The Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros 4-1 in Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday night to win the series and advance to the World Series for the first time since 2013.
Boston won the final four games of the series after Houston scored a 7-2 win in the opening game at Fenway Park last Saturday.
Price Earns First Postseason Win
In Game 5, the Red Sox got a strong performance out of starting pitcher David Price, who shut down the Astros for six innings. Price struck out nine and allowed only three scattered hits to record his first postseason win in 12 playoff starts. Before Thursday�s game, he was 0-9 with a 6.16 ERA in his postseason career.
�That�s cool. That�s awesome,� Price told reporters, speaking about finally securing his first playoff win. �I don�t have to prepare myself for that in spring training, Feb. 20, or when September rolls around every year and I�ve still got five regular season starts left. I don�t have to answer that question anymore, so that feels good.�
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he was glad to see Price finally break through, which should end the stories about his disappointing postseason numbers.
�I don�t want to pick battles with the media, but I heard somebody on TV just blasting David, blasting him, calling him the worst pitcher in the postseason,� Cora told reporters after the game. �But you know what? I�m happy that David showed up. And tomorrow, we can turn the page and move on to the World Series with David Price.�
The Red Sox took an early lead on a solo homer by J.D. Martinez in the third inning. But Astros pitcher Justin Verlander kept his team in the game, keeping Boston from extending their advantage until the sixth inning.
That�s when Rafael Devers broke the game open with a three-run shot. The home run silenced the Houston crowd, and while the Astros still had time to mount a comeback, it felt as though the writing was on the wall. While a Marwin Gonzalez solo homer in the seventh inning gave the Astros a brief spark, solid relief performances by Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel closed out the series for Boston.
Bradley Named ALCS MVP
After the win, Red Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was awarded with the ALCS MVP award. Bradley totaled only three hits in the series, but two of those were home runs, including a grand slam off Roberto Osuna in Game 3.
�There�s nobody on this team that I can think of in baseball that deserves it more than Jackie,� Price said after the game. �One, the player that he is. And two, more importantly, the person that he is. He continues to work. He continues to grind.�
The Red Sox will host either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Milwaukee Brewers for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Currently, the Dodgers hold a 3-2 lead over the Brewers in the NLCS, with Game 6 scheduled for Friday.
Regardless of which team they play, Boston will go into the World Series as a significant favorite. The 108-win Red Sox are a 4/7 favorite to win a championship this year according to William Hill.