BOSTON -- There's something about October that brings out the best in George Springer.The Astros center fielder continued his assault on opposing pitching Saturday night, lacing a two-run, bases-loaded single against Chris Sale to get Houston started in what became a 7-2 win over the Red Sox in Game 1
BOSTON -- There's something about October that brings out the best in George Springer.
The Astros center fielder continued his assault on opposing pitching Saturday night, lacing a two-run, bases-loaded single against Chris Sale to get Houston started in what became a 7-2 win over the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
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"This is a tough place to play," Springer said. "It's not easy, by any stretch of the imagination. It's an awesome environment all the time and these guys really feed off the home crowd, the home energy. For us to come in here and get the first one is huge."
The hit extended Springer's postseason hitting streak to 10 games, matching Lance Berkman (2001-04) for the longest in club history.
Sale was not particularly sharp from the outset, issuing a walk to Springer to open the game. The left-hander got through the rest of the first unscathed, but after recording two quick outs to start the second, Sale walked Carlos Correa, hit Martin Maldonado with a pitch and walked Josh Reddick, loading the bases for Springer.
Springer worked a full count after the first seven pitches against Sale before pouncing on 93 mph fastball. Springer shot a 101.8 mph rocket past third baseman Eduardo Nunez.
Despite his recent success in big spots, Springer's approach against Sale was simple: Do whatever it takes.
"Honestly, it's get the at-bat to the next guy; do anything I can to head to first base," Springer said. "Anytime you're facing somebody like Sale, it's a grind from the first pitch on. So it's just kind of one of those things where you grind out an at-bat and hope for something good to happen."
Springer was the World Series Most Valuable Player last fall, hitting a robust .379 (11-for-29) with five home runs, seven RBIs and an otherworldly 1.471 OPS. His 10 career postseason home runs in 28 games are the most in Astros history.
Springer finished 1-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs, his second straight multi-RBI performance after he drove in two runs in Game 3 against the Indians. In four games this postseason, Springer is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three home runs and five RBIs.
"This is a clubhouse that believes in every guy," Springer said. "Doesn't matter who gets the job done, just get the job done. Pass the torch on to the next guy.I know that goes the same way with the guys in the bullpen, the starting staff, the guys who are playing and then the guys who come into the game. It's, 'How can I be productive for the guys?' And it's a great thing to watch."
Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.