Game Three did not go so well for the Astros on Sunday afternoon. Sure, the team took the quick 3-0 lead in the first inning and chased Boston starter Doug Fister after just one out in the second inning. As in the first two games, the Red Sox threatened to do lots and lots of damage in the second inning, but ended up scoring just one run. And just as in the other games, the game was close until the middle innings, when a home run barrage broke out to put the game out of reach. Only this time, it was the Red Sox who broke out, winning the game 10-3 and cutting the Astros series lead to 2-1.
DAVID PRICE: Price once again emerged from the bullpen and proceeded to utterly shut down the mighty Astros offense. Price pitched four scoreless innings, giving up four hits while striking out four. It was, without question, the best pitching performance by either team of the playoffs. Price battled injuries, ineffectiveness and the Boston media this season, but his performance in this series is putting to rest all of those issues.
HANLEY RAMIREZ: the Red Sox DH broke out this game, going for four-for-four at the plate. He scored two runs, knocked in three runs and was seemingly a key part of every Boston rally. His lack of playing time was somewhat puzzling seeing as how he has been one of the top offensive performers for an offensively challenged Boston team this season. It’s doubtful that he’ll be on the bench for the rest of the series.
RAFAEL DEVERS: Devers has been a bit of a non-entity for the Red Sox in the playoffs, just like the rest of the Boston offense. So of course Devers had a big game on Sunday. He was three-for-four, scored three runs, had three RBIs, and it was his two-run home run in the third inning that put Boston up 4-3 (a lead the Red Sox would not relinquish).
YULI GURRIEL: There’s really not much good to be said about the Astros performance on Sunday. Gurriel, however, did have a perfect day at the plate, going four-for-four. He didn’t score or have any RBIs, but he didn’t make any egregious errors in the field (the Astros had two on the day). That’s a small victory.
THE DFAs (Designated for Assignment)
DOUG FISTER: Just like every other Red Sox starter in this series, Doug Fister got beat up on by the Astros. He was pulled in the second inning after giving up all three runs on four hits. If only Boston had given him another inning or two on the mound, the Astros might then have been able to score some more runs before David Price’s arrival.
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BRAD PEACOCK: The starting pitching has not been great in this series, but at least Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel were able to get into the sixth inning. Peacock was pulled during the third inning after giving up three runs on six hits for a 10.13 ERA. Those people who argued that perhaps Collin McHugh would’ve been the better option for the playoff rotation may have had a point.
FRANCISCO LIRIANO: Liriano faced two batters. Both of those batters got hits. The first batter hit the home run that gave the Red Sox their very first lead of the playoffs. He was pulled quickly, but the damage was done. Fenway Park had sounded like a morgue after the Astros took the 3-0 lead, but it was roaring with delight as Liriano exited the field.
JOSH REDDICK: Reddick gave the Astros the first inning 1-0 lead when he knocked in George Springer, then scored on Carlos Correa's homer run to center field. But then came the seventh inning. The Astros were struggling to stay close to the Red Sox. Boston had two men on when Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a ball to right field that at first looked like it might go foul, then looked like it might fall fair for a double. Instead Reddick actually got the ball in his glove and, as he was bracing his foot on padding, dropped the ball into the stands for a three-run homer, which put Boston up 10-3.
Game four on Monday will feature Charlie Morton for Houston versus Rick Porcello for Boston. Porcello has been pretty bad this season (after winning the Cy Young and facing the wrath of Kate Upton last year). The good news is that it's unlikely David Price will be able to pitch. The bad news is Justin Verlander is not set to pitch until Wednesday. The game is at Fenway Park and will air on FS1, with first pitch scheduled for shortly after 12:00 p.m. Central.