Cubs top Nats 3-0; Astros down Red Sox 8-0

Dustin Pedroia Returns to Boston Lineup Despite Knee Injury

Altuve hit a pair of home runs off the Red Sox ace as Houston pouned the Red Sox 8-2 in the ALDS opener. Harper's throw was high, and Bryant went to second.

Many fans held signs saying that Altuve should be this season's MVP and one behind home plate proclaimed in sparkly multi-colored letters: "Altuve, He's Pretty Good". Mookie Betts, who had a key error in right field in Game 2, is 3-for-8 (with two of the doubles), but leadoff hitter Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-9 and Andrew Benintendi 1-for-8.

Fister lost to the Astros during that final weekend, but didn't get blasted, allowing three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Boston didn't get much from Chris Sale on Thursday, and got even less from Drew Pomeranz on Friday. "Hopefully, getting back home and getting in front of our fans will give us a boost and get us back into this series". Marwin Gonzalez, who was on third base for Houston, acted as if he was breaking for home.

The crowd of 43,402, which included Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, waved bright orange towels as Altuve trotted around the bases. Their Red Sox's cleanup man, Betts, gamely presses on with a wrist that recently needed a cortisone shot. When we didn't, they have made us pay.

Dombrowski also has learned over the past three seasons that managing the Red Sox is different than managing other teams. He proved on Friday that he can be just as dominant in the postseason as he is in the regular season though.

Time for his team to back up his words.


"Never really gave my team a chance to win". I think that's hard.

They will have to change the tone of this series early and Farrell said that can be done quickly. "It happens (but a) awful time for it to happen". He didn't hit three homers like he did in Game 1, but Altuve was 2-for-3 with two intentional walks, an RBI and two runs scored.

Sandy Leon had two hits and drove in a run and Rafael Devers added an RBI for the AL East champs. Houston starting pitchers combined to post a 4.03 ERA, third-best in the AL, with a staff ERA of 4.12, fifth-best.

What's most deflating for anyone hoping for something - anything - from this Red Sox team is that it appears to be a carbon copy of last year's postseason flameout. Nunez missed 19 of Boston's last 20 regular-season games with what the team called a sore knee. "We gotta take a step back on the off day". "Biggest start of my career and hopefully I can keep saying that as it goes on".

Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA) and Doug Fister (5-9, 4.88) will take the mound Sunday for the Astros and Red Sox, respectively.

The Red Sox will be looking to Fister to extend their season. The pitching's not been there as hoped, the batting line-up hasn't fired and they've even dished-up some fielding miscues, such as the weird "where's the ball gone" non-throw by the normally excellent Mookie Betts in Game Two.

Fister has had quite the journey to get to this moment and said, "We have been backed into a corner before, it's nothing that we haven't been able to overcome and It comes down to execution now".

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