ALCS Game 1: Chris Sale pulled after four, Joe Kelly takes the mound


The Red Sox are taking on the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in Game 1 of their American League Championship Series. Refresh this page for the latest from Fenway Park.

Fifth inning: Astros 2, Red Sox 0

Top: Joe Kelly entered from the Boston bullpen, ending Chris Sale’s night on the mound. Josh Reddick’s pop fly to right field was caught by a sprinting Mookie Betts, followed by George Springer grounding out to Eduardo Nunez. Jose Altuve then popped out to Brock Holt to end the inning.

Fourth inning: Astros 2, Red Sox 0

Bottom: Andrew Benintendi took Justin Verlander to a full count, but struck out swinging. J.D. Martinez flew out to Josh Reddick in right field. Xander Bogaerts became the 10th Red Sox batter in a row to be retired by Verlander, ending the inning with a pop out to first base caught in foul territory.


Top: Chris Sale got Marwin Gonzalez to fly out to centerfield to open the inning. Carlos Correa struck out swinging for the second out, and Martin Maldonado’s strikeout gave Sale his own 1-2-3 inning.

Third inning: Astros 2, Red Sox 0

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Bottom: Jackie Bradley Jr. flew out to centerfield on the first pitch from Justin Verlander. Sandy Leon followed by striking out for the second out of the inning. Verlander completed another 1-2-3 inning, inducing a groundout from Mookie Betts.

Top: Alex Bregman drew a leadoff walk from Chris Sale. Yuli Gurriel popped out for the first out of the inning. Bregman was then thrown out at second by Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon, a decision that was upheld after review. Sale then got Tyler White to strike out to retire the side.

Second inning: Astros 2, Red Sox 0

Bottom: Justin Verlander started the inning by striking out Steve Pearce and Brock Holt. Eduardo Nunez then grounded out to Carlos Correa to end the inning.

Top: Tyler White was caught looking on strike three by Chris Sale to open the second inning. Marwin Gonzalez promptly lined out to second base for the second out of the inning. Carlos Correa drew a two-out walk, and Sale hit Martin Maldonado with a 96 mile-per-hour fastball to put two runners on. Another walk to Josh Reddick loaded the bases.


George Springer lined a full-count single past third base to score Correa and Maldonado. Jose Altuve then grounded into a fielder’s choice, retiring the side.

First inning: Red Sox 0, Astros 0

Bottom: Mookie Betts lined the second pitch of his leadoff at-bat into right field for a single. Andrew Benintendi flew out to left field for the first out. Betts advanced to second on a wild pitch by Astros starter Justin Verlander. After J.D. Martinez drew a walk, Xander Bogaerts grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Top: Chris Sale began his night by walking George Springer after reaching a full count. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were retired on fielders’ choices (Bregman’s was called after a review). Sale then struck out Yuli Gurriel to end the threat.

Jose Altuve was called out at second after a review.


  Kevin Youkilis threw out the first pitch.

Kevin Youkilis shakes hands with Dustin Pedroia after Youkilis threw out the ceremonial pitch.

The weather: It was about 50 degrees just before first pitch. Temperatures are forecast to drop well into the 40s.

Pregame scenes

Red Sox players warm up (background) while Fenway is reflected over a water spot over the bullpen bench.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora before the game.
Mookie Betts at batting practice.
It is chilly at Fenway, and Xander Bogaerts had his stocking cap on as he played some catch before batting practice.
Brock Holt had his sweatshirt on as he played some catch before batting practice.
Red Sox players warm up before Game 1.



LHP Chris Sale and RHP Justin Verlander are the starters. Peter Abraham wrote about the matchup and how both hurlers intend to stay on the mound as long as they can. “Obviously we both have very good bullpens and big arms on either side. But this is more, I guess, the traditional way to play the game, and the way I like to play the game,” Sale said Friday.

RED SOX (108-54 regular season, 3-1 ALDS) ASTROS (103-59 regular season, 3-0 ALDS)
Betts RF Springer CF
Benintendi LF Altuve 2B
Martinez DH Bregman 3B
Bogaerts SS Gurriel 1B
Pearce 1B Gonzalez LF
Holt 2B Correa SS
Nunez 3B White DH
Bradley Jr. CF Reddick RF
Leon C Maldonado C
Pitching: Sale (1-0, 2.84 postseason) Pitching: Verlander (1-0, 3.38 postseason)

Notable: Mitch Moreland is out of the lineup for the third straight game. Brock Holt is in the lineup, rather than Ian Kinsler. Against Verlander, Holt is 3 of 10 with two RBIs and two walks, and Kinsler is 8 of 43 with two doubles, an RBI, nine strikeouts, and six walks.

  Verlander led the Astros in wins (16), strikeouts (290), and innings pitched (214) in the regular season and led starters in ERA (2.52). Against the Sox this season: 0-0 in one start, striking out six and allowing two earned runs on three hits over six innings. ALDS performance: In Game 1, Verlander went 5 innings, striking out seven and walking two of the 20 batters he faced while giving up only two runs on two hits. He threw 102 pitches, 70 for strikes.

  Sale went 0-1 in one start against the Astros this season. He allowed four runs (one HR) on six hits and struck out six over six innings. Saturday night marks his third postseason start, his second against the Astros. In Game 1 of last year’s ALDS, he went five innings, giving up seven runs (three homers) on nine hits and struck out six over five innings.

  Other notes: Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi are available out of the bullpen tonight. The Astros won four of seven games against the Sox in the regular season. Here is Abraham’s full game preview.

Pregame reading

  How the Red Sox and Astros match up, position by position.

  Here’s a real MLB scout’s outlook on the Red Sox-Astros ALCS.

  Check out the Globe staff’s ALCS predictions.

  Dan Shaughnessy: How the Red Sox won us over, even (ahem) the skeptics.

  The Astros once let J.D. Martinez go, and he thinks “they did me a favor.”

  The managerial matchup of A.J. Hinch vs. Alex Cora will be fascinating.

  Can Martin Maldonado keep Red Sox base stealers in check?

  The Red Sox are betting they can fix David Price’s fastball and cutter.

  How the Sox and Astros stack up statistically.

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