Red Sox tie up championship series with win over Astros

Terry Collins Aaron Boone and Joe Girardi

But at least the team Price plays for has finally won a playoff game that he started. About four innings later, the Red Sox earned a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros, evening the ALCS at 1-1.

Cole was 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA in four career playoff starts coming into the night. That brought Cora out of the dugout with the hook, and as Price handed over the ball and walked off the mound, the Fenway crowd mostly cheered in approval, numerous fans on their feet. "Whenever starters needed to be picked up, they picked us up, and vice versa".

"That was definitely appreciated", Price said.

Yes, it's come to this.

Looking amped and jittery, Cole allowed his first run on his sixth pitch of the game. Price worked around a pair of one-out walks in the first inning, getting out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts. He wasn't as fortunate in the second inning, when Carlos Correa beat out an infield single on a misplay by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

The AL Central champs tied it in the second on Springer's two-run double down the right-field line.

It's tough to blame Price for those two runs, but the two that Houston scored in the top of the third fall squarely on his left shoulder.

When Astros right fielder Gonzalez destroyed a two-out offering form Price in the third and launched it well over the Green Monster and beyond, the Astros made some history as a team.

With bases loaded and two out in the third inning, Jackie Bradley jnr gave Boston the lead, clearing the bases and reaching second himself, before his side went on to win 7-5. In the fifth, he walked Bregman with one out and then, with two outs, he walked White. He struck out José Altuve and walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 37,960. The Red Sox bullpen was strong behind David Price, as four pitchers combined to allow just one run in 4 1/3 frames while protecting what was a 5-4 lead after Bradley's critical swing. They delivered the victory.

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Price left leading 5-4 with two on with two out in the fifth before Matt Barnes struck out Gonzalez to end the inning and then pitched a ideal sixth to earn the victory. As the Houston right fielder chased a long, loud fly ball by the Red Sox. The ball hit the top of his glove and bounced away for a double, putting two men in scoring position, and Rafael Devers drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases.

With Porcello pitching in relief on Sunday, the Red Sox are expected to start Nathan Eovaldi on Tuesday.

"He gave his team a chance to win", Cora said. He believes it doesn't showcase just how good of a pitcher he is.

Astros manager Hinch stuck with him through six innings however and the right-hander did settle down to retire the final nine batters he faced and keep the game close. He scored a batter later when Jose Altuve drove him in with a loud single to left.

With the ALCS tied up at one game each, the Red Sox and Astros will take Monday off to travel to Houston.

"They did an outstanding job and they've done it throughout the postseason", Cora said of the bullpen. "We trust those guys". "I came here to win, period". This isn't about me. "I understand the narratives". But this is bigger than David Price. "This is about the Boston Red Sox".

Even in victory, the Red Sox were weakened, though the degree to which is still unknown.

"If it's baby steps", he said of Sunday's outing, "it's baby steps". It's not exactly the kind of positive takeaway you'd expect for a player making $30 million, but this is where we are with David Price. Maybe next time, he won't have to rely so much on the bullpen.

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