BOSTON, Massachusetts (USA TODAY) — The Boston Red Sox held off the New England winter for at least another day, pummeling the Houston Astros, 10-3, at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon to avoid a sweep in their American League Division Series.
Rookie Rafael Devers hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the third. But it was David Price who saved the day for the Red Sox.
Price, Boston’s $30 million-a-year lefty, has been the center of much controversy this season. But on Sunday he was exactly the pitcher the Red Sox needed.
Price entered in the fourth inning and pitched four scoreless innings with the Red Sox holding a precarious one-run lead against an Astros offense that scored eight runs in the first two games of this ALDS.
He gave up four hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Price had runners on base in each inning, but he kept the Astros off the scoreboard as Boston tacked on six seventh-inning runs. Price threw 57 pitches, 37 for strikes. It was the most pitches by a Red Sox reliever since Tim Wakefield threw 64 in Game 3 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.
Game 4 is Monday at Fenway Park.
The most trouble Price faced was in the fifth, when Houston’s first two batters – Josh Reddick and Jose Altuve – reached on consecutive singles. But Price retired the next three batters – Carlos Correa, Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Bregman – to hold the Astros in check.
The Astros jumped on starter Doug Fister in the first inning – as they did with Boston starters Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz in Games 1 and 2. Fister faced six batters in the first, giving up three runs, including a two-run homer to Correa. Fister lasted just 1 1/3 innings.