitch Moreland home run, but lose 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Nate Lowe's walk-off, two-run homer. The Sox lost by the same score in 11 on a Rays walk-off hit Friday night. BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 80-74

HIGHLIGHTS

3rd inning:
(Shawaryn replaces Poyner on the mound) Meadows singles to right, moves to second when Choi walks,  d'Arnaud singles, scoring Meadows (1-0, TB).

Duffy hit by a pitch, loading the bases (Brewer replaces Shawaryn on the mound), Wendle singles to right, Choi scores, d'Arnaud out at home (2-0, TB)

4th inning:
Bogaerts homers to left off Glasnow on a 0-and-1 pitch (2-1, TB).

5th inning:
PLAYING LF, HOLT PULLS ONE IN

7th inning:
(Taylor replaces Weber on the mound) Adames homers to center on a 0-1 pitch (3-1, TB). 

8th inning:
(Anderson replaces Poche on the mound) Betts singles to left. Devers hits a two-run homer to left on a 1-1 pitch (tied, 3-3).  

11th inning:
(Castillo replaces Pagan on the mound) Moreland homers to right on a 0-0 pitch (4-3, BOS).

(J. Smith replaces Workman on the mound) d'Arnaud doubles to center, Davis pinch runs, Lowe hits a two-run homer to left on a 2-0 pitch (5-4, TB).

UP NEXT:

@Rays, Sunday, 1:10 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Tuesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Wednesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Thursday, 2:05 p.m., NESN