Boston 8, Houston 2
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
HOUSTON — Jackie Bradley Jr. crushed a two-out grand slam in the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox stunned the Houston Astros 8-2 on Tuesday in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
The Red Sox grabbed a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven set with Game 4 set for Minute Maid Park on Wednesday. The Astros have dropped consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 30-31 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Bradley capped a nightmarish outing for Astros closer Roberto Osuna, who made his series debut and his first appearance in 10 days. Osuna was at first undone by bad luck, with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts reaching on a swinging bunt with one out before Rafael Devers added a single with two outs on an 0-2 count.
Osuna, who entered seeking to keep the deficit at 3-2, then grazed pinch hitter Brock Holt on the left foot with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. He followed by hitting another pinch hitter, Mitch Moreland, with another two-strike pitch to force in a run and extend the deficit to 4-2.
Bradley then drilled a 1-1 fastball into the right field seats, an 386-foot blast.
“They had been attacking me in all series long — in, down, kind of out of the strike zone — so I was trying to see a pitch up in the zone that I could handle,” said Bradley. “I got that pitch.”
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) limited the Astros to two runs on six hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out four. Four Boston relievers blanked the Astros while allowing just one hit total over the final three innings.
Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel survived a rocky start to his outing, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks over five innings despite surrendering three consecutive hits to open the top of the first inning.
Boston’s Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez reached in succession to open the game, with Martinez plating Betts with an opposite-field double to right. Benintendi scored on an RBI groundout from Bogaerts, but Keuchel held the line there.
In the third inning, Houston got a sensational leaping catch at the wall from left fielder Tony Kemp to rob Steve Pearce of a two-RBI hit.
Pearce got his revenge in the sixth, launching a 456-foot solo home run to left off Astros right-hander Joe Smith (0-1), snapping a 2-2 tie in the process.
Eovaldi allowed back-to-back-to-back homers in his previous outing at Minute Maid Park, as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this season. On Tuesday, he surrendered only an RBI single to Marwin Gonzalez in the first inning and a run-scoring double by Alex Bregman in the fifth.
“Nate was outstanding,” said Boston Manager Alex Cora. “Like I said, stuff-wise, he’s one of the best left in October. His fastball, his cutter. He didn’t throw too many breaking balls. He did to Marwin. But overall a great outing.
“He didn’t get caught up in the moment either,” added Cora. “For him, I know it was a special one. He’s from the area and I bet there’s a lot of people, family members in the stands. And for him to be able to slow down the game in the second inning. The game was going very fast to us in the first. And all of a sudden in the second inning he slowed it down, and he did an outstanding job.”
–Field Level Media