Two of the best teams in the American League saved their best show for last, while the Astros and the Red Sox ended their season streak with a wild, long (3 hours 47 minutes) and eventful match at Fenway Park on Thursday. evening.
A managerial red card, a fan on the pitch and a 211-foot infield fly tell only part of the story. Six changes of advantage, three base-loaded walks and a 315-foot home run say more. Eventually, a particularly distinctive semi-inning in sixth Boston overtook Houston, 12-8, preventing an Astros sweep.
“It’s been a tremendous shift in emotions about eight times,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker, referring to a game that has had more edge changes than any other in MLB this season. “We’re cheering one moment and moaning a little the next. It was a strange match. The whole game was very strange. It is hard to explain. “
The Astros struck first when Yuli Gurriel’s volley in the second inning hit Pesky’s post on the right. At 315 feet, according to Statcast, he was the second-shortest home run by the Majors this season (ahead of Carlos Correa’s only 310-foot home run at Fenway two days earlier).
Boston regained the lead in the lower part of the second before the teams ping-ponged control of the game for the following frames. Zack Greinke was chased after three innings, his shortest outing of the year, although that was still enough to make him the innings leader in the AL (85 2/3).
The lead was back in Houston’s hands, at 8-7, at the bottom of the sixth – after Jose Altuve played a solo home run on a 0.85-foot pitch – but he wasn’t going to stay that long.
With one out and a runner in third, Kyle Tucker dropped a wind-lashed ball to the right. The next hitter walked four shots, before another super high ball was dropped, this time by Correa. But since Correa had been camped under the popup, even several meters in the outfield, an inside fly was declared.
“I could tell they were in trouble by the way they moved and the way their feet moved,” Baker said of the wrong flying balls. “Boy, it was a tough inning and a tough night for us.”
Tucker said the ball he was hit was “fading” and “knuckling” as he made his way back to the infield.
“But in any case, I still have to try to catch that ball,” he added.
Enoli Paredes came in for Houston and issued a walk, a hit-by-pitch RBI walk, and an RBI walk. As if that weren’t bad enough, Paredes also left the game with “problems behind him,” said Baker, which manifested themselves during Paredes’ final launch.
The next launch, the first of the night for reliever Brooks Raley, was lasered from the Green Monster by Bobby Dalbec of Boston for a double of two points. This gave the Red Sox enough cushion to carry them forward and helped Fenway’s 23,000-plus fans take a collective deep breath.
Houston was not done huffing and puffing yet, as Baker was sent off in the seventh inning following a strange double-cross.
With Yordan Alvarez in first position, Gurriel appears to have committed a foot fault. He also hopped on one leg for a moment, selling the deed. But the ball rolled into fair territory and was not pronounced dead. Boston catcher Christian Vázquez threw first to force Gurriel out, while a confused Alvarez was then touched near second base. Baker left the bench for a brief but lively rebuttal.
“I said a few magic words,” Baker later explained. “I thought the ball hit Yuli, then I heard it didn’t hit him. But the way Yuli reacted, I thought it hit him. … That was when I went out. I usually don’t go out if I don’t think I’m right. “
He lost the argument and Houston lost the game. However, the Astros go on to the third and final destination of their trip (Minnesota) as winners in eight out of 11. Their hot stretch includes five wins in seven games against the Red Sox, a feat not lost on their competitors despite the Thursday result.
“The fact that they beat us, yes, they did – three out of four [in Houston], two out of three here, “said Red Sox manager Alex Cora.” They have a good baseball team. Those guys, I feel like they’re about to take off as a team over there. They are a complete team, offensively they are very dangerous. “