The Astros Just Keep Rolling over the Red Sox

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The Astros jumped on Pomeranz with a two-run Carlos Correa homer in the first.

It's not loser-go-home in the American League Division Series openers, but the Game 1 victor in a best-of-five series has gone on to win 71 percent of the time. "His slider was hit and miss today".

When it comes to clinching the division this weekend the Red Sox and everybody within the organization knew that they had to win.

It was just the 10th time a player has hit three homers in a post-season game, and first since Pablo Sandoval for the Giants in the 2012 World Series opener against Detroit. Altuve scored when Correa homered in the first.

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In Houston, Jose Altuve had just arrived in the Astros dugout after launching his third home run of the game when George Springer grabbed his right biceps and examined it, as if searching for an explanation for his teammate's extraordinary pop. Four of the extra-base hits came with two strikes, a career high and a stark contrast from the regular season, when he gave up more than one two-strike extra-base hit in only one start. Los Angeles counters with lefty Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32), who had a 2.77 ERA at home this year. The Astros are a unsafe offense with guys who can hit up and down the lineup. The same can be said for Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel followed those up with three straight 3-up-3-down innings, allowing him to save his pitch count and stay in the game to finish with 96 total pitches. He responded with a 14-3 record in his next 24 starts, compiling a 2.85 ERA. In Game 2, the Red Sox mustered up just two runs despite eight hits. Game 2 starters are yet determined, but it will be intriguing the whole series. But Pomeranz was rocked by the Astros on Friday. Following his exit, Houston tacked on four runs in the sixth.

Starters have not yet been named for Game 4 or 5, and despite starting 33 games during the regular season, Rick Porcello might not be one of those starters, pitching an inning of relief on Thursday. Pomeranz struggles made Sale's performance look like a walk in the park.

"I think that's where you kind of feel it out", he said. He has a different feeling entering the playoffs this year after a trade just before the deadline for players to be eligible for the postseason brought him to Houston for another shot at a ring at age 34. That has been the idea for Devenski all year long, though it's worth noting that now he might have some help from Lance McCullers Jr., if manager A.J. Hinch opts to use McCullers out of the 'pen.

Hanley Ramirez waved a "Believe in Boston" flag during pregame introductions, drawing cheers from a Fenway Park crowd fearful of a second straight postseason sweep.

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On the other side, Cubs Manager Joe Maddon said the club would stick with Tuesday starter Jake Arrieta if the game is bumped back. Going back to the regular season, he is 5-2 with a microscopic 0.74 ERA and 73 Ks in 60 2/3 innings over his last nine starts.

First pitch: 2:38 p.m. If there is a Game Four, it will be played at noon Houston time. It's a tall order, for sure, but an order still possible because of the yeoman's work by Price on Sunday.

For the Yankees to crawl back into this series, they'll need Judge to start putting the ball into play or into the stands.

The Astros lead the series 2-0. Game 3 is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM Central and can be seen on FS1.

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