Setiembre 22, 2018

Jose Altuve gets intentionally walked twice in Game 2 win

11 Octubre 2017, 03:51 | Cornelio Vivanco

Jose Altuve gets intentionally walked twice in Game 2 win

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Heath Hembree stretches out as he heads to the outfield during baseball practice at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday. The Red Sox face the Houston Astros in the American League Division playoff series. (AP

Jose Altuve launches a 5th-inning blast off Chris Sale.

Game two between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox was pretty much a repeat of Game One. His struggles this year boil down to his fastball lacking movement and his breaking pitches hanging up. He ended the at-bat with a 91-mph four-seamer over the heart of the plate that Correa demolished 419 feet for a two-run homer. The Astros won 8-2, just like Thursday.

Former Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander out-dueled longtime rival Chris Sale on Thursday to give his new club a 1-0 lead in the American League Division Series. The teams now head off to Boston for Game Three on Sunday. The lefty inked a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox as a free agent in December 2015.

Altuve went 10-for-24 with one blast against the Red Sox in the regular season on the way to a career-high.346 overall batting average, a.410 on-base percentage, 24 homers and 81 RBIs. So that whole walk-Altuve-to-face-Correa strategy backfired. It was the second straight day the Astros put up a 2-spot in the opening inning and the third homer by the Astros in the first frame over two games. However, they return to Fenway Park empty-handed, with one more loss ending their season earlier than they had hoped. In the playoffs, there is no need for Rodriguez on the mound late in games, seeing as the Red Sox now have two strong multi-inning relievers in Joe Kelly and David Price. That's the lowest playoff ERA for a starter (minimum 50 innings) since this format began in 1969. Once again, the Astros bullpen shut down the usually potent Red Sox lineup once the starter left the game. But Pomeranz was rocked by the Astros on Friday. Keuchel fought back and was able to limit the damage to only one run by getting two strikeouts to end the inning.

Asked before the game how a strikeout pitcher like Sale would contend with a lineup like Houston's, Red Sox Manager John Farrell said Sale would have to execute his pitches and work ahead in the count. The Astros did everything they could to slow down the Red Sox's surge.

Keuchel's approach, meanwhile, is constant against any opponent: keep the ball down, induce ground balls and, in the process, field his position as well as anyone in the game. His 12 pitch against the Astros was an overthrown, flat 84-mph slider that rookie third baseman Alex Bregman deposited in the leftfield seats.

Houston is set to start right hander Charlie Morton, who will be making just his second career postseason start.

The Red Sox have not seen Keuchel this season, since the Astros held him out of the season-ending series in Boston. If Peacock does indeed go six innings, the Red Sox will have to deal with the backend of the bullpen.

Without question. Correa and George Springer both went hitless in Game 1, and both homered in Game 2. If there is a Game Four, it will be played at noon Houston time. The Astros winning this series would bring relief to the city of Houston as they recover from Hurricane Harvey. They scored four runs on him in those innings, three of which came on home runs.

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