The Boston Red Sox once again failed to lock up the American League East division on Friday night when they fell 3-2 to the Houston Astros for the second straight night.
Sox starting pitcher Doug Fister was on the mound and looked solid in what would be his final outing before the playoffs begin. Despite giving up three runs, he looked better than fellow starting pitchers Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Fister did get himself out of a jam in the first inning when he had runners on second and third base, but kept the game scoreless when he got out of the inning unscathed.
The third inning is when the Astros took a 1-0 lead after designated hitter Carlos Beltran drove in right fielder Derek Fisher before they took a 3-0 lead in the fifth when third baseman Alex Bregman hit a towering two-run home run onto the Green Monster.
The Red Sox started to chip away at the lead in their half of the fifth when third baseman Rafael Devers drove in first baseman Mitch Moreland with an RBI double.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia then brought his team within one when he hit an RBI groundout to make the score 3-2.
Down 3-2 in the sixth inning with the bases loaded, Boston failed to capitalize on Houston’s dominant bullpen and could not capitalize in the ninth inning after designated hitter Hanley Ramirez hit a double to give Boston some life – but Devers grounded out to end the game.
With the loss, Boston fell to 92-68 while Houston improved to an impressive 100-60 on the season.
Fister’s final line: 5.1 innings pitched giving up five hits, three runs, one walk and five strikeouts.
Magic number to clinch the division: 1
Game MVP: Doug Fister: He looked confident on the mound and gave Red Sox Nation some hope heading into the playoffs as to who would be your Game 3 starter.
Fun fact: Relief pitchers David Price, Carson Smith and Craig Kimbrel have combined for 24.1 innings of work with 35 strikeouts, six walks and zero runs.
The Red Sox look to get back in the win column and put away the division yet again on Saturday afternoon against the Astros when they send Drew Pomeranz (16-6, 3.38 ERA) to the mound to oppose Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3, 4.01 ERA).
First pitch is set for 1:05 pm..