Major League Baseball playoffs: Justin Verlander gets 1st postseason win since 2013

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However, Sale did struggle a bit towards the end of the season. A loss will mean a second straight sweep in the ALDS.

It's disappointing, sure, but it's not altogether surprising. The Astros now have the lead in the best-of-five series.

It's not often you see fireworks before nightfall, but there were plenty exploding in the Red Sox dugout on a Saturday afternoon in Oakland.

Peacock is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox, allowing four home runs in just 13 innings. They managed just eight hits on the day. In fact, the 8-2 final score was the exact same as the previous game. Drew Pomeranz (0-1) lasted just two innings after he yielded four runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout while Bradley drove in two runs for the Red Sox. Pitching was supposed to be a strength and the arms have failed, starting with the starters - Chris Sale (five innings, seven runs) and Drew Pomeranz (two innings, four runs). But Verlander has lots of postseason experience, and he has learned that the most important thing to do is to keep your team in the game, and keep the Astros in the game he did, giving up just two runs despite giving up six hits and walking two batters.

Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel is fiercely prideful, and after turning his modest prospect status into the 2015 American League Cy Young Award, relishes his role as staff ace. Boston was able to drive in a run, but he limited the damage by finishing the frame with two punch outs and stranding runners on 1st and 2nd. Only two balls even left the infield during that span, which was broken by a Hanley Ramirez walk.

Jose Altuve launches a 5th-inning blast off Chris Sale. In that time, he had a 5.54 earned run average and 2-8 record. At 8-1, the game was over.

"We're the Red Sox".

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The Red Sox played their first game of a 5 game series against the very risky Houston Astros. If the series shifts to a fifth game, Houston could prevail at home. They did slump in a big way in August and, to a certain extent, in September. Twenty-three years, give or take a few, by his best estimation.

"We have got to go through a protocol here to determine his inactivity before we make a roster move", Farrell said. Last year's nightmarish flop in Game 1 of the 2016 ALDS against the Indians is still fresh in the minds of Red Sox fans. The Red Sox are +107 underdogs with the over/underruns total for the game at 10.5 runs.

Doug Fister is starting Game 3, and ideally Porcello would start Game 4 with Sale on the mound in a potential Game 5. He struck out two and got Boston out of a bases-load jam in the third.

Pete Abraham said, "There was a sort of grim resignation in the Red Sox clubhouse that Houston is a much better team". While the immediate future's bleak for the Red Sox, there's still hope, and Price is leading the charge.

Heading into the series, many - myself included - thought David Price in relief could be a real X-factor for the Red Sox.

"Never really gave my team a chance to win". Through two grisly postseason performances, that unwillingness to fully buy in to this team as a contender appears to have been prudent.

Game two in Houston went much the same as game one. But it feels like it's already over.

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