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Red Sox and Astros ready to renew rivalry at Fenway

Houston has become a familiar postseason foe for Boston -- and, after last October, the Sox may be seeking to score some retribution.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Led by series MVP Yordan Alvarez, the Astros were a step ahead of Christian Vazquez and the Red Sox in last year's American League Championship Series, eliminating Boston from the playoffs for the second time in five seasons.

Each of the three times the Red Sox have reached the playoffs over the past five seasons, they’ve encountered the Astros in October. Houston eliminated Boston on its way to the World Series title in 2017. Boston then returned the favor en route to earning its rings in 2018.

In last year’s American League Championship Series, it looked for a moment like the Sox would take the rubber match, as well as the World Series berth that came with it. They were up two games to one, and held a lead in the eighth inning of Game 4. Then the bats went quiet. The pitching couldn’t contain the Astros’ best hitters in big spots. And Houston won the pennant.

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The Red Sox have really yet to recover, playing the first month like a team a long way from getting back within a couple wins of competing for a world title – but there soon nevertheless be a buzz when the teams renew their rivalry when the Astros come to Fenway for a three-game series.

The set opens on May 16, when the first 7,500 through the gates will be given a Red Sox headband. It continues the next night, then it’s worth noting that the series finale is an earlier start, with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 p.m. That makes the Wednesday night a more palatable option for those who have school the next morning.

Tickets for all three games were available at the time of publication, with plenty of seats available for less than face value on the secondary market. Granted, the games don’t matter quite as much as they would in the postseason, but tickets in the range of $20 would cost a fraction of what some were paying to watch the same two teams a few months ago. That seems like a pretty good deal — regardless of how poorly the Sox have been playing of late, or what October might eventually have in store.

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