Astros' Valdez goes 8, beats Red Sox 9-1 for 3-2 ALCS lead

Framber Valdez lost the perfect game in the fifth and then bounced the next pitch off of the batter's foot.

Astros' Valdez goes 8, beats Red Sox 9-1 for 3-2 ALCS lead

Astros manager Dusty Baker set off for the summit.

Valdez stated, "It was more surprising than anything," noting that a manager visit usually signals the end of his night. "I looked back at the bullpen to check if anybody was there. I was surprised to see that nobody was there.

Valdez stated, "He just came out of nowhere and said to me, 'You know what're doing out there, so just breathe.'" "He gave me the confidence I needed to leave the inning."

It's much more.

The Houston left-hander was perfect through four and then took a two-hit shutout into seventh to become the first postseason pitcher to complete eight innings. This led the Astros over Boston 9-1 on Wednesday, giving them a 3-2 lead in AL Championship Series.

Houston's Yordan Alvarez was a hit-and-run hitter with three RBIs. Houston could be clinching a second trip in three years to the World Series if it wins at home Friday night.

To force Saturday's decisive seventh game, the Red Sox must win.

Red Sox starter Chris Sale stated that "We returned to Boston exactly where it was we wanted: We were 1-1." "Not in a favorable spot going back to Houston. It's not hard to see why, but this team has won back-to-back playoff games and we believe we can do it again.

The Astros scored seven runs in the ninth inning to break the tie. But, one day later, Fenway Park saw another odd number. They chased Sale and scored five runs in the sixth. Alvarez had a two-run double and homered in the second. He also singled in the fourth.

This was enough for Valdez who extended his staff's shutout streak at 14 innings. Rafael Devers then homered in the seventh, one of only three Boston hits.

Valdez left the Red Sox after retiring them in order in the eighth. Baker stated that it made him feel great to prove that starters still have the ability to make an impact on a game.

He said, "Today it was in Framber's hands." "This was in the hands Framber and, actually, in the hands Alvarez."

Valdez allowed one run on three hits and one walk, while striking out five. Valdez was also the first opponent pitcher to go eight innings in a postseason game at Fenway since Charles Nagy, from Cleveland, did eight in 1998's Division Series.

Ryne Stanek pitched an excellent ninth inning while Houston's resting relievers rested. Astros starters didn't last three innings in this series. They had a 18.90 ERA for the first four games, and gave up 10 homers. This includes a record-breaking three grand slams.

Valdez did not fare much better. He allowed two earned runs in Game 1's 2 2/3 innings.

"I didn’t get frustrated at any point." Valdez stated that she wasn't down on herself. "I worked hard all the time, and I knew that I would have a better day. That's exactly what I did tonight.

On Wednesday, Valdez retired the 12 first batters -- eight on grounders and four on strikeouts. Devers was the first to reach the fifth. Valdez then bounced the pitch from J.D. Martinez's leg. The Astros won when Hunter Renfroe crashed into a double play, and Alex Verdugo bounced out at first.

Baker stated, "Everybody knew that he had a no hitter. Then they get a hit and then he hits a batter." "That's when you really have to calm him down and take the air out of the ball because the crowd was getting into it. He threw up another double-play pitch, and then he returned to the game.

Sale began almost as well. He allowed just two hits in his five-inning debut, both to Alvarez. To start the sixth, he walked Jose Altuve. Then Michael Brantley subbed one towards third. Devers fielded the ball and made the throw on time, but Schwarber dropped it first. Altuve, however, jumped up to take off for third.

Brantley advanced to second with a groundout to the pitcher. Alvarez then doubled to left scoring two runs to make it 3-0. Ryan Brasier struckout Carlos Correa, before giving up an RBI double and a two-run run to Jose Siri to make it 6-0.

Brantley scored a RBI single in the seventh. Gurriel added two RBI singles in the ninth.

Sale was charged with four runs, two earned, on three hits and two walk. He struck out seven over five 1/3 innings.

He said, "I was good for five and then I sucked to one." "I had a job I needed to do when I came into this game. But, it didn't happen. It was all I did tonight.

After winning seven consecutive postseason games at their home, the Red Sox lost an eighth-inning lead on Tuesday night. Under Alex Cora, they had never lost two consecutive postseason games.

NEXT

Boston will be starting Nathan Eovaldi on Friday, the winner of Game 2, but who came on as a relief player and lost in Game 4. Baker stated that he was still undecided on who would be the starter.

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