Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today

Astros Season Ends After Game 5 Loss

Price tosses a gem as Devers and Martinez homer to send Sox to the World Series

October 18, 2018 - 10:44 pm

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- The Boston Red Sox ended the Astros World Series title defense Thursday night with a 4-1 win in game five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park.

After winning the series opener Saturday night at Fenway Park, the Astros 2018 season ended with four straight losses, the last three coming at home as they fall to the Red Sox four games to one.

With their season on the line, the Astros sent Justin Verlander to the mound, and working around a 2-out walk in the first, he struck out Mookie Betts with the bases loaded in the second to keep the Red Sox off the board, but the Red Sox got to him in the third. 

Andrew Benintendi struck out to begin the inning, and it looked like Verlander had J.D. Martinez struck out as well, but an 0-2 slider that appeared to be in the strike zone was called a ball by home plate umpire Chris Guccione, and Martinez launched the next pitch over the Crawford Boxes to put Boston up 1-0, and the score stayed that way until the sixth.

Mitch Moreland started the inning with a double and after Ian Kinsler singled him to third, Rafael Devers homered into the Crawford Boxes to increase the Red Sox lead to 4-0. Verlander allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. It marks just the second time the Astros have lost a playoff game that Verlander pitched, and on the other side, Red Sox starter David Price was brilliant.

Price did not have a win in the first 11 postseason starts of his career, but that changed on Thursday. The Red Sox lefty held the Astros scoreless for six innings, allowing just three hits. He struck out nine without walking a batter.

Matt Barnes retired the first two Astros he faced in the seventh, but Marwin Gonzalez ended the shutout bid with a solo homer to cut the lead to three runs. Tony Kemp walked after the homer to end Barnes' night as Red Sox manager Alex Cora turned to game three starter Nathan Eovaldi. He ended the inning by getting pinch hitter Josh Reddick to fly out to deep right.

Eovaldi came back out for the eighth and was able to keep the Astros off the board despite George Springer's 2-out single, and Craig Kimbrel walked one in a scoreless ninth to send the Red Sox back to the World Series for the first time since 2013.

Martinez and Moreland finished with two hits.

Houston was held to five hits with Yuli Gurriel coming up with two of them. Springer's eighth inning single extended his postseason hitting streak to 14 games.

Roberto Osuna tossed three scoreless innings out of the Astros bullpen.