Tue, Oct 10, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Astros not panicking after 10-3 defeat

AP, BOSTON

Josh Reddick of the Houston Astros fails to catch a Boston Red Sox three-run homer in the seventh inning of Game 3 of their American League Division Series at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

For the first two games of their American League Division Series, the Houston Astros followed a simple blueprint in taking a 2-0 series lead against the Boston Red Sox — score early and let the pitching take care of the rest.

They successfully did the first part again in Game 3 on Sunday, but for the first time in the series their pitching was not enough to tame Boston in a 10-3 loss.

The Astros are still just one win away from their first trip to a league championship series since 2005, but they are also expecting even more fight from a Red Sox team that finally resembled the club that has won back-to-back American League East crowns.

Houston arrived in Boston thinking about a sweep. With that now off the table, the Astros say they are digging in and are prepared to do whatever is necessary to advance, and that means not deviating from doing what got them to this point.

“We try to win. That’s not changing,” manager A.J. Hinch said about potential tweaks to the game plan for Game 4. “There are no secrets between the two of us. I think we know what we’re going to get.”

The Astros again scored first, putting up three runs in the first inning, including a two-run homer by Carlos Correa — the side’s fourth first-inning homer of the series.

It would have grown to 6-0 in the second, if not for Mookie Betts reaching over the right-field wall to take away a home run from Josh Reddick.

“It was like a knockout punch if that ball goes out, but Mookie did a great job, and their team came back and put amazing at-bats together,” Correa said.

Most of those good at-bats came at the expense of starter Brad Peacock.

He entered the game having allowed two runs or fewer in 16 of his 21 starts during the regular season, including his previous seven outings.

Instead, he looked like the pitcher that had given up 12 earned runs in 12-2/3 innings pitched at Fenway Park.

He lasted only 2-2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and six hits.

His teammates did not fare much better, with replacement Francisco Liriano giving up a two-run homer to rookie Rafael Devers that put Boston in front.

Lance McCullers, who was 7-4 in 22 starts this season, made his first career relief appearance when he entered the game in fourth with Houston trailing 4-3, but any realistic hope Houston had of getting back in the game vanished in the seventh.

That is when Jackie Bradley Jr curled a three-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole out of the reach of Josh Reddick to make it 10-3.

“Nothing you can do. You get one taken away from you and you give one right back,” Reddick said. “It’s just one of those things where it doesn’t go your way.”

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