HOUSTON -- After listening to the thunder from Houston's bats and the roar of the crowd for two straight days, the Red Sox finally found some quiet in their clubhouse following a second straight 8-2 loss that has pinned them in a 2-0 hole in this American League Division Series
HOUSTON -- After listening to the thunder from Houston's bats and the roar of the crowd for two straight days, the Red Sox finally found some quiet in their clubhouse following a second straight 8-2 loss that has pinned them in a 2-0 hole in this American League Division Series presented by Doosan.
This was no time to flip over a table or slam a bat or make bold guarantees to reporters. The Red Sox know that the only way they can make this a series -- let alone win it -- is to start playing better in every area.
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They spoke more matter-of-factly about what is in front of them rather than with rah-rah predictions.
How can they turn it around?
"Not sure," said right fielder Mookie Betts. "Maybe just a big hit -- a big timely hit at some point might get us rolling. We just have to continue to work."
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One thing was for sure. The Red Sox were happy to get out of Houston and fly back to Boston. This wouldn't be the first time that Fenway Park has helped cure a Boston team that was reeling in early October.
In 1999, the Sox were trailing 0-2 to the Indians, and they regrouped at home and went back to Cleveland to win Game 5 behind a memorable performance from Pedro Martinez (six no-hit innings in relief).
Then, four years later, the A's beat Boston twice in Oakland. The Red Sox came home, rode Trot Nixon's walk-off homer to victory in Game 3, a clutch David Ortiz double in Game 4 and some shutdown relief by Derek Lowe in Game 5, and they were in the ALCS.
In fact, those Red Sox teams are the only two teams to have come back from an 0-2 deficit in the 2-2-1 Division Series format when the team had to play Game 5 on the road. Overall, teams who have trailed 0-2 in the Division Series are 7-49. The Red Sox hope to make it 8-49.
In simpler terms, for the Red Sox to advance to the ALCS, they need to produce a winning streak of three games, something they've already done 11 times this season.
"We just have to go play well," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "That's it. You can't try and do too much. You can't try and do anything. You just have to focus on one pitch at a time and try and win that pitch. They played great. They've done everything right, and we haven't done anything right. Hopefully getting back home and getting in front of our fans will give us a boost and get us back in this series."
Pedroia was asked if anything needed to be said. He provided a cryptic answer.
"Oh, there's a lot of things that we said," Pedroia said.
Reading between the lines, it sounds like the fiery second baseman would like those verbal beliefs to turn into converted opportunities on the field.
"It's baseball," Pedroia said. "If the other team plays better than you, you don't win. That's it. It comes down to execution in any sport. They outplayed us, and we have a short amount of time to figure it out."
Pedroia practically cringed when he was asked if his team was confident.
"The confidence level? We just got our butt kicked twice," Pedroia said. "We've got to take a step back in the off day and regroup and get after it in Game 3. Confidence is irrelevant at this point. But you find a way to win the next game. There's no pressure on them."
But that can change, particularly if the Red Sox can start setting a tone early from the mound and cashing in on scoring opportunities when they have them.
"Again, just be ourselves," said Betts. "We can't go out and bang like them and can't do a lot of things they can do, but we can do what we can do. What we do got us in the playoffs, and I'm pretty sure it can win us the World Series too."
If the Red Sox can play from ahead instead of from behind, their chances could improve greatly.
"We've got to hopefully try to score first," said shortstop Xander Bogaerts. "I feel like these guys always score before us, and we're kind of in a hole right away."
The Red Sox know that the time has come to dig out of that hole -- otherwise, there will be no more season to talk about.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.