BOSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve hit a tying home run in the eighth inning and the Houston offense awakened with seven runs in the ninth on Tuesday night as the Astros came back to beat the Boston Red Sox 9-2, evening the AL Championship Series at two games apiece.
Six outs from falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series and facing a Game 5 in Fenway Park — where Boston hadn’t lost all postseason — the defending AL champions instead guaranteed themselves at least one game back in Houston.
In a series that had been dominated by offense — especially Boston’s — the teams traded first-inning homers and then both pitching staffs put up six straight zeros on the Fenway scoreboard before Altuve’s leadoff shot in the eighth.
Carlos Correa doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Jason Castro's two-out single in the ninth. But that was just the beginning for Houston, which had seen Boston bully its pitchers for 10 homers in the series, including a record-setting three grand slams that turned Games 2 and 3 into routs.
After Alex Bregman hit a solo homer into the Green Monster seats in the first, Xander Bogaerts topped it with a towering, two-run drive onto Lansdowne Street in the bottom half to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
Then, the pitchers took over: It was still 2-1 when Altuve led off the eighth with a homer against Garrett Whitlock.
Game 2 winner Nathan Eovaldi, making his first relief appearance since he was coming back from an injury in 2019, came on for the ninth and gave up Correa’s leadoff double. With two outs and two on, Castro singled in Correa to give Houston the lead.
And the Astros just kept on scoring.
Michael Brantley hit a three-run double. Yordan Alvarez added an RBI single. Correa reached on a run-scoring infield single. Kyle Tucker singled in another run.
The Red Sox, who were the first team in major league history to have double digits in hits six straight times in a single postseason, had just five on Tuesday — two of them trailing by seven in the ninth.
Eovaldi took the loss, allowing four runs while recording just two outs. Kendall Graveman, the fifth Houston pitcher, threw two scoreless innings for the win.
Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press