Red Sox

Here’s everything that happened in the Red Sox’ Game 1 ALCS loss to the Astros

Rafael Devers walks off the field after the Red Sox lose Game 1. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

Despite Kiké Hernández’s best efforts, the Red Sox fell to the Astros, 5-4, in Game 1 of the ALCS.

A three-run third inning, which started with Hernández’s solo home run, gave the Red Sox a 3-1 lead, which they held until the sixth when Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer off Tanner Houck. Houston took the lead in the seventh when Carlos Correa hit a solo homer off Hansel Robles and extended their lead in the eighth with Altuve’s sacrifice fly.

Hernández cut the Astros’ lead in half in the ninth, hitting his second solo home run of the day to start the inning. But Kyle Schwarber, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers all grounded out against Astros closer Ryan Pressly to go down in Game 1.


Hernández ended the day going 4-for-5, with a double and a single accounting for his two other hits.

Chris Sale, who started Game 1 for Boston, lasted just 2 2/3 innings. He gave up a run in the first but was able to avoid major trouble for the rest of his outing. Sale gave up one run on five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts on Friday.

Game 2 will take place on Saturday afternoon at 4:20 p.m.

Here’s everything that happened in the Red Sox’ Game 1 loss to the Astros:

Kiké Hernández homers again (Astros lead 5-4):

Kiké Hernández is making an early case to win the ALCS MVP. After hitting a homer earlier in the night, the Red Sox’ center fielder crushed one to left to cut the Astros’ lead to 5-4 in the top of the ninth. He’s now 4-for-5 in Game 1.

Bottom of the eighth (Astros lead 5-3):

Hirokazu Sawamura was called out of the Sox bullpen to start the eighth and it wasn’t pretty.

Sawamura walked Gurriel and gave up a single to McCormick to begin the inning. Maldonado attempted to bunt the runners into scoring position, but Sawamura hit him to load the bases up with no outs.

Altuve hit a hard line out to center and Hernández’s throw home to get Gurriel out was just late, giving the Astros a 5-3 lead.


Martin Perez relieved Sawamura and got Brantley to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to get out of the inning without further damage.

Middle of the eighth (Astros lead 4-3):

With righty Kendall Graveman entering the game to pitch for the Astros, the Red Sox pinch-hit righty Hunter Renfroe for lefty Danny Santana. Santana worked the count full, but on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, he struck out swinging.

Verdugo flew out to left-center for the second out. Arroyo was able to get on with a single that was misplayed by Bregman and Correa to get into left field.

As Gravemann remained in the game, Travis Shaw pinched-hit for Christian Vazquez. He was feet away from giving the Red Sox the lead as he hit a loud fly out to right that even had Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck sounding like it was gone.

The Red Sox will get one more shot with the top of the order up in the ninth.

End of the seventh – Carlos Correa hits a solo shot to give Houston the lead (Astros lead 4-3):

Hansel Robles appeared to have the inning under control. The fast-throwing right got Bregman and Alvarez to ground out and strikeout, respectively, to begin the inning.

Robles got two strikes on Correa. But the sixth pitch – a changeup – Correa belted into the Crawford Boxes. The shortstop celebrated his 350-foot home run before it landed, pointing at his wrist and said to his Astros teammates “It’s my time” before rounding the bases.

Robles got Tucker out to end the inning, but the Astros now carry the lead entering the eighth.

Middle of the seventh (Game tied 3-3):

Lefty Brooks Raley entered the game in the seventh for the Astros with two lefties due up for the Red Sox in the inning. He failed to get the first lefty out as Schwarber singled to left.


However, Raley struck out Bogaerts and got Devers to fly out to center. Ryne Stanek relieved Raley to face Martinez, who grounded out to short to end the inning.

As we reach the seventh-inning stretch, the Red Sox have another reliever entering the game as Hansel Robles comes on for the bottom half against the Astros’ 3-4-5 hitters.

End of the sixth – Jose Altuve’s home run ties it (Game tied 3-3):

Tanner Houck entered the game in the sixth and got Gurriel to fly out to the catcher.

McCormick got on in the next at-bat, though, hitting a single up the middle that grazed Arroyo’s diving glove. He attempted to steal second on Houck’s first pitch to Maldonado and would’ve likely been safe, but Maldonado ripped a foul ball. Maldonado got just a bit under Houck’s slider, flying out to left for the second out of the inning.

Altuve made up for his third-inning error on the first pitch he saw against Houck. Altuve crushed Houck’s middle-of-the-zone slider 382 feet to left to tie the game.

Houck put away Brantley, getting him to strikeout looking at a slider, but the damage was already done to the Red Sox’ lead.

Middle of the sixth (Red Sox lead 3-1):

Phil Maton entered the game for the Astros in the sixth and walked Verdugo in the first hitter he faced. The Red Sox nearly caught some luck when Arroyo laid down a bunt and Astros catcher Martin Maldonado failed to make a play. But replay showed that Maldonado barely tagged Arroyo, giving the Red Sox a runner at second with one out.

Vazquez moved Verdugo to third with a soft groundout to short. Hernández, who was 3-for-3 in the game entering his at-bat, was put out for the first time on the evening, striking out at a high fastball to end the inning.

End of the fifth (Red Sox lead 3-1):

With two lefties due up for the Astros, the Red Sox called Josh Taylor into the game for the fifth.


Hernández wasn’t able to make another great diving catch in center on Brantley’s line drive, putting him on first to begin the inning.

Taylor went down 3-1 in the count to Bregman, but got a questionable strike two call in his favor to load the count. Bregman hit a pop fly to shallow center that almost led to Hernández and Arroyo colliding, but Hernández made the grab with his arm extended to record the first out.

Taylor’s night ended when he struck out Alvarez, who couldn’t check his swing on a high fastball.

Ryan Brasier came in to face Correa, who hit a groundball single to left. Tucker nearly tied the game up when he hit a fly ball to right-center. Hernández nearly overplayed the ball, lunging back to his right to make the grab and end the inning.

Middle of the fifth (Red Sox lead 3-1):

While the Red Sox aren’t playing in Tropicana Field anymore, they almost had another Tropicana Field moment when Devers hit a high fly to right. Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker appeared to lose the ball for a moment, but he was able to avoid disaster to make the grab.

Martinez looked at three strikes to strikeout. The last two were fastballs on the opposite lower corner, with Martinez showing a bit of frustration after he was called out.

Renfroe struck out on the ensuing at-bat, chasing a fastball that was high-and-inside to end the inning.

End of the fourth (Red Sox lead 3-1):

Ottavino came back on for the fourth and recorded the first 1-2-3 inning by either side. He got McCormick to strike out swinging at his fastball, Maldonado flew out to right, and Altuve hit a weak ground ball to second to end the inning.

Middle of the fourth (Red Sox lead 3-1):

With righty Cristian Javier now pitching for the Astros, Vazquez struck out for a second time on the evening to begin the inning.


Hernández continued his impressive night – and postseason – with a double to left, which looked like a home run off the bat on the Fox broadcast.

But Schwarber and Bogaerts struck out swinging, ending the threat.

End of the third (Red Sox lead 3-1):

Sale had another long battle with Bregman to start the inning. He threw to straight strikes before throwing three straight balls before getting Bregman to ground out to short to start the inning.

Two straight singles by Alvarez and Correa put Sale in trouble again, though. Sale struck out Tucker in the next at-bat, which was the last hitter Sale faced on the night.

Adam Ottavino came on to face Gurriel, who grounded out to second to end the inning.

Sale’s final line: One run on five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings pitched.

Middle of the third (Red Sox lead 3-1):

The Red Sox added to their lead following Hernández’s home run.

Following Schwarber’s groundout, Bogaerts walked and Devers moved him to second with a single. J.D. Martinez hit a simple groundball up the middle but Altuve couldn’t field it cleanly. Bogaerts took advantage of the miscue and scored from second.

Renfroe padded onto the lead, hitting a double along the left-field line to score Devers and move Martinez to third.

Valdez’s night ended after he struck Verdugo out swinging. With Yimi Garcia replacing Valdez, Arroyo struck out swinging to end the inning.

Valdez’s final line: Three runs (two earned) on six hits, three walks, two strikeouts, and a home runs over 2 2/3 innings pitched.

Kiké Hernández ties it up:

Right after making a great defensive play, Kiké Hernández made a great offensive play.


The center fielder crushed Valdez’s curve to left-center, hitting it 448 feet for a solo home run to tie the game.

To add another element to it, the Fox broadcasting crew was interviewing Astros manager Dusty Baker as Hernández hit the home run.

End of the second (Astros lead 1-0):

Sale got Kyle Tucker out to start the inning via fly out in foul territory, but he gave up two straight singles to Yuli Gurriel and Chas McCormick. He hit Martin Maldonado in his first pitch to him to load the bases.

But Sale bounced back in a big way. He got Altuve to strike out swinging on a slider. He got some major help to get out of the inning. Brantley hit a pop fly to center that was dropping quickly. Hernández got on his horse though and dove to make the catch, keeping the score at 1-0.

And now, Hernández gets a chance to get things going for the Sox in the third as he’ll lead off the inning.

Middle of the second (Astros lead 1-0):

Alex Verdugo drew another full count against Valdez before hitting an opposite-field single against the shift. Christian Arroyo drew another full count, but grounded right into a 6-4-3 double play.

Christian Vázquez also loaded up the count, looking at three straight balls to start his at-bat. Valdez battled back though, getting Vázquez to swing-and-miss at a curve to strikeout and end the inning.

In his first time through the Red Sox order, Valdez has thrown 39 pitches (20 strikes), giving up three hits and two walks with one strikeout.

End of the first (Astros lead 1-0):

Chris Sale’s first batter didn’t go as he hoped. He threw a five-pitch walk to Jose Altuve. Sale’s one strike in the at-bat came on a 94 mph fastball, which Altuve fouled off. All three of his sliders were balls.

Sale bounced back in the next at-bat with Michael Brantley lining out to center. He threw three straight fastballs in the at-bat, two landing for strikes and topping out at 96 mph.

Alex Bregman put Sale back in a hole, though. The third baseman went ahead 3-1 in the count, looking at three straight balls after swinging and missing at a slider. He pulled Sale’s inside fastball for a single on the fifth pitch, giving the Astros runners at first and second with one out.

Sale put himself in trouble against Yordan Alvarez. His 98 mph fastball moved runners to second and third. After looking at three straight fastballs to load the count, Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Altuve and put Houston up 1-0.

Sale was able to close the inning by getting Carlos Correa to ground out to second. In the seven-pitch at-bat, Sale threw five fastballs, with Correa making contact on all five. Sale threw his first changeup of the at-bat, which was the only ball he threw against Correa.

Through one inning, Sale’s thrown 29 pitches.

Middle of the first inning:

Kiké Hernández got the series started with a single to left-center, but Kyle Schwarber ground right into a 4-6-3 double play to negate the leadoff hit.

Xander Bogaerts drew a walk in his first plate appearance of the series, looking at two straight curveballs low-and-inside to get on base. Rafael Devers extended the inning with a pop-up to shallow left field as Astros third baseman Alex Bregman couldn’t hustle to make the catch in time. Bogaerts advanced to third on the single.

J.D. Martinez drew another walk on a full count to load the bases up for Hunter Renfroe with two outs. But Renfroe wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunity, hitting a fly out to left-center to end the inning.

A couple of things to notice with Valdez after one inning. He’s already thrown 21 pitches with the Sox working the count multiple times. Valdez’s curveball hasn’t been too sharp, either. Four of the nine he threw in the first resulted in strikes with just one swing-and-miss plus a few in the dirt.

Now, we see what Chris Sale’s got.

8:05 p.m.

Game times for the rest of the ALCS have been released.

Game 2: 10/16 4:20 p.m.

Game 3: 10/18 8:08 p.m.

Game 4: 10/19 8:08 p.m.

Game 5: 10/20 5:08 p.m.

Game 6: 10/22 8:08 p.m.

Game 7: 8:08 p.m.

8 p.m.

Final predictions for the series are rolling in. On the Fox pregame set, Hall-of-Famer Frank Thomas is picking the Red Sox, citing Astros ace Lance McCullers’s injury as a reason why the Sox will take the series. Alex Rodriguez is picking the Astros to win in seven.

And, as expected, David Ortiz is picking the Red Sox to move on, picking his old team to win the series in five games.

7:55 p.m.

The Red Sox have been introduced in Houston and the Astros’ crowd has a mixed reaction when Alex Cora was introduced.

7:35 p.m.

Still need to get hyped up for Game 1? “Boys in the Hood” actor Morris Chestnut narrated an intro video for Fox ahead of Friday’s game.

7 p.m.

Chris Sale put up solid numbers in his nine regular-season starts after returning from Tommy John surgery (5-1 with a 3.16 ERA), but the star pitcher had arguably the two worst outings of his career in his last two starts. Sale pitched 2 1/3 innings in his final regular-season start, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks against the Nationals. In Game 2 of the ALDS, Sale only pitched one inning, allowing five runs on four hits and a walk, giving up a grand slam to Rays hitter Jordan Luplow. Sale hasn’t pitched against the Astros this season.

Framber Valdez had an impressive season for the Astros, going 11-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts. He was even more impressive in his two starts against the Red Sox this season, going 2-0 in both starts. Valdez pitched 14 1/3 innings over those two starts, allowing just two earned runs on 10 hits, two walks, and 18 strikeouts.

In his lone start in the ALDS, Valdez pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, one walk, and six strikeouts against the White Sox.

With the lefty on the mound, right-handed hitter Kiké Hernández will hit in the leadoff spot for the Red Sox and lefty Kyle Schwarber will hit second. Schwarber will get the start at first tonight, leaving Bobby Dalbec the odd man out in the carousel between Schwarber, Dalbec, J.D. Martinez (who’ll DH), and Alex Verdugo (who’ll play left field) in Game 1.

Here’s the Red Sox’ full starting lineup:

1. Kiké Hernández CF

2. Kyle Schwarber DH

3. Xander Bogaerts SS

4. Rafael Devers 3B

5. J.D. Martinez DH

6. Hunter Renfroe RF

7. Alex Verdugo LF

8. Christian Arroyo 2B

9. Christian Vázquez C

The Astros will start six right-handed hitters against Sale in Game 1. Here’s the Astros’ full starting lineup:

1. Jose Altuve 2B

2. Michael Brantley DH

3. Alex Bregman 3B

4. Yordan Alvarez LF

5. Carlos Correa SS

6. Kyle Tucker RF

7. Yuli Gurriel 1B

8. Chas McCormick CF

9. Martin Maldonado C

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