HOUSTON -- You don't get a second chance at a first impression. For the third consecutive game, the Red Sox have made the most of theirs.Boston scored a pair of runs in the first inning en route to an 8-6 win in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series,
HOUSTON -- You don't get a second chance at a first impression. For the third consecutive game, the Red Sox have made the most of theirs.
Boston scored a pair of runs in the first inning en route to an 8-6 win in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, jumping out to a quick two-run lead over the Astros in front of an anxious home crowd at Minute Maid Park.
Not only was it the third straight game in which the Red Sox scored in the opening frame, but they scored two runs each time.
Entering Game 4, the Red Sox were a perfect 5-0 when scoring first through their first seven postseason games. Boston was 74-15 in the regular season when scoring first.
Astros starter Charlie Morton hit Mookie Betts with the second pitch of the game, then Andrew Benintendi hit a ball deep into the hole at second base, where Marwin Gonzalez made a spectacular play to throw the runner out at first.
J.D. Martinez followed with a walk, then a wild pitch advanced Betts and Martinez to second and third, respectively. Morton struck out Xander Bogaerts for the second out, but the right-hander couldn't get out of the inning cleanly, serving up a two-run single by Rafael Devers that gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
Following a relatively quiet AL Division Series, Betts has sparked Boston's offense in the ALCS, reaching base safely in all four games while scoring a run in each of the last three.
Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.