Red Sox's Cora ejected from Game 1 of ALCS

Red Sox's Cora ejected from Game 1 of ALCS

Chris Sale struggled, Alex Cora was ejected, the defense had a few misplays and the offense had just three hits against Justin Verlander and a trio of relievers. What he did bring to the table was bushels of moxie and guile as he somehow, someway, survived four innings and allowed only two runs on one hit.

Instead, the Astros salvaged whatever momentum they had left when Benintendi watched strike three clip (or not clip) the outside corner. When he left after throwing 86 pitches, it was hard not to wonder just what Sale will have left in his tank if he's needed again in this series.

"I disagree that it was a strike", Cora said after the game, "but I don't know". Sometimes the most obvious outcome simply comes to pass. Now the pitcher with a career 5.28 ERA in the playoffs is tasked with out-dueling Gerrit Cole, the Astros' co-ace who struck out 12 across seven innings against Cleveland in his lone ALDS start. When Bregman crossed the plate four batters later courtesy of Carlos Correa's single, he appeared to glance out at Kelly, and then into the Red Sox dugout.

Game 1 ended up hinging on two freakish and slow half-frames-the bottom of the fifth and the top of the sixth-in which Boston tied things up against Verlander, only to give the lead right back to Houston.

There were two out, two on and two runs already in when Justin Verlander threw a 98 miles per hour fastball to Benintendi near the outside edge for strike three. Reddick and Gurriel homered off Brandon Workman. The second run came on a Verlander wild pitch.

"The tying run scoring was a little disappointing", Verlander said.

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- Optimistic note: Teams that have lost Game 1 of the ALCS over the last 18 years have gone on to win the series eight times, including the 2013 and 2004 Red Sox teams. In game one, the Sox 'pen issued six walks, hit two batters and allowed five runs in five innings of work. "We've got D.P. on the mound and we got a bunch of guys in here that are fired up over tonight".

Both of these incidents took place at around the same time and he has not had similar outbursts that we know of.

Saturday night's ALCS matchup will certainly be more memorable than most for umpire Joe West.

Price, 16-7 in this year's regular season, has two postseason wins in relief in his career.

"Alex told me before we even got off the field that night" that he would get another start, Price said before the game.

Veteran MLB umpire Joe West got in the way of an errant throw to second base by the Red Sox catcher, who was attempting to nab an Astros player stealing. "But you rarely see it. (Umpires are) part of the play, you have to account for it, but I was not expecting him to get hit". Betts, Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts went a combined 2-for-15 with a walk.

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