The Boston Red Sox have not won a postseason contest since the clinching game of the 2013 World Series and are in danger of being swept out of the American League Division Series for the second straight October. The Red Sox will try to begin a climb out of a 2-0 hole in the best-of-five series when they host the Houston Astros in Game 3 on Sunday.
Boston finished second in the AL with a 3.70 ERA this regular season but surrendered eight runs in each of the first two ALDS games in Houston as starters Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz combined to allowed 11 runs in seven innings and serve up five home runs. “These guys are all coming out swinging and swinging at a lot of stuff, being very aggressive, and every time we’ve made a mistake, they’ve made us pay for it,” Pomeranz told reporters. The Astros, who will send Brad Peacock to the mound Sunday against the Red Sox’s Doug Fister, led the majors with 896 runs scored in the regular season and every spot in the lineup provided at least one hit over the course of the first two games. “We have a number of guys that have contributed,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters. “So obviously you’re seeing what’s possible when we link things together and the hitters start to feed off of one another. We have a lot of guys that are putting up really good at-bats.”
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Doug Fister (5-9, 4.88)
Peacock gets the Game 3 start largely because of his consistency after he held his last seven opponents to two or fewer earned runs. The 29-year-old, who began the season in the bullpen, did not yield more than five hits in any of his five starts in September and earned the win in each of the last three. Peacock started at Fenway Park on Sep. 28 and held Boston to two runs on four hits and a walk in five frames.
Fister was chosen over Eduardo Rodriguez and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello despite going 0-2 with a 9.18 ERA over his last four starts. The California native, who was signed by the Red Sox as a free agent in June, enjoyed a four-start stretch from Aug. 22 through Sep. 6 in which he allowed a total of five runs in 30 innings. Fister suffered a home loss to the Astros on Sep. 29 and is 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA in nine career postseason games (eight starts).
1. Red Sox RF Mookie Betts aggravated a wrist injury Friday and is day-to-day.
2. Houston 2B Jose Altuve is 5-for-7 with three homers, four RBIs and five runs scored in the series.
3. Boston finished last in the AL with 168 home runs in the regular season and has yet to go deep in the playoffs.
PREDICTION: Astros 6, Red Sox 4