12 Oct 2018, 05:04 IST
BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox hope home-field advantage makes a difference after consecutive Division Series eliminations.
Boston started the postseason Zero-2 at the street at Cleveland in 2016 and once more at Houston final yr.
By profitable a club-record 108 video games this season, the Red Sox ensured home-field advantage in the course of the postseason. They break up at house in opposition to the Yankees final weekend, swept a couple of video games in New York to advance and open the AL Championship Series in opposition to the World Series champion Astros on Saturday night time.
Chris Sale begins for the Red Sox and Justin Verlander for the Astros.
Sale gave up seven runs in final yr’s opening Eight-2 loss to Houston, together with two house runs by means of Jose Altuve and by means of Alex Bregman. Sale made an extraordinary aid look in Game four at Fenway Park, changing Rick Porcello to get started the fourth inning with Boston trailing 2-1. After Andrew Benintendi’s two-run homer put the Red Sox forward, Sale allowed Bregman’s tying house run main off the 8th and a one-out unmarried to Evan Gattis, who gave Houston the lead for just right when he scored on Josh Reddick’s unmarried in opposition to Craig Kimbrel.
“Going through that the last two years helped,” Brock Holt. “We’re better because of what happened last year.”
Boston was once 57-24 at Fenway Park this yr, the most productive house list within the primary leagues, and Sale has a 1.29 ERA and .199 fighters’ batting reasonable in his final 8 house begins.
“I think he just feeds off the crowd and he just feels more comfortable at home,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts mentioned.
Boston received the AL pennant in 4 of the six instances it opened the Championship Series at Fenway, in 1975, 1986, 2007 and 2013, the final two en path to World Series titles. The Red Sox failed at this level in 1988 and 1990.
“It’s a big difference to be able start at home against a good team,” Holt mentioned.
With its quirky dimensions that come with the Green Monster in left, Fenway can also be tricky for visiting groups defensively. Marwin Gonzalez has performed simply 24 regular-season innings in left box at Fenway plus the 2 video games final October.
After beating the 100-win Yankees, the Red Sox face the 103-victory Astros. The handiest different yr Boston met a couple of groups within the postseason with triple-digit regular-season wins was once in 2004, when the Red Sox beat the Yankees (101) to develop into the primary primary league workforce to rebound from a Three-Zero postseason deficit, then swept St. Louis (105) for his or her first name since 1918.
Red Sox supervisor Alex Cora mentioned thus yr’s win over the Yankees supplies a psychological spice up, particularly after the Game 2 loss at house.
“I think we grew up as a group,” he mentioned.
Cora was once Houston’s bench trainer final yr sooner than he was once employed by means of Boston.
“Like Verlander said in spring training, to get to the World Series, you have to go through Houston,'” Cora mentioned. “Here we are.”
Notes: 1B Mitch Moreland, who injured his proper hamstring in Game 2 in opposition to the Yankees whilst operating the bases, participated in batting apply on Thursday. “He’s feeling better,” Cora mentioned. “We’ve still got time to see where we’re at with him. Hopefully he keeps getting better and he’ll be ready to go on Saturday.” … 3B Eduardo Nunez seemed to injure himself whilst making the throw to first for the overall out Tuesday. “He’s OK. I think he slipped on that play, but then he was jumping up and down celebrating,” Cora mentioned.
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower
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