Mitch's Sports Report: Pearce And Bradley Belt Clutch Homers In Red Sox Game Three Win Over Astros
Don't let the final score fool you. The Boston Red Sox 8-2 win over the Houston Astros last night was a nail-biter.
The lion's share of game three was a pitcher's duel between Houston's Dallas Keuchel, and Boston's Nathan Eovaldi, who gave manager Alex Cora exactly what he needed in going six innings while giving up six hits and two runs in just his second career playoff start.
One of those two runs went for a hit but sure looked like an error when third baseman Rafael Devers tried to backhand a bouncer hit by Alex Bregman that hopped over his glove and allowed the tying run to score in the fifth. Devers had replaced an injured Eduardo Nunez, who also had adventures defensively at third and failed to turn a double play that led to Houston's first run.
Their counterpart Bregman, meanwhile, played sparkling defense at third and it looked as though his bat and fielding gems might be the difference in the game, but Steve Pearce came up in the top of the sixth and hit a solo home run off reliever Joe Smith that gave the Red Sox a slim 3-2 lead that would last all the way into the 8th inning.
Ryan Brasier pitched a clean seventh as he continues his solid work out of the pen, and in the top of the 8th the Red Sox got an infield single from Xander Bogaerts, a single by Devers, and then with Houston manager AJ Hinch deciding to bring in his closer Roberto Osuna, the game got broken wide open.
Osuna hit pinch hitter Brock Holt in the foot to load the bases and then another pinch hitter, Mitch Moreland, took one for the team literally, catching a fastball off his arm to drive in a run and make it 4-2.
But there were two outs and Osuna could have kept the game close by getting Jackie Bradley Jr. out with ducks still on every pond. Instead, JBJ went duck hunting and didn't miss, blasting a high fastball deep into the stands in right field for a grand slam that put the game away, and the Red Sox now lead the series two games to one with Rick Porcello hoping to extend that lead when he takes the hill for Boston tonight against Charlie Morton.
In L.A., the demise of the Dodgers has been put on hold. One night after a dispiriting 4-0 loss to Milwaukee, the Dodgers played deep into the night, a five hour extra innings contest that was tied at one until Cody Bellinger delivered a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the Dodgers a much-needed 2-1 victory that ties their series against the Milwaukee Brewers at two games apiece.
And there will be some tired players on the field because game five is this afternoon with Wade Miley going up against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who's developing a reputation he doesn't want as a pitcher who's phenomenal in the regular season and gets shelled come playoff time. Kershaw has a chance to put that narrative to bed when he makes the start this afternoon. Miley has been excellent in his post season starts for the Brew Crew.
The NBA tipped off its new season last night and what a welcome sight for Boston Celtics fans: Gordon Hayward not getting injured in his debut like last year when he broke his ankle in the first five minutes of his first game as a Celtic, missing the entire season. But he stayed healthy last night, as did Kyrie Irving, who missed last year's playoffs with injury, and the Celtics cruised to a 105-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers as Jayson Tatum poured in 23 points to lead all Boston scorers.
In women's college soccer Saint Michael's fell to Le Moyne 1-0, and the St. Mike's Field Hockey team lost by that same score to Franklin Pierce.
In men's college soccer, Plattsburgh State beat SUNY Canton, 3-1 with freshman midfielder Ankit Patel scoring an eventual game winning strike that was also his first collegiate goal.