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Red Sox take care of business, knot ALCS at 1-1

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Knuckles were white, nails were short and tensions were high.

But by the end of the night, the Red Sox did what they desperately needed to do in Sunday's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, gritting their way to a 7-5 victory over the Astros that sends the series to Houston in a 1-1 tie.

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BOSTON -- Knuckles were white, nails were short and tensions were high.

But by the end of the night, the Red Sox did what they desperately needed to do in Sunday's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, gritting their way to a 7-5 victory over the Astros that sends the series to Houston in a 1-1 tie.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: Must C Conclusion: Red Sox hold on, knot ALCS at 1

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

The bullpen -- a source of uncertainty entering the playoffs -- came up large for manager Alex Cora, recording the final 13 outs in relief of David Price.

"They did an outstanding job and they've done it throughout the postseason," said Cora. "We trust those guys. There's certain matchups we like with them and we're going to try to go to those matchups."

Sale hospitalized with stomach illness

The offense, led by the legs and bat of Mookie Betts, created some separation with insurance runs in the seventh and eighth.

"Just go out and do what I can to help the team win, try and be consistent in having some good at-bats and getting some timely hits," said Betts. "But it's not just me. We've got 25 guys out here to win."

One of those 25 is Price, who remains winless in his 11 career postseason starts, though he left Game 2 with a 5-4 lead. But Cora came out to get him with two outs in the fifth and the dangerous Marwin Gonzalez at the plate, meaning Price couldn't qualify for the win.

Price did get one monkey off his back. This marks the first time his team has won a postseason game he started. In fact, Price got a standing ovation from an electric crowd of 37,960 when he walked off the mound.

"It's definitely appreciated," said Price. "It wasn't the line I dreamed up to have tonight. We won. That's my first team win as a starter. So if it's baby steps, it's baby steps. I expect to win. But I'm very happy that we won."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Price on Porcello and the Red Sox's bullpen

Winning pitcher Matt Barnes revved up the Fenway faithful by stranding two inherited runners from Price and striking out Gonzalez on an 85.9-mph curve. Barnes came back for a shutdown sixth. Ryan Brasier took care of the seventh. Rick Porcello made another successful cameo out of the bullpen with a shutdown eighth. Closer Craig Kimbrel took care of the ninth for the save.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Porcello K's 2 during a perfect 8th inning

"Tremendous," said Price. "Coming in and getting those last 13 outs, that's huge."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Cora on Barnes, Porcello's relief outing

The game ended with Alex Bregman -- who stepped up as the tying run -- lifting what looked like a popup to left, but ended up only about four feet shy of the Green Monster and in the glove of Andrew Benintendi for the final out of the game.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Kimbrel gets Bregman to fly out, earns save

"And at first I just thought it was going to be a normal out," said Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. "Maybe one step on to the track. But as I saw Benny go back and get closer to the wall, I started darting over to his way in case of the bounce off the wall. Fortunately it came back [in]."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Bradley Jr. on the final out of Game 2

The big hit of the game was a three-run double off the Green Monster by Bradley in the bottom of the third that gave Boston the lead back.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Bradley Jr. clears bases with double

It stayed 5-4 until the bottom of seventh, when Betts led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a passed ball and then made a mad dash home to score on a second passed ball by Astros catcher Martin Maldonado.

The ball didn't skip that far away from Maldonado, but Betts got a great read and used his speed to dive in headfirst.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Betts scores on 2 passed balls, wild pitch

"I'm not sure I've ever practiced secondary leads, to be honest -- not in professional ball, really," Betts said. "Just something that kind of naturally happens. I think it's just instincts. You've got to trust what you see."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Mookie Betts on his baserunning technique

Betts came through again the eighth, hammering an RBI double to center. Prior to the game, Astros manager AJ Hinch referred to Betts as a "ticking time bomb."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Betts drills an RBI double in the 8th

"AJ is a smart guy. He went to Stanford," quipped Cora. "Yesterday, like he said, [Mookie] got a pitch middle-middle and just rolled over it with the bases loaded. Tonight, he was able to stay in the middle of the ballpark and it was good. And I saw him smiling today, which is always good. When Mookie's smiling, good things are happening."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Sox on Hinch calling Betts a 'time bomb'

Going back to Houston down 0-2 against the defending World Series champions would have been a daunting thing for the Red Sox. In the history of the 2-3-2 format, only three of the 24 home teams that have lost the first two games have come back to win the series. With the win, Boston is on much more even footing. Teams that have split the first two at home have won 44 of 80 times (55 percent).

Video: MLB Tonight: Bradley Jr. on his offensive performance

"We're locked in, we're ready to go," said Barnes. "Tonight was a big game. Going back to Houston down 2-0 [would've been] tough. The fact that we can even it out 1-1, go to Houston, take the momentum with us, it's definitely big."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Red Sox discuss tying ALCS with a 7-5 win

But before tying the series, there were some roller-coaster moments for the Red Sox.

Video: MLB Tonight: Plesac on the Red Sox's stellar bullpen

In particular, the first three innings were wild.

The Red Sox got off to the start they needed at the plate when Betts opened the bottom of the first by lacing a double high off the wall in center. Benintendi got him right in with an RBI single to right. With one out, Rafael Devers went the other way to left for an RBI single to make it 2-0.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Benintendi, Devers drive in runs in the 1st

In this case, Hinch wasn't happy to be proved right by Betts.

Video: MLB Tonight on Betts' baserunning in Game 2

"He ignited them from the very beginning of the game. The energy of this place when he comes up to bat is really electrifying," Hinch said. "What you try to do is minimize as much as you can in front of them. We didn't do a great job of that today. But from the first bat on, he set the tone from the very beginning. That's why he's very much an MVP, at least [a] candidate."

The Astros roared back in the top of the second. With two outs, George Springer laced a game-tying two-run double down the line in right.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Springer drives in 2 with a double

Then came the missile by Gonzalez against Price, and Bradley's counterpunch in the bottom of the third off Cole.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Gonzalez belts a 103-mph, 397-ft. home run

For the rest of the night, the momentum stayed with Boston.

Video: Reynolds breaks down JBJ's huge third inning at-bat

"At this point, we might as well just treat it as a five-game set, and we're starting on the road," said Porcello. "We've got to do what we did in New York and come ready to play Game 1 and go from there."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Price's first zero: When Price walked Jose Altuve and Bregman with one out in the first, some uneasiness fell over Fenway. The Red Sox badly wanted to jump in front first. Price allowed them to do that when he struck out Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White to end the frame.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Price fans White, strands 2 on base

"DP made some big pitches with men on first and second and getting two punchouts to get out of the first," said Barnes. "When you come out and bang the ball in the first inning and put up a couple of runs, it kind of sets the tone for the game and kind of gets everybody rolling."

Video: MLB Tonight evaluates David Price's outing

SOUND SMART
Though Kimbrel was one out away from a clean ninth inning, he wound up giving up a double by Springer and a single to Altuve before getting that final out. In his postseason career, Kimbrel has never had an outing with zero baserunners allowed when he comes in with the lead. However, Kimbrel is now 4-for-4 in save opportunities in the playoffs.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Bradley had already influenced the game with his bat, and he made a huge play with his glove in the top of the seventh. Altuve laced one to right-center and Bradley charged in to make a terrific catch, drawing roars from the Fenway faithful for the second out of the inning. According to Statcast™, it was a four-star catch with a 44-percent catch probability. Bradley had to go 41 feet in 3.2 seconds.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Bradley Jr. runs 41 ft. in 3.2 sec for grab

HE SAID IT
"I could go until they take the ball from me. That's what it is. It's all hands on deck and you're doing everything you can. Even if you're tired, you find a way. It's October and that's what you do." -- Barnes

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rick Porcello, David Price

Bradley, Betts spark Boston's bats in Game 2

CF rips go-ahead 3-run double; Betts goes 2-for-4 in win over Astros
MLB.com @BryanHoch

BOSTON -- The electricity that Mookie Betts has added all season long finally carried over into the postseason and Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered arguably the most important hit of his young career, marking two of the biggest reasons why the Red Sox are flying to Houston with an even American League Championship Series.

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BOSTON -- The electricity that Mookie Betts has added all season long finally carried over into the postseason and Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered arguably the most important hit of his young career, marking two of the biggest reasons why the Red Sox are flying to Houston with an even American League Championship Series.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Betts scores on 2 passed balls, wild pitch

View Full Game Coverage

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

Betts' leadoff hit sparked a two-run first inning and Bradley took advantage of Fenway Park's quirks with a three-run double that restored Boston's lead in the third, a pair of pivotal knocks in a 7-5 Red Sox victory over the Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS. Betts was showered with chants of "M-V-P!" after adding a run-scoring double in the eighth.

"I just try to go out and do what I can to help the team win, try and be consistent in having some good at-bats and getting some timely hits and whatnot," Betts said. "But it's not just me. We've got 25 guys out here to win."

Betts shimmies way to standout game

The Astros knew they'd need to proceed cautiously with Betts, who led the Majors with a .346 batting average and a .640 slugging percentage during the regular season but was 4-for-20 through five postseason games. Hours after Houston manager AJ Hinch called Betts "a ticking time bomb," Betts doubled to deep center and scored on an Andrew Benintendi single.

"I saw him smiling today, which is always good," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "When Mookie's smiling, good things are happening."

"He's Mookie Betts," Game 2 starter David Price added. "He's the MVP of our team. He's the MVP of baseball. So he means a great deal for us. But he knows if he's not swinging the bat as well as he thinks he should be, his defense in right field makes up for that."

Boston was 74-15 when scoring first during the regular season and is now 4-0 when scoring first in the postseason -- a welcome turn of events after the Red Sox were handcuffed by Justin Verlander and the Astros' bullpen in the Game 1 defeat.

Video: MLB Tonight on Betts' baserunning in Game 2

"It's unfortunate that it happened in the playoffs, only getting [three hits in Game 1], but it's just one of those days," said Betts, who finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk in Game 2. "So I knew we've been really good at turning the page and there's no sense in stopping, and we went out and did our thing today."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Betts drills an RBI double in the 8th

Bradley had grounded out with the bases loaded to end the first inning. Given the same opportunity in the third, the center fielder delivered against Houston starter Gerrit Cole, who'd limited left-handed hitters to a .162 batting average and a .519 OPS during the regular season.

"The first at-bat, I think it kind of starts back with that," Bradley said. "I saw a lot of offspeed pitches with the bases loaded. Second at-bat, I got started off with a fastball and saw another offspeed pitch, and I was in a hitter's count. So I just wanted to not do too much, see a pitch in the zone that I could handle and I got it on the 2-1 count."

Video: ALCS Gm 2: Bradley Jr. on his bizarre 3-run double

Rewarded for his opposite-field approach, Bradley connected for a drive that banged off the Green Monster, then made two bizarre bounces atop the padding that rests along the wall in foul territory in left field. Astros outfielder Marwin Gonzalez stumbled in pursuit of the ball as Xander Bogaerts, Steve Pearce and Rafael Devers were all waved home.

Video: Reynolds breaks down JBJ's huge third inning at-bat

Bradley's big double takes peculiar bounces

"I've never seen it ride the top of that little edge like that before. It's pretty unique," Bradley said.

Video: ALCS Gm 2: Cora on Bradley Jr.'s clutch 3-run double

Boston can only hope that those bounces keep going its way down in Texas.

Video: MLB Tonight: Bradley Jr. on his offensive performance

"We're excited to get there," Bradley said. "We're ready to compete. I think everybody is going to enjoy themselves, and we're going to just keep continuing to take it one game at a time."

Bryan Hoch has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr.

Sale hospitalized with stomach illness

Ace doesn't travel with team to Houston, but Sox hopeful he'll make Game 5 start
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Red Sox ace Chris Sale was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital with a stomach illness on Sunday, and he didn't travel with the team to Houston, where the American League Championship Series against the Astros will resume on Tuesday.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- Red Sox ace Chris Sale was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital with a stomach illness on Sunday, and he didn't travel with the team to Houston, where the American League Championship Series against the Astros will resume on Tuesday.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

Sale is next scheduled to pitch in Game 5 on Thursday at Minute Maid Park, and Boston is hopeful he will stay on turn to make that start.

"He was feeling bad and he's at the hospital," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora after his team's 7-5 win in Game 2 evened the series.

Video: ALCS Gm 2: Cora provides update on Sale's condition

"From what I know, it's nothing serious, but obviously whenever you have to go to the hospital, you've got to be 'worried.' But he should be fine. Hopefully, we get news in the upcoming hours and he'll join us in Houston."

Though Sale hardly looked like himself in Game 1, walking four and throwing 86 pitches in four innings of two-run ball, Cora said it was unrelated to his health.

Video: MLB Tonight talks Chris Sale's illness

"No, no, he started feeling bad after the game," Cora said.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale

Brewers-Dodgers G3: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

Travel day gives pitchers rest after combined record for appearances
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The entertainment value of the National League Championship Series should remain high as the Brewers and Dodgers resume festivities at Dodger Stadium tonight for Game 3.

The last time the clubs met out west was a wild 21-5 Dodgers win over Brewers Game 3 starter Jhoulys Chacin on Aug. 2, when the Dodgers launched seven home runs. Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig had two each, while Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Brian Dozier slugged one apiece.

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MILWAUKEE -- The entertainment value of the National League Championship Series should remain high as the Brewers and Dodgers resume festivities at Dodger Stadium tonight for Game 3.

The last time the clubs met out west was a wild 21-5 Dodgers win over Brewers Game 3 starter Jhoulys Chacin on Aug. 2, when the Dodgers launched seven home runs. Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig had two each, while Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Brian Dozier slugged one apiece.

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NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tonight, 7:39 ET on FS1

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Los Angeles scored a 10th-inning walk-off win the previous game, 6-4, on Yasmani Grandal's two-run homer. Milwaukee won the first two games of the series, with Wade Miley, Joakim Soria and Jeremy Jeffress combining on a two-hit 1-0 shutout on July 31.

Postseason gear: Brewers | Dodgers

In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, teams that split the first two games on the road have gone on to take the series 36 of 80 times (45 percent).

What might the starting lineups look like?
Brewers: With righty Walker Buehler on the mound for L.A., Milwaukee's lineup card is likely to look like so:

1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Travis Shaw, 2B
5. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Orlando Arcia, SS
9. Chacin, P

Dodgers: Dave Roberts said Grandal will return as his Game 3 catcher.

1. Pederson, LF
2. Turner, 3B
3. Max Muncy, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Enrique Hernandez, 2B
6. Bellinger, CF
7. Grandal, C
8. Puig, RF
9. Buehler, P

Who are the starting pitchers?
Brewers: For Chacin (15-8, 3.50 ERA in the regular season), Game 3 of the NLCS will be an exercise in a player's uncanny ability to forget poor performances. On Aug. 2 at Dodger Stadium, a disputed walk helped load the bases for Bellinger's grand slam, part of a 4 1/3-inning outing in which Chacin was charged with nine runs (eight earned) on five hits and four walks.

"I know people might talk a lot about that," said Chacin, who rebounded to post a 2.67 ERA in his final 11 starts of the regular season before delivering five scoreless innings on short rest against the Rockies on Game 2 of the NL Division Series.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Chacin on his effective slider for Game 3

Dodgers: Buehler (8-5, 2.62 ERA) has looked like an ace-in-waiting for the past two months, except for the second inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Braves. Things sped up and he struggled through a five-run inning in a noisy ballpark in Atlanta. Los Angeles held Buehler back to make his next start in the more comfortable surroundings of Dodger Stadium. In his only start against the Brewers, he took a tough-luck loss on July 31, allowing one run in seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Buehler on secondary pitches before Game 3

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Brewers: Let's just say that Sunday's travel day was welcome. Jeffress and Corey Knebel have now pitched in all five of the Brewers' postseason games. Even though there was a nice layoff between rounds, Jeffress threw 39 pitches in Games 1 and 2, and Knebel 31. Josh Hader was off limits in Game 2 after throwing a season-high 46 pitches in Game 1. Soria was off in Game 2 after pitching each of Milwaukee's first four postseason games. The off-day should provide something of a reset.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Counsell on his bullpen strategy for Game 3

Dodgers: They showed the game plan if they have a lead after seven innings. Caleb Ferguson faces the lefties, Kenta Maeda sets up and Kenley Jansen is the closer.

Video: NLCS Gm2: Jansen retires Yelich for clutch save

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: Probably not, although manager Craig Counsell said he'd wait until today to make that determination.

Dodgers: L.A. used seven relievers in Game 2 (all but Julio Urias), but only Pedro Baez was used for more than three outs (four), and with a Sunday day off, everybody is probably available.

Any injuries of note?
Brewers: No.

Dodgers: No.

Who is hot and who is not?
Brewers: Yelich, who surged to the finish of the regular season and was an on-base machine in the NLDS against the Rockies, is 1-for-8 with two walks in the NLCS after his game-ending groundout with the tying runner in scoring position in Game 2. He credited the Dodgers for "making pitches when they have to." Moustakas went 0-for-3 Saturday to snap a 10-game postseason hitting streak.

Video: NLCS Gm2: Yelich on dropping Game 2 to the Dodgers

Dodgers: Turner, Taylor and Pederson each had two hits in Game 2. Taylor is 5-for-9 in the series. Bellinger got his first hit of the postseason. Baez has four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Alex Wood has allowed homers in his past two postseason appearances.

Video: NLCS Gm2: Bellinger, Turner spark Game 2 rally

Anything else fans might want to know?
The Brewers and Dodgers set a record for most combined pitching appearances through two games of an LCS with 27. With 14, Los Angeles has the record for one team.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Jhoulys Chacin

Before hitting wall, Marwin smacks record HR

Houston tallies long ball in 14th straight postseason game
MLB.com @feinsand

BOSTON -- Marwin Gonzalez had already made his mark on Sunday night's 7-5 loss to the Red Sox with a big home run, but the Astros' jack-of-all-trades was just beginning what proved to be an adventurous -- and painful -- night.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tue., 5:09 p.m. ET/4:09 CT on TBS

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BOSTON -- Marwin Gonzalez had already made his mark on Sunday night's 7-5 loss to the Red Sox with a big home run, but the Astros' jack-of-all-trades was just beginning what proved to be an adventurous -- and painful -- night.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tue., 5:09 p.m. ET/4:09 CT on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

Gonzalez's third-inning homer against David Price gave the Astros a 4-2 lead in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. The 102.9 mph rocket sailed high over the Green Monster, crashing into one of the advertisement banners while quieting a previously raucous Fenway Park.

The blast put the Astros in the record books, marking their 14th consecutive postseason game with a home run. Houston had shared the record with itself, as the 2001-04 Astros -- who were part of the National League at that time -- went deep in 13 straight contests.

Dating back to Game 6 of last year's ALCS, the Astros have hit 29 home runs in those 14 games.

"We're so deep," catcher Brian McCann said. "It's a new guy every night."

In the bottom of the third, however, Gonzalez learned the hard way that the Monster isn't always friendly to those that dare approach it.

Gonzalez was tracking Steve Pearce's fly ball toward the famed left-field wall, making a leaping attempt at a catch. The ball hit Gonzalez's glove as he crashed into the wall, his back and neck taking the brunt of the collision. Gonzalez fell to the field, where manager AJ Hinch and a team athletic trainer rushed out to check on the left fielder.

"I was kind of dizzy and I was coughing a lot," Gonzalez said. "I hit my back, but it went all the way to my chest. I was pretty scared. I was dizzy for the rest of the inning and it was really painful in my chest."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Gonzalez shaken up, Pearce doubles to left

Gonzalez remained in the game, and two batters later, he was dealing with his 37-foot green foe once again. With two out and the bases loaded, Jackie Bradley Jr. lifted a fly ball off the wall, but it took a strange hop and landed on the lip of the padding of the wall in foul territory. Gonzalez -- still feeling the effects of his collision -- had no choice but to wait for the ball to come down. By the time he retrieved it, all three runners had scored on the play, giving Boston a 3-2 lead.

"I really wanted to throw it; it probably would have been a close play at home plate," Gonzalez said. "But it was over the wall and I couldn't reach it. There was nothing I could do."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Bradley Jr. clears bases with double

Gonzalez went into the clubhouse for treatment in the top of the fourth, receiving an IV before heading back out in the bottom of the inning. He's hopeful that he'll feel better after Monday's off-day, allowing him to be in the lineup for Tuesday's Game 3 at Minute Maid Park.

"I'm pretty sore, but nothing that will get me out of the field," Gonzalez said. "Let's see how I wake up tomorrow."

Video: ALCS Gm 2: Hinch on Gonzalez colliding into Monster

Gonzalez, who had two RBIs in Game 2 of the AL Division Series against Cleveland and three more in Game 3, has been one of Houston's most productive hitters this postseason. His seven RBIs are tied with teammate George Springer for the AL lead.

Springer keeps adding to postseason hit streak

Video: ALCS Gm2: Springer on Red Sox's talent, Gonzalez

"He's been huge," Springer said. "He's a guy who doesn't get enough credit for the stuff that he does. He can hit, he plays every position, he's very durable; without him in the lineup, our team is very different."

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Houston Astros, Marwin Gonzalez

Springer keeps adding to postseason hit streak

MLB.com @feinsand

BOSTON -- Another October game, another record for George Springer.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tue., 5:09 p.m. ET/4:09 CT on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- Another October game, another record for George Springer.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tue., 5:09 p.m. ET/4:09 CT on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

Springer's game-tying, two-run double off Red Sox starter David Price in the second inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series extended his postseason hitting streak to 11 games, moving him past Lance Berkman for the Astros' all-time mark. Springer had matched Berkman in Game 1 with a two-run hit, also in the second inning.

"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard, get to first base for guys like Jose [Altuve] and Alex Bregman," Springer said after Houston's 7-5 loss to Boston. "I understand that I'm hitting first and my job is to somehow get to first base, so I'm just happy to help."

Springer finished the game 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, giving him a .409 average (9-for-22) with three home runs. His seven RBIs are tied with teammate Marwin Gonzalez for the most in the AL this postseason.

Springer's streak began in Game 2 of last year's World Series, one day after he had gone 0-for-4 with four strikeouts to open the Fall Classic. Springer, last year's World Series MVP, is hitting .425 (20-for-47) with eight home runs and 14 RBIs during his 11-game streak. Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter and Hank Bauer hold the big league record for the longest postseason hitting streak at 17 games.

"The moment's not too big for him," Astros catcher Brian McCann said. "His talent, there aren't too many guys that can do the things he does on a baseball field. He seems to slow the moment down; when the lights get brighter, he seems to have a slower heartbeat."

Video: Springer hits safely in 11 straight postseason games

Houston trailed, 2-0, after the first inning Sunday night, but Carlos Correa reached with a one-out infield single and Martin Maldonado doubled down the left-field line, putting a pair of runners in scoring position. Josh Reddick hit a popup to second base, but Springer came through in the clutch once again, fisting a 1-0 fastball to the opposite field, dunking it over first base to score both runners.

The two-run hit didn't just put Springer's name in the record books for his hitting streak; he became the first Astros player to drive in multiple runs in three consecutive playoff games. Springer had two RBIs in Game 3 against the Indians, then drove in a pair of runs in the AL Championship Series opener at Fenway Park on Saturday night. If he can drive in two or more runs in Game 3, Springer will tie Reggie Sanders' Major League record of four straight, set during the Cardinals' 2005 postseason.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Altuve drives in Springer with a single

Springer started a ninth-inning rally against Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, hitting a two-out double and scoring on Altuve's single as Houston cut Boston's lead to two runs before Kimbrel retired Bregman to end the game.

"When the game is on the line, we have a lot of guys we want up," McCann said. "Springer is right there at the top of the list."

Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.

Houston Astros, George Springer

Price satisfied to help Sox find victory column

Left-hander solid, remains winless in postseason as a starter
MLB.com @BryanHoch

BOSTON -- It was not the pitching line that David Price envisioned, and he remains winless as a starter in postseason play. Yet when the Red Sox celebrated by shaking hands on the Fenway Park infield after Sunday night's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, the end result felt as fantastic as he imagined it would.

Price had started 10 postseason games in his career without logging a win, but more importantly, his teams were 0-10 in those starts -- including two efforts since joining the Red Sox. That run of futility ended as Price hurled 4 2/3 innings of four-run ball and Boston's bullpen recorded the final 13 outs to seal a 7-5 win over Houston.

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BOSTON -- It was not the pitching line that David Price envisioned, and he remains winless as a starter in postseason play. Yet when the Red Sox celebrated by shaking hands on the Fenway Park infield after Sunday night's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, the end result felt as fantastic as he imagined it would.

Price had started 10 postseason games in his career without logging a win, but more importantly, his teams were 0-10 in those starts -- including two efforts since joining the Red Sox. That run of futility ended as Price hurled 4 2/3 innings of four-run ball and Boston's bullpen recorded the final 13 outs to seal a 7-5 win over Houston.

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Video: MLB Tonight evaluates David Price's outing

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

"All I want to do is win," Price said. "I expect myself to be great in big moments, and I haven't done that thus far in my career. But I came here to win, period. I came here to win a World Series and to do it multiple times. And that's what I'm about."

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that even though Price had thrown well, it had been the right call to go to the bullpen with two outs in the fifth inning and Boston leading, 5-4, leaving Price one out shy of qualifying for his elusive victory.

"We've got to clean a few things up," Cora said of Price, "but overall, his stuff was good. His command was good, and he gave us a chance to win."

Dress for ALCS: Get Sox postseason gear

Staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Price gave the advantage back to the Astros. George Springer's two-run single tied the game in the second inning and Marwin Gonzalez launched a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the third, teeing off on a 3-2 offering with two outs.

Jackie Bradley Jr. restored Boston's lead with a bases-clearing double off Gerrit Cole in the third inning, and Price kept Houston off the board in the fourth with a 1-2-3 inning.

"After they put up four runs, he still allowed us to stay in the game," Bradley said. "He competed his tail off, and we were able to tack on a few runs when we needed. He's an ultimate competitor."

Price departed after recording the first two outs of the fifth, leaving a pair of runners aboard for Matt Barnes. Price's walk to Tyler White, his second of the inning, brought the hook as Price received a warm ovation from the crowd of 37,960.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Price on Porcello and the Red Sox's bullpen

"It's definitely appreciated," Price said. "It wasn't the line I dreamed up to have tonight, but our offense, our defense, everybody rallied together. That's what we've done all year. Whenever starters needed to be picked up, they picked us up, and vice versa. So that was big."

Video: ALCS Gm2: Price kicks the ball off the mound

Barnes struck out Gonzalez, sealing Price's line after he scattered five hits, walked four and struck out four. The outing rewarded Cora's trust in handing the ball to Price despite an abbreviated effort against the Yankees in Game 2 of the AL Division Series, in which Price recorded just five outs and was charged with three runs, including two homers and two walks.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Cora discusses David Price's performance

In selecting Price over Nathan Eovaldi or Rick Porcello, Cora had heavily weighed Price's recent success against the Astros. Since joining the Red Sox in 2016, Price was 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in eight appearances (four starts) against them, including two dominant relief performances in last year's playoffs when Cora was Houston's bench coach.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Betts, Bradley on Price's performance

"I felt confident that he was going to throw the ball well against them," Cora said.

Price entered Sunday's contest 0-9 with a 6.03 ERA (40 earned runs in 59 2/3 innings) over 10 career postseason starts. He has now equaled a Major League record for consecutive postseason starts without a victory (11), joining Al Leiter (1997-2000) and Tim Hudson (2002-14).

"I put myself aside," Price said. "This isn't about me. I understand the narratives. I get that. I deserve those narratives. But this is bigger than David Price. This isn't about me. This is about the Boston Red Sox."

Bryan Hoch has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, David Price

Jackie Bradley's big double in ALCS Game 2 took some peculiar bounces off the Fenway Park walls

Red Sox hitters know Fenway Park better than anyone. Sure, there's knowing how to play balls off the Green Monster and just how deep right-center field can get, but as Jackie Bradley Jr. proved in ALCS Game 2 against the Astros on Sunday, there's so much more.

Boston fans were seeking a spark in the bottom of the third inning. The 2-0 Red Sox lead had vanished and the Astros were ahead, 4-2, but the home team had the bases loaded with two outs for Bradley. He put a good swing on a fastball from Gerrit Cole and sent it down the left-field line, where it bounced off the Green Monster and back into foul territory.

What if Braun had been dealt to the Dodgers?

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

LOS ANGELES -- What if Ryan Braun had become a Dodger?

It almost happened in the summer of 2016, when the Brewers had discussions with the Dodgers about a deal that might have sent Braun to L.A. for Yasiel Puig, Brandon McCarthy and prospects. Just how close those talks came to fruition depends on who you ask. Ditto whether that was the only time a Braun-to-L.A. deal had legs.

LOS ANGELES -- What if Ryan Braun had become a Dodger?

It almost happened in the summer of 2016, when the Brewers had discussions with the Dodgers about a deal that might have sent Braun to L.A. for Yasiel Puig, Brandon McCarthy and prospects. Just how close those talks came to fruition depends on who you ask. Ditto whether that was the only time a Braun-to-L.A. deal had legs.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tonight, 7:39 ET/6:39 CT on FS1

"You know, I've thought about it," said Braun's dad, Joe, a fixture around Miller Park during his oldest son's 12 seasons with the Brewers. "On the other side, it's fantastic that he gets to experience this here with the team that drafted him.

"There's talk, conversation. I know there were conversations. How close was it? I'm not really even sure. I do know it's a blessing to be here with the Brewers."

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Ryan has said the same, describing himself as rejuvenated by the Brewers' push to the postseason. He is the only player remaining from Milwaukee's last postseason entry in 2011.

Had he become a Dodger, Braun would not have had to wait as long to play October baseball.

***

Braun-to-L.A. rumors have popped up many times in recent years, but the most serious were during the run-up to Aug. 31, 2016, the annual deadline for teams to acquire players and have them eligible for postseason play. The Dodgers, better against right-handed pitchers than lefties, were looking for a bat to help. Braun has long mashed southpaws.

According to a source at the time, the Brewers had claimed Puig off revocable trade waivers and were working on a deal, one iteration of which would have netted Puig and two prospects along with McCarthy, whose departing contract would have helped offset the Dodgers' luxury tax hit for adding Braun. It was serious enough that Braun remained at Miller Park with some teammates after one of the Brewers' games leading up to the deadline, believing the talks were hot.

At the time, Puig was at a nadir in his Dodgers career, having been demoted to Triple-A that summer. But he would have fit Milwaukee's rebuilding mindset, since he was 25 and signed for the next two-plus seasons for an affordable $14 million. The Brewers were in their first full season under general manager David Stearns, who was in the process of turning over half of Milwaukee's 40-man roster, and Braun was a valuable chip, in the midst of his best season since he was runner-up in 2012 National League MVP Award balloting.

How close did it come? Again, it depends on who you ask. The consensus of several sources is that it was the Dodgers who balked within the final half hour before the deadline.

Officials from both teams declined to reveal details.

The Dodgers did get catcher Carlos Ruiz from the Phillies that August, but they went into the postseason with an outfield that included Howie Kendrick and Puig hitting from the right side and Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles from the left. They fell to the eventual World Series champion Cubs in six games in the NL Championship Series, including losses in both of Cubs southpaw Jon Lester's starts.

"We've got a lot of deals that we talk about that don't happen. That would be a full-time job, thinking through 'what ifs,'" Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said. "We're constantly talking. Sometimes deals happen. Sometimes they don't. We just turn the page."

Video: Yelich on Braun helping the team into postseason

The Brewers, meanwhile, proceeded with Braun, whose contract is guaranteed through 2020. He was limited to 380 at-bats and 17 home runs in 2017 by a series of nagging injuries, which were surely part of the equation when Stearns decided to trade for Christian Yelich and sign Lorenzo Cain last offseason.

At the time, outsiders said the Brewers had "too many outfielders," even with a plan to use Braun at first base. But as the 2018 season wore on, Braun's first base mitt gathered dust. Domingo Santana, the primary right fielder entering the year, regressed and spent most of the season in the Minors. Braun posted a .782 OPS in the regular season, the second-lowest mark of his career, but he surged late in the season to an .859 OPS after July 31, including the postseason.

"I feel really good," Braun said last week. "I feel fortunate and thankful that I'm in this position, health-wise. I'd never take it for granted. But for anybody, when you have the adrenaline that's added this time of the year, it helps you feel better physically.

"I feel like I'm going on 25, not 35 right now."

Video: Must C Clutch: Braun hits 2 HRs, go-ahead jack in 8th

Has Braun ever wondered what life might be like had he been traded to L.A.?

"I said that at the time, that it would be more meaningful for me to win here [in Milwaukee] than to go anywhere else and win maybe multiple championships," Braun said. "I meant it. I've been here for so long, I've been through so much, and I have such a special connection to the city, to the fans and to the organization. I honestly didn't think we'd be back in this position as quickly as we are."

***

For Braun, being traded to the Dodgers would have meant playing at home. He grew up in Granada Hills, and while he lives in Malibu now with his wife, Larisa, and their two young children, Joe Braun stayed put.

The Braun men -- Joe, Ryan and Ryan's younger brother, Steve, who played three seasons in Milwaukee's Minor League system from 2008-10 -- were avid baseball card collectors and spent many a Saturday morning perusing the bid board at The Baseball Card Company in Granada Hills, which sponsored the boys' PONY league teams and had Dodgers season tickets.

With that connection, the Brauns attended a dozen or so games per summer at Dodger Stadium, sitting on the third-base side during the Eric Karros-Mike Piazza era of Dodger baseball in the early-to-mid 1990s.

"They still have all of their cards," Joe said. "Ryan has always been very organized. Everything is placed just right. He's got thousands of cards. I think some of them still have the gum."

Tweet from @MLB: Return of the Prince. pic.twitter.com/pu6JRZw5Tk

When the Brewers and Dodgers were talking trades, Ryan shared what he knew with his dad. When Joe isn't with the team, they talk at least every other day, often after games. Seeing his son traded to his hometown team would have been "cool," Joe said, but he has also grown fond of Milwaukee and expressed the same sentiment as his son, that seeing the Brewers reach the World Series would carry extra meaning.

"This is as rejuvenated and excited as I've seen him in a long time," Joe said. "I think September came around and the team started to get on that roll. They were within striking distance. Then they started to play fantastic, and their roll in September just kept carrying on, and here we are in October."

Joe is along for the ride. Maybe a Dodger Stadium memory or two will pop in his head as he takes in batting practice before Game 3.

"You look around, and any one of these kids has a chance to be down there, doing what Ryan is doing," Joe said. "It's been such a long time now. You start thinking about eventually, it will be over."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun

Buehler aims to apply knowledge from DS test

Dodgers rookie feeling confident in facing formidable lineup
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Walker Buehler is the next Dodgers starting pitcher tasked with keeping the club close enough early to unleash its late-inning offensive weaponry on a taxed Milwaukee bullpen. He fell a bit short in his last outing, but he fully expects to right the ship tonight.

If Game 3 of the National League Championship Series follows the script of Games 1 and 2, the Dodgers will look to their rookie right-hander to prove that starting pitching still matters despite the "bullpenning" trend embraced by the Brewers. The best-of-seven series resumes tonight at Dodger Stadium after the clubs split a pair at Miller Park.

LOS ANGELES -- Walker Buehler is the next Dodgers starting pitcher tasked with keeping the club close enough early to unleash its late-inning offensive weaponry on a taxed Milwaukee bullpen. He fell a bit short in his last outing, but he fully expects to right the ship tonight.

If Game 3 of the National League Championship Series follows the script of Games 1 and 2, the Dodgers will look to their rookie right-hander to prove that starting pitching still matters despite the "bullpenning" trend embraced by the Brewers. The best-of-seven series resumes tonight at Dodger Stadium after the clubs split a pair at Miller Park.

• NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 3: Tonight, 7:39 p.m. ET/4:39 p.m. PT on FS1

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

The Dodgers came into the series believing their superior starting pitching would position a grinding offense to chew up and spit out the parade of relievers the Brewers deploy. To succeed, however, the starting pitcher can't spot the opponent a 5-1 lead, as Clayton Kershaw did in Game 1 against the Brewers, or a 5-0 lead, as Buehler did in his postseason debut when Game 3 of the NL Division Series sped up on him in Atlanta. Those are the Dodgers' two losses this postseason.

Management took a hostile crowd out of the Buehler equation this time by starting him in the comforts of home, but on a conference call on Sunday, Buehler was both accountable for what he did wrong in Atlanta and confident it won't be repeated tonight.

"You could say there was a little bit of nerves and anxiety, but that happens, being my first time there," said the 24-year-old Buehler. "I think I handled it fine. My heartbeat, I felt good with. I was more upset with the decision to throw certain pitches."

Buehler said watching two left-handers (Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu) pitch against the Brewers has limited value as far as schooling a hard-throwing righty how to attack Milwaukee's lineup.

"Obviously they have one of the better players in the world right now in Christian Yelich, and Lorenzo Cain has been here and won that before. Mike Moustakas, too, and the two big righties (Jesus Aguilar and Ryan Braun) -- a pretty strong lineup and we've seen what they can do," said Buehler.

Will Buehler rebound from that five-run second inning? He already has, shutting down the Braves for three scoreless innings before being lifted and not dwelling on it since.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Chacin, Buehler square off in playoff start

"I know what happened. I was there," he said. "Some guys are big into that, I'm more of a positive feedback guy. The only games I really watch are the good ones, and I move forward and stay confident with what I have and keep going."

In that 35-pitch second inning, Buehler threw only two sliders, the pitch his coach Rick Honeycutt believes has taken the right-hander to another level, as it did another young hard thrower nearly a decade ago.

Buehler faced eight batters that inning and didn't throw a slider after the third hitter. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grand slam on a 98.1-mph fastball.

"Kersh was that way early," Honeycutt said, comparing the ace-in-training to Kershaw, the ace of the last decade.

Video: LAD@ATL Gm3: Buehler K's Acuna Jr. for 1st strikeout

Honeycutt said Buehler took his game to another level when he was able to take 5 mph off the slider. According to Statcast™, since changing his grip after an Aug. 11 start in Colorado, Buehler's slider velocity dropped 2.4 mph and has dropped another 1.3 mph since, while opposing hitters are just 2-for-37 off it since then. Also, his slider whiff rate -- the ratio of swinging strikes relative to all swings -- climbed from 26.3 percent before Aug. 11 to 42.1 percent in September.

"To me, the last few outings he's found a grip with the slider, seeing it at 82 to 84, that's devastating," said Honeycutt. "We were always looking for a pitch he can rely on that has separation of speed. Everything early, it was cutter 94, 95; fastball 97, 98; he couldn't rely on the curveball, and even the change is 90, 92 at times.

"Everything was in that hard phase. Now, he has the ability to get something he can actually command off-speed, it reminds me of Kersh when he started to get the slider [in 2009], something in the mix that they couldn't just sit fastball. He's started to pitch, not just throw. He can still rush it up there when he wants to, but he's not relying on just the fastball, even though it's great. He knows he's got different weapons, and he feels good with all of them." 

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. Daniel Kramer contributed to this story.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler

Postseason Picture: Each LCS tied, 1-1

MLB.com

The Red Sox evened the American League Championship Series with a 7-5 victory over the Astros at Fenway Park on Sunday night as Boston seeks to dethrone the defending World Series champions. The big hit came courtesy of Jackie Bradley Jr., who drove a bases-clearing double off the Green Monster in the third inning to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. The series now shifts to Minute Maid Park, with what could be a pivotal Game 3 on Tuesday.

The National League Championship Series resumes tonight at Dodger Stadium, with the Brewers and Dodgers also tied at one game apiece. Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler will take the ball for Los Angeles, and Milwaukee will send veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin to the mound.

The Red Sox evened the American League Championship Series with a 7-5 victory over the Astros at Fenway Park on Sunday night as Boston seeks to dethrone the defending World Series champions. The big hit came courtesy of Jackie Bradley Jr., who drove a bases-clearing double off the Green Monster in the third inning to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. The series now shifts to Minute Maid Park, with what could be a pivotal Game 3 on Tuesday.

The National League Championship Series resumes tonight at Dodger Stadium, with the Brewers and Dodgers also tied at one game apiece. Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler will take the ball for Los Angeles, and Milwaukee will send veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin to the mound.

Here is a full breakdown of where things stand, with key dates for the LCS and World Series, as well as a complete breakdown of home-field advantage through the Fall Classic. 

Bracket

NL Championship Series (2-3-2 format): Dodgers vs. Brewers (series tied, 1-1)
Game 3, tonight at 7:39 ET, FS1

Even with Josh Hader unavailable after he pitched three innings in Game 1 on Friday, the Brewers looked like they had escaped serious damage in the seventh inning of NLCS Game 2 when Jeremy Jeffress escaped with a one-run lead intact after the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out. But in the eighth, Chris Taylor's leadoff single was followed by Justin Turner's first homer of the postseason to bring the series to Los Angeles tied 1-1.

Video: NLCS Gm2: Turner belts go-ahead 2-run homer

The Dodgers will hope that the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium in Game 3 will set the stage for a return to form for Buehler. The right-hander lost his command to a hostile Atlanta crowd in one bad inning of his NLDS Game 3 start against the Braves, when he walked the opposing pitcher with the bases loaded before yielding a grand slam to Ronald Acuna Jr. He had been otherwise stellar, with four perfect innings outside that troublesome second frame. Rich Hill will follow Buehler in Tuesday's Game 4 for the Dodgers.

Chacin, the Brewers' de facto ace, will take the mound for Milwaukee at Dodger Stadium, where the veteran righty has plenty of experience stemming from his eight seasons in the NL West with Colorado, Arizona and San Diego. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in his past dozen starts, including Game 163 and Game 2 of the NLDS against Colorado.

Video: NLCS Gm2: Jansen retires Yelich for clutch save

The Brewers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, and this is their third trip to the LCS round. They defeated the Angels in five games in the 1982 ALCS, then lost to the Cardinals in six games in 2011. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have won six straight division crowns and advanced to the NLCS in all but two of those seasons. Last year, they beat the Cubs in five games before losing the World Series to the Astros. Two years ago, the Dodgers lost the NLCS to the eventual World Series champion Cubs.

AL Championship Series (2-3-2 format): Red Sox vs. Astros (series tied, 1-1)
Game 3, Tuesday at 5:09 ET on TBS

With the series tied at one game apiece following Boston's victory Sunday night, the ALCS will resume on Tuesday in Houston. Former AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel will start for the Astros, and the Red Sox will counter with Nathan Eovaldi.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Bradley Jr. clears bases with double

Keuchel started ALDS Game 3 against the Indians, allowing two runs over five innings in Houston's series-clinching 11-3 victory in Cleveland. His regular season was solid, though not as strong as his 2017 campaign; he went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA over 34 starts. He faced Boston once during the regular season, giving up five runs in six innings in a 6-5 Astros loss at Fenway Park on Sept. 9. He beat the Red Sox in Game 2 of last year's AL Division Series, yielding one run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings at Minute Maid Park. In nine career postseason appearances (eight starts), Keuchel is 4-2 with a 3.28 ERA.

Eovaldi was brilliant over seven innings in ALDS Game 3, giving up one run on five hits while walking none and striking out five during Boston's 16-1 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It was the 28-year-old right-hander's first career postseason outing. He was also very good over his final 12 outings (11 starts) of the regular season after being traded from the Rays to the Red Sox, posting a 3.33 ERA. A Houston native, Eovaldi faced the Astros once during the regular season, surrendering four runs on seven hits over six innings in a June 20 loss at Minute Maid Park.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Betts drills an RBI double on TBS

This year's ALCS is a rematch of last year's ALDS, which Houston won in four games en route to the franchise's first title. Home-field advantage in this best-of-seven series (Games 1-2 and 6-7) goes to the Division Series winner with the higher regular-season winning percentage, but never a Wild Card team. That's the Red Sox, who won an MLB-best 108 games in the regular season.

The Astros, who swept the Indians in the ALDS, are the first AL team since the 2010 Yankees to make it back to the LCS in the year following a World Series title. The Red Sox are back in the ALCS for the first time since their 2013 title run. They lost in the ALDS in each of the last two seasons.

This series marks a reunion for Boston manager Alex Cora, who was the Astros bench coach when they knocked out the Red Sox in the playoffs last season en route to the World Series. Houston won the season series between these clubs, 4-3.

World Series presented by YouTube TV (2-3-2 format)
Game 1 is Tuesday, Oct. 23 on FOX (time TBD)

Home-field advantage in the World Series is no longer based on the result of the All-Star Game. Home field (Games 1-2 and 6-7) in this best-of-seven series will go to the team with the higher regular-season winning percentage, regardless of whether the team is a Wild Card winner or a Division Series winner.

Both the Red Sox and Astros finished with better records than the Brewers and Dodgers, so home-field in the Fall Classic is guaranteed to go to the AL club. 

If the two pennant winners go into the Fall Classic with identical regular-season records, the first tiebreaker will be head-to-head record in the regular season. If the teams did not play during the season during Interleague Play, the tiebreaker would go to the team with the better overall record against teams in its own division. If that were also a tie, the tiebreaker would be intraleague records (the NL club's record vs. NL teams and the AL team's record vs. AL teams).

Below are the World Series home-field advantage seedings, which are based on the regular 162-game schedule and do not factor in the two tiebreaker games played in the NL (aka Game 163).

1. Red Sox (108-54)
2. Astros (103-59)
3. Brewers (96-67)
4. Dodgers (92-71)