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Alex Cora Fully Believes the Red Sox Are a Contender in 2021

Alex Cora met with the media both Thursday and Friday; Here’s what he had to say:

With the Red Sox coming off of a disappointing 2020 season, Alex Cora fully believes the Red Sox can compete this year in 2021, and said they aren’t trying to rebuild. “We have a good team, and we have a chance to play in October.” Cora said to the media on Thursday. “If a player here isn’t thinking about winning a championship, he better leave.” 

Cora also said with the Red Sox not having a guy assigned to the closer role yet, there will be a traditional closer. They have just not figured out who that is. Cora went into a deep discussion about Eduardo Rodriguez. Cora says he is looking good after spending the 2020 season out with Myocarditis, and that he’s happy for him. Alex said that the Red Sox aren’t taking any extra precautions with Rodriguez, and they have him labeled him as a full-go.

Cora highly praised Martin Perez, and how the Red Sox will benefit from him more as a teammate and leader than anything. He jokingly added as well that JD Martinez got “mad” at Cora, because Cora only bet $1 that Martinez will have a better 2021 than 2020, so Cora said he’d raise it up to $5.

Cora talked a lot about the challenges with Spring Training in the middle of the pandemic. As far as the situation, how they’re dealing with it, and what it’s like compared to a normal Spring Training.

When asked about the leadoff spot, Cora said “We have a few ideas.” and said he is confident some of his ideas will work. He said he was impressed with Verdugo’s 2020 season at the leadoff spot. Cora also said that he is prioritizing defense. And that they have to be better than they were in past years defensively.

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Red Sox Implode For 7 Runs In 9th Inning, Astros Even ALCS in Game 4 With 9-2 Win

Boston Red Sox
Boston - October 20: Relief pitcher Martin Perez in the ninth inning. The Boston Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the ALCS at Fenway Park in Boston on Oct. 19, 2021. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Red Sox were a strike away from going to the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at 2-2.

But, home plate umpire Laz Diaz — who has been one of the MLB’s worst home plate umpires behind the plate in call-correctness percentiles — called the 1-2 delivery from Nate Eovaldi to Jason Castro a ball, despite being in the top corner of the zone.

That set up a go-ahead RBI single from Castro, and Jose Altuve walked before Eovaldi was relieved by Martin Perez.

Boston only continued to bleed, as Michael Brantley, on the first pitch Martin Perez threw, ripped a two-RBI double into right field. The next four at-bats consisted of ten pitches, three hits and an intentional walk. When Perez finally stopped the bleeding, it was 9-2.

In a night where the Sox looked like they had a Game 4 win and were going into Wednesday with the chance to clinch, the loss guarantees they go back to Houston no matter what they do in Game 5.

Nick Pivetta dazzles

Nick Pivetta hurled five frames with ease, coming up big as he allowed just two hits despite only striking out three.

The one run he allowed was an Alex Bregman solo shot in the top of the first inning.

Xander Bogaerts puts Sox up early

After Rafael Devers worked a two-out walk, Xander Bogaerts smacked a two-run blast well over the Green Monster, 413 feet, to put Boston up 2-1.

Bullpen strong, but not strong enough

Adam Ottavino and Josh Taylor combined for a scoreless sixth, and it was turned over to Garrett Whitlock in the seventh.

Whitlock pitched a damage-less seventh, but Jose Altuve blasted a game-tying homer to lead off the top of the eighth. He finished the eighth, and Eovaldi came out for the ninth — where the meltdown began.

Four of the runs were charged to Eovaldi, but you have to question manager Alex Cora’s decision to bring in left-hander Martin Perez.

Bloggingtheredsox.com‘s Brendan Campbell notes an important stat here, as well.

(Photo of Martin Perez by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Red Sox Cruise To Blowout Victory In Game 3 Over Astros After Kyle Schwarber’s Grand Slam, Celebrate Alex Cora’s Birthday In Style

Boston Red Sox's Kyle Schwarber
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Kyle Schwarber #18 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with Christian Arroyo #39 after Schwarber hit a grand slam home run against the Houston Astros in the second inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 18, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox celebrated manager Alex Cora’s 46th birthday in style, with a 12-3 rout of the Houston Astros.

Boston’s six-run second inning was a main propeller in the blowout win. Alex Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe’s walks, plus a double from J.D. Martinez loaded the bases for the Sox, and Christian Vazquez came through with an opposite field base hit. It looked like Houston got out of the inning with Christian Arroyo’s weak grounder up the middle, but it was bobbled by Jose Altuve at second base — in which he could have turned an inning-ending double play.

Then came Kyle Schwarber, who, down 3-0 in the count, made Jose Urquidy pay with a back-breaking grand slam to make it 6-0. A grand slam that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for an error, in the ALCS, against a team wearing orange and navy, at Fenway? Quite similar to Shane Victorino’s grand slam in Game 6 of the 2013 ALCS that occurred because of Jose Iglesias — who oddly enough, was on the Sox for the end of this season — made a costly error that set up the Victorino slam.

After Hunter Renfroe stole second after a walk, and moved to third after a throwing error from Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, Vazquez added to his night with an RBI single before Christian Arroyo went deep to make it 9-3.

J.D. Martinez then proceeded to go deep in the sixth with a two-run blast, and Rafael Devers added to the slugfest with a solo shot in the eighth.

Eduardo Rodriguez’s strong six innings

E-Rod set the Sox up nicely for Game 4, giving the bullpen some rest as he hurled six three-run innings while fanning seven batsmen. He allowed five hits, one of which was a three-run jack off the bat of Kyle Tucker.

Nick Pivetta will start Game 4.

Bullpen strong

Hansel Robles, Martin Perez, and Hirokazu Sawamura hurling a trio of hitless frames saved even more arms for Game 4.

The Sox will be well-rested for their Game 4 showdown Tuesday night, at 8:08 p.m. EST.

(Photo of Kyle Schwarber by Elsa/Getty Images)

Celtics Nearly Finalize Their Roster Ahead of Season Opener

Boston Celtics
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 9: Jabari Parker #20 of the Boston Celtics high fives Juancho Hernangomez #41 of the Boston Celtics during a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors on October 9, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics have nearly finalized their roster ahead of Wednesday night’s season opener.

Following the conclusion of their preseason, the C’s waived a handful of players. The most notable waives were Garrison Matthews and Jabari Parker. Celtics fans believed these two players were the competitors to take the final roster spot but Ime Udoka had different ideas.

Matthews did not play much during the preseason meanwhile Parker was showing off his offensive skills. Unfortunately for Parker, he failed to impress in his final outing alongside the starting rotation. The C’s must not have valued Parker highly enough to warrant the $2.3 million guaranteed contract if he was rostered by the season opener.

The other players waived were Theo Pinson, Ryan Arcidiacono, Juwan Morgan, and Chris Clemons. These players are all joining the Celtics G-league affiliate, the Maine Celtics.

Boston filled both of their two-way contract slots by retaining the sharpshooting Sam Hauser as well as picking up Brodric Thomas.

Thomas played for the Rockets and Cavaliers last season. In his 28 appearances with Cleveland, Thomas averaged 4.1 points in 13.4 minutes per game.

The Celtics still have one open standard roster spot heading into the season. If the Celtics fill that spot soon they will have their official 2021-22 roster finalized as they look to secure banner No. 18 for Boston.

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Patriots Week 6 Notebook: An Avalanche of Yards Allowed, Situational Mistakes, and 4th Down Hesitancy

New England Patriots

The Patriots lose another imperfectly heartbreaking close game. That marks three of New England’s four losses coming within a score. Now at 2-4, the Patriots are still in the playoff hunt as the bottom of the AFC continues to struggle. The Patriots currently sit at 11th in the AFC, a game behind the seventh spot.

Realistically, the Patriots can only afford to drop two or three more games in order to earn that wild card spot. The offense put up a season-high in points. The defense, on the other hand, gave up the team’s most yards since the Patriots played the Eagle in the 2018 Super Bowl. What else lead to a walk-off loss in Foxboro?

What Went Wrong For New England Patriots?

Mixing up the Offensive line

The Patriots are not good enough to bench their starters. Isaiah Wynn, fine, he is underperforming. Michael Onwenu, however, needs to be on the field at all times. He is one of the highest graded players on the Patriots and James Ferentz is a practice squad player. The Patriots were driving in the 1st half; Mac Jones hit Jakobi Meyers for his first receiving touchdown to take a 21-7 lead…only to have it called back to a James Ferentz holding call. The next play, Yodny Cajuste lets Mac Jones get pummeled for a strip sack leading to a field goal. 10 point swing right there.

Yards Allowed

The Patriots defense was on the field for a long time. They kept New England in the game most of the time, but the Cowboys were able to get everything they wanted moving the football. The Patriots defense allowed the most passing yards of any other team in the 1st quarter this season. CeeDee Lamb averaged 16.6 yards per catch, Dalton Schultz averaged 15.8. The biggest play came down to 3rd and 24 in the 4th quarter. The Patriots needed to hold Dallas to a 10-15 yard play and instead the team gave up a 23-yard completion. This gave Dallas enough yards to kick the game into overtime.

Special Teams

That makes two games this year where the Patriots have given up a blocked punt.

4th Down

The Patriots punted on 4th and 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Two minutes left with a lead, run. the. ball.

What Went Right?

Red-Zone Offense

This week’s essentials list emphasized throwing the ball in the red-zone. The Patriots went 2-for-2 inside the 20, including a touchdown pass to Hunter Henry. That makes it three straight weeks with a red-zone touchdown pass to one of the tight ends. A good streak to keep going.

Defending the Run

The Patriots defense finally stopped the run against one of the league’s most dynamic backfield. Ezekiel Elliot was held to under 70 yards with only 4.1 yards per carry. Although the secondary got gashed, New England can build upon their rushing defense.

Red-Zone Defense

The Patriots “bend but don’t break” defense was on full display. The Patriots created two red-zone turnovers that kept the Patriots leading in the first half. Problem is, the Cowboys were in Patriots territory nearly every drive.

Losses in the 4th quarter or overtime come down to situational football. This week, the Patriots failed in situational football. When the Patriots had the lead and the ball with 2 minutes left in the game, they turned it over. When New England’s defense was gassed and worn, the Patriots punted on four 4th downs, all within four yards. These are plays New England cannot afford to leave on the field.

The Patriots will look for their first home win vs. the New York Jets next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

(Photo Ap/Michael Dwyer)

Patriots Suffer Rollercoaster Overtime Loss To Cowboys in Week 6, Move To 2-4

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 17: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Noah Brown (85) runs after the catch during the National Football League game between the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys on October 17, 2021 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After a rollercoaster of events, the New England Patriots fell short to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6 in overtime.

The Patriots got the ball right away despite deferring after holding Dallas on fourth-and-1. They were set up on the Dallas 34-yard line and made the Cowboys pay, as Damien Harris rushed for a four-yard touchdown after carrying it for 21 the play prior to the previous play.

The Cowboys found their way into the end-zone but Mac Jones found Hunter Henry for a 20-yard touchdown pass in the following drive which made it 14-7. Dallas was then able to drive their way downfield, but Dak Prescott was picked off by Kyle Dugger in the end-zone. The Pats weren’t able to take advantage of the change, though, as Jones found Jakobi Meyers in the end-zone for a 25-yard score, but it was called back due to a holding call. On the very next play, Jones fumbled it while being sacked — Dallas was then able to pick up a field goal to make it 14-10.

New England was held to a three-and-out, and the situation was only made worse when Jake Bailey’s punt was blocked. Luckily for the Pats, they took the lead into the half as the Cowboys fumbled on the one-yard line — the Pats got a touchback and drained out the clock.

After a trio of punts — two from New England — Dallas found themselves up 17-14 after a touchdown pass from Prescott to CeeDee Lamb. Dallas got the ball right back after a punt from the boot of Bailey, and made it 20-14 with a field goal. The Pats snatched the lead right back, though, as Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a one-yard touchdown with a little over six minutes left in the affair — New England had the 21-20 lead.

The Pats received some luck, as Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 51-yard kick but couldn’t take advantage of the golden opportunity as Jones threw a pick-six on the second play of the drive — Dallas defensive back Trevon Diggs took it back for 42 yards — as Dallas had the 26-21 lead after failing on the two-point conversion.

To add to the rollercoaster of events, on the first play Jones and the Pats had with the ball, the QB connected with Kendrick Bourne for a go-ahead, 75-yard touchdown pass. Jones then hooked up with Jakobi Meyers for the two-point conversion, which made it 29-26.

After a nine-play drive, however, Zuerlein drilled the game-tying kick with a 49-yard boot just 20 seconds left in the game. New England squandered the time on the clock, sending it to overtime.

Getting the ball, would be the Pats, but they would punt after a nine-play drive came up short that involved a crucial drop from Nelson Agholor. Prescott then found Lamb in the end-zone for a 35-yard, game-ending touchdown pass to cap off both a seven-play drive and Week 6 for both sides.

NOTES:

  • Mac Jones was 15-for-21, throwing for 229 yards
  • Damien Harris had 18 carries for 101 yards
  • Jakobi Meyers caught five passes for 44 yards
  • The Patriots had no sacks
  • Ja’Whuan Bentley led the team in tackles with 13 (12 solo)

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Patriots Inactives vs. Cowboys: Damien Harris Healthy, Joejuan Williams Healthy Scratch

Joejuan Williams
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 03: New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams (33) during a game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets on January 3, 2021, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2-3 New England Patriots host the 4-1 Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon. Here are your inactives:

New England Patriots Inactives:

G Shaq Mason

CB Shaun Wade

CB Joejuan Williams

RB J.J. Taylor

DE Ronnie Perkins

TE Devin Asiasi

Dallas Cowboys Inactives:

QB Will Grier

SS Israel Mukuamu

DE Bradlee Anae

WR Simi Fehoko

DE Dorance Armstrong

Patriots vs. Cowboys Inactives Notes:

J.J. Taylor (groin) and Shaun Wade (concussion) likely sit this one anyways, but they’re both out. Joejuan Williams and Ronnie Perkins are healthy scratches, along with the usual scratch of Devin Asiasi. Damien Harris (groin) plays today after being questionable.

(Photo of Joejuan Williams by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brad Marchand Leads Bruins To Opening Night Victory

It’s felt like forever since the Boston Bruins were knocked out of the NHL Playoffs by the New York Islanders. With that in the past, they looked to start their season off hot, a task in which they were successful. Boston started the game very much on the front foot, outshooting the Dallas Stars by double digits.

Jeremy Swayman was barely involved in the early goings. Unsurprisingly, Brad Marchand opened Boston’s account with less than three minutes to go in the first. He broke free on a breakaway, and slotted it past former Capital Braden Holtby.

Despite the complete domination, Dallas tied the game up at one halfway through the game. Center Luke Glendening tied the score at one on the assist from Kero. The Stars were not having their best game, but they found themselves in it anyway.

The third period was when the B’s turned on the jets, and started really knocking on the door. After plenty of chances, Nick Foligno threw it toward the goal, and it was Jake DeBrusk finding the game winning goal. Brad Marchand doubled his goal total on the night on an empty netter after an incredible deke to get him in behind. Boston sealed the deal on the penalty kill, and finished off a 3-1 win.

It seems that Jeremy Swayman has won the starting job from Linus Ullmark, and he showed why. Swayman saved 27 of 28 shots, and made the big plays when it mattered. The Bruins will now get three more days of rest, playing their second game of the season on Wednesday, in Philadelphia. They have by far the fewest scheduled games in the opening week of the season. The Atlantic Conference seems to be competitive early, so the two points is a great starting point.

Late Breakdown Propels New England Revolution Draw With Chicago Fire

New England Revolution

After almost three weeks off, rust is expected. That was the case for the Revolution, who came out slow and sloppy. But, it’s important to note that Adam Buksa and Tajon Buchanan did not start for New England, who are real difference makers for the team.

Despite the slow start, neither team found chances or goals in the first half. It was the unlikely scorer of Wilfrid Kaptoum that opened the scoring straight out of the second half. They came out with energy in the second frame, but it quickly faded. Jhon Espinoza served up a perfect cross-in for Alvaro Medran, who volleyed home the equalizer just a minute later.

In minute 76, the Revs clapped back again. Carles Gil finally got back onto the assist sheet, lobbing a left-footed ball in behind the trio of Chicago center-backs. Gustavo Bou was the beneficiary, chipping 17-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina to secure the lead, which again wouldn’t last for long. In the final minutes of regulation, Ignacio Aliseda patiently moved into the box. He quickly fired, and Matt Turner made a very uncharacteristic mistake. Turner was unable to push away the shot that was fired very much in his direction, and the game was level once again. Chicago has had an effective season series with the Revs, grabbing two draws.

The Fire have drawn the Revs 2-2 on two occasions this season, and would’ve had another 2-2 result if not for Carles Gil’s game-winner a few weeks ago at Soldier Field. The tie does not hurt their aspirations in any way, as the competing Supporter’s Shield candidate Seattle Sounders suffered a shocking loss against the Houston Dynamo. Seven more points would now clinch the first ever piece of MLS silverware for the Revolution. They have a quick turnaround, visiting DC’s Audi Field on Wednesday at 7:30 PM EST.

No. 22 North Carolina State Beats Boston College 33-7 | The Associated Press

Boston College Football
CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 16: Boston College Eagles quarterback Dennis Grosel (6) is sacked by NC State Wolfpack defensive end Ibrahim Kante (52) during a college football game between NC State Wolfpack and Boston College Eagles on October 16, 2021, at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) — Thayer Thomas knew the pass wasn’t intended for him. Then he realized he had a chance to catch it.

“On that play I’m not even a viable option,” Thomas said after his leaping catch from Devin Leary on a broken play led to a 79-yard touchdown that helped No. 22 North Carolina State beat Boston College 33-7 on Saturday night.

“It’s kind of just like a scramble play,” Thomas said. “My job is to set the pick for somebody coming underneath me. Devin just went right, he found me and I just had to kind of make a play for him.”

The game was tied 7-7 with just seconds left in the first half when the Wolfpack ran their kicking unit out to squeeze in a 27-yard field goal before time expired. They then added three touchdowns in the third quarter — two of them off back-to-back BC turnovers — to turn a tie game into a 31-7 blowout.

N.C. State added a safety in the final four minutes to seal its third straight victory. Coach Dave Doeren said he hopes it sends a message to those who doubt whether the Wolfpack (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are for real.

“I mean, look, I can’t control the lack of respect that we seem to get, publicly. We know about it. Out team recognizes that people don’t think we’re good,” he said. “We’re going to end up where we’re supposed to be at the end of the year, and people will think what they think.”

Leary threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns, also completing a 40-yard scoring pass on the opening drive on a throw that bounced off the back of the defender before Devin Carter gathered it in.

The Wolfpack made it 17-10 when BC punter Grant Carlson muffed the snap after the Eagles’ opening possession of the second half, and Devan Boykin picked up the ball and ran in from 34 yards out. After Isaiah Moore intercepted Dennis Grosel on a pass that bounced off the receiver’s hands, Leary hit Dylan Parham from 4 yards out.

“The 14 points, like that,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said, snapping his fingers, “we just couldn’t recover from. We were down at that point 24-7, and just felt like a little bit too much at that time.”

On N.C. State’s next possession, Leary scrambled right and lobbed the ball about 10 yards downfield, where Thomas leaped in front of tight end Christopher Toudle, brought the ball down and ran it the last 61 yards for the score.

Thomas caught four passes for 122 yards, and Emeka Emezie had two catches to become the Wolfpack’s all-time leader in pass receptions, with 203.

The Wolfpack tackled BC running back Peter Stehr in the end zone with 3:39 left for a safety.

Grosel completed 21 of 39 passes for 194 yards for the Eagles (4-2, 0-2), who have lost back-to-back games against ranked teams since opening the season with four straight wins.

EARLY ACTION

The Wolfpack scored on the opening drive when Leary’s pass bounced off the back of defender Elijah Jones. Carter grabbed it with his left hand and scooted the final 7 yards for a touchdown before Jones realized it was a catch.

Grosel connected with Trae Barry on the Eagles’ first possession for an 8-yard touchdown — BC’s only score of the game. Christopher Dunn kicked a 27-yard field goal at the end of the first half to give N.C. State a 10-7 lead.

The Eagles had possession to start the second half, but the drive stalled at their own 42. When Carlson went to punt, he dropped the ball and Boykin scooped it up for the score that made it 17-7.

BC drove for what appeared to be another score when Barry grabbed a 14-yard pass from Grosel in the end zone. But as he came down, the defender knocked the ball loose.

Even as the referees signaled that it was incomplete, the celebratory fireworks went off anyway

Connor Lytton followed by kicking a 32-yard field goal attempt wide to the left.

THE TAKEAWAY

After starting the season with four wins — three of them against non-Power 5 teams, Boston College is looking for its first conference victory. Back-to-back road games against Louisville and Syracuse offer little relief.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With losses by No. 17 Arkansas, No. 19 Brigham Young and No. 20 Florida, the Wolfpack could move into the Top 20 for the first time since 2018.

UP NEXT

N.C. State: At Miami on Saturday.

Boston College: At Louisville on Saturday.

(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Grand Slams From J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers Help Red Sox Beat Astros, Even Up ALCS in Game 2

Boston Red Sox
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 16: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox reacts with Alex Verdugo #99, Rafael Devers #11, and Kyle Schwarber #18 after hitting a grand slam home run during the first inning of game two of the 2021 American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

A pair of grand slams had the Red Sox up early, and they never looked back as Boston took Game 2 of the ALCS over the Astros Saturday afternoon to even up the series at a game apiece.

Kyle Schwarber, who Alex Cora put in the leadoff spot, doubled to lead off the affair before a pair of walks from Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo brought up J.D. Martinez with the bases loaded. Martinez, on a 1-0 delivery from Luis Garcia, Martinez lined an opposite field grand slam just over the right field wall to give the Sox the early 4-0 lead.

Kevin Plawecki began the top half of the second inning with a walk, and in came Jake Odorizzi as Garcia left with an apparent injury. A pair of singles from Christian Arroyo and Kiké Hernandez loaded the bases, and Devers made Houston pay, as he golfed a grand slam that just barely made it fair, putting the ‘Stros in an early 8-0 hole.

Hernandez made it a nine-run lead with a solo shot in the fourth — adding to his already impressive postseason campaign.

Nathan Eovaldi was solid, hurling the first three bottom halves with ease but scampered into some trouble in the fourth. With two outs, the right-hander walked Yordan Alvarez before allowing a pair of hits to Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker which put Houston on the board. Yuli Gurriel cut the Houston deficit to six with a two-run single.

Eovaldi hurled a scoreless fifth — he started the sixth, but let up a one-out single to Yordan Alvarez before getting relieved by Adam Ottavino — who cleanly finished out the frame.

Garrett Whitlock hurled a scoreless seventh and eighth. Darwinzon Hernandez had the ninth, but he served up two solo homers to Gurriel and Jason Castro — Ryan Brasier grabbed the final out of the affair to give Boston the series-tying win.

Game 3 will be on Monday, at 8:08 p.m. EST, in Boston. Jose Urquidy will be on the mound for the ‘Stros, while Boston’s starter has not been announced yet.

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)