Just as the Red Sox had the day before, Sunday saw the Astros turn in a less than championship performance at Fenway Park, as Houston fell to Boston 7-5 in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. Was it the cool fall weather? Was it nerves? Whatever it was, Astros ace starter Gerrit Cole seemed out of sorts from the very pitch, allowing Mookie Betts, the first Red Sox batter, to double, and the team itself to score twice in the bottom of the first inning. Not for the last time, Houston gamely battled back in the top of the second, thanks to a walk to Carlos Correa, a double by Martin Maldonado, and double by George Springer that scored both.
And just one inning later, after Yuli Gurriel singled, Marwin Gonzalez vaulted a homer over the Green Monster, putting the Astros ahead 4-2, but the Sox quickly battled back in the bottom of the inning, as Jackie Bradley Jr. stroked a three-run double, putting Boston ahead 5-4.
A passed ball charged to Maldonado allowed Betts to score in the bottom of the seventh, and Betts added another run with a double in the eighth. For their part, the Astros tried to mount a comeback in the ninth when, with two outs, Springer doubled and then, after taking third on a wild pitch, came home on a single from Altuve. The final batter of the game, as it happens, was Alex Bregman, who narrowly missed sending it into extra innings, skying a ball to left that looked like it might leave the park but was instead caught by the Sox’sAndrew Benintendi.
It wasn’t the far from the Astros’ best postseason showing, but hey, you can’t win them all. In any event, warmer temperatures and a warmer crowd are both on the way, as the series shifts this week for three games at Minute Maid Park.
The American League Championship Series continues on Tuesday afternoon with Game 3 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The first pitch will be at 4:09 p.m. local time, and the game will be televised on TBS.