BOSTON -- In many ways, Josh Reddick has been an unsung hero for the Astros, and his box score line on Sunday suggested another strong performance: 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.• ALDS Game 4: Today, 1 p.m. ET/noon CT on FS1But that barely tells the story of
BOSTON -- In many ways, Josh Reddick has been an unsung hero for the Astros, and his box score line on Sunday suggested another strong performance: 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
• ALDS Game 4: Today, 1 p.m. ET/noon CT on FS1
But that barely tells the story of his day, as Houston's right fielder was right in the middle of two game-changing moments in the Astros' 10-3 loss to the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series presented by Doosan.
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In the second inning, he was robbed of a three-run home run that would have put Houston well on its way toward a trip to the AL Championship Series presented by Camping World, and then in the seventh inning he aided a three-run homer for the Red Sox. The latter moment secured Boston's victory and narrowed Houston's series lead to 2-1.
So when Reddick faced the cameras not long after it ended, he wasn't able to speak of his second multihit game of the series. He spoke about his misfortunes.
"One of those freak things," Reddick said.
Well, more like two of those freak things.
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Staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, which featured a Reddick RBI single, the Astros appeared ready to break the game open in the second inning, putting each of their first two batters on base against Doug Fister. The Red Sox starter departed with one out in the inning in favor of right-hander Joe Kelly, who retired George Springer to bring Reddick to the plate.
Reddick worked a full count before sending the eighth pitch of the at-bat 375 feet to right field, as projected by Statcast™, and destined for the first row of seats. "Or second," Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts would later say.
Except Betts got there first, making one of several tremendous grabs on the day and igniting energy into a once quieted Fenway crowd.
"We felt we were in a good spot," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It was 3-0 at the time. Going to 6-0 there would have really put them in a hole. So obviously as the ball was carrying, it's probably out of most ballparks. If he hooks it a little bit more, it's gone."
The Red Sox responded with 10 unanswered runs, including three that went off Reddick's glove in the seventh inning. The right fielder raced to the wall when Jackie Bradley Jr. sent a soaring drive with two on and one out, only to watch the ball go in and out of his glove -- and into the stands.
"The ball kept curling over, and I had enough time to get over, I thought," said Reddick, considered a defensive specialist. "Timed the jump pretty well on my part, just in and out. It's very unfortunate for myself and the team, but nothing you can do. You get one taken away from you, and you give one right back."
Reddick's otherwise good deeds were subsequently reduced to a footnote. The outfielder, batting second Sunday, has delivered four hits in 12 tries this series for a .333 average. With another right-hander slated to pitch for Boston in Game 4 on Monday in Rick Porcello, Reddick expects to return to the No. 2 hole, where he hit .296 during the regular season.
Being sandwiched between leadoff man Springer and hits-everything man Jose Altuve surely helps.
"I feel like it's the best protection I've had in my life," Reddick said. "Anytime we can get George on there, it's a huge boost of confidence for me because I've got the best hitter in the game behind me. It's fun being between those guys and being ahead of those guys, because it is a ton of protection. I think a lot of my success has come from those guys."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com.