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Red Sox

Astros vs. Red Sox commentary, scores, stats and highlights: Championship Series

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez celebrates the end of the seventh inning with first baseman Yuli Gurriel against the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Boston. (AP Ph

Astros vs. Red Sox Game 5 ALCS

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Stats don't mean much but still...

Houston have absolutely flipped the script on Boston, taking two of the three played in Fenway. The series goes back to Houston tomorrow and the Astros are one win away from the World Series. Boston have a slightly harder hill to climb but can certainly do it.

With one out to stay alive, Bogaerts stands in and grounds it to Gurriel who steps on the bag to put this one to be. Houston wins 9-1

Schwarber gets behind in the count 0 and 2 and then, as you would expect, sees nothing but garbage. Every ball in the dirt. He stays picky and doesn't bite. He fouls off the few that are close. After running it full, and in the 8th pitch that he faces, he sends a long fly ball to the warning track in center. Jose Siri hauls it in for the second out.

Kyle Schwarber steps in to try and spark something for the Red Sox.

Ryne Stanek takes the mound to try and close the game out. He faces Kiké Hernandez who pops out to right center.

Siri hits a rope to third base and Devers takes the short throw to second for the force out to end the inning. We go to the bottom of nine, Boston trailing by 8.

The Astros have now scored 17 unanswered runs in the series.

Siri steps in with runners on first and second with two outs.

Gurriel now to face Pérez with the bases loaded and slaps the first hit to center field. Two runs score and Houston is up 9-1.

Tucker gets the count to 2-2 when he hits a broken-bat hit to second. Arroyo makes the force throw to the plate and gets the second out.

Correa is intentionally walked to fill the gap at first after the runners advanced on the previous play. Tucker will now come up with the bases loaded and one out.

He is first-ball swinging and hits it straight back at Pérez. It ricochets off him and he makes the only play available to him, getting the out at first.

He draws the walk and we now have men on first and second with Yordan Alvarez coming to the plate with nobody out.

Alex Bregman takes his spot in the batter's box and works the count.

Martin Pérez comes in to close out the side for Boston and is greeted with a first pitch single to center by Brantley.

We move now to the ninth inning and the Astros are up 7-1

Christian Vazquez, who has one of the three hits of the game for Boston, is up now and takes one to the deep warning track in left. It is reeled in by Brantley for the final out.

Arroyo comes to the plate and offers a fly ball into right, no problem for Tucker. Two away.

Verdugo hits a ground ball to Altuve and is thrown out at first.

Dusty Baker stays with his man Valdez to start the eighth. He will face Verdugo who is 0 for 2 on the night.

It has been nearly a half hour since the Astros were in the field. Will they stick with Valdez? Will he still have his stuff? That is a very long time for a pitcher who has been on his game to cool off.

The next ball is roped to left field and dealt with by Verdugo to end the inning.

Altuve hits one a country mile just foul. It came that close to being a grand slam.

Mighty Mouse, Jose Altuve comes to the plate. The bases are loaded with two out.

Sawamura loses him and the walk loads the bases.

Maldonado is 0 for 3  tonight and gets the count to 2-2 before Sawamura throws one in the dirt. The baserunners advance and are now on second and third.

Jose Siri has a tough at-bat, fouling off the close ones and running it to 3-2. He gets the delivery and takes a massive cut, coming up empty handed. Two gone now for Boston.

Gurriel will now face the new pitcher and he hits a rocket back up the middle for a single. Runners now on first and second with only one out.

Next batter Tucker manages to draw the walk and it looks like Hernandez will now make way for the ace Japanese reliever Hirokazu Sawamura.

Correa chases what was probably ball four to take the count full. He grounds the payoff pitch to third for a routine putout at first.

Hernandez faces Correa to lead off the top of eight.

Valdez has thrown seven spectacular innings of baseball. Two walks, two hits, one run. For the first four he was unhittable. His night is probably done, but he deserves a tip of the hat for a superb day's work.

He hits to Altuve and Houston turns the 4-6-3 double play to get out of the inning.

With a man on first and one out, Hunter Renfroe takes the lumber.

Devers' shot to right

Martinez stands in and manages to draw the walk. There are cracks showing and Houston's bullpen finally shows some signs of life.

Devers comes up and finally does some damage to Valdez, taking the second pitch to the yard! Shutout is over, 7-1.

Houston are still leaning on their starter Framber Valdez and why not? He gets Bogaerts to ground the first delivery to third base. Bregman makes the throw and Houston have one away.

We go into the seventh inning stretch with Boston needing something to happen at the plate, trailing as they are 7-0.

He goes high and runs the count full. The payoff pitch runs the inside corner and Alvarez is caught looking!

Darwinzon Hernandez gets the nod and will face Alvarez. Yordan is 3 for 3 on the night with a homerun and 3 RBIs.

With dangerman Yordan Alvarez coming to the plate, Alex Cora decides to turn to his bullpen and that will be it for Robles.

Bregman breaks his bat on a ground ball to short and Boston turns the double play. Two outs now.

Alex Bregman stands in now, 0 for 2 with a walk on the evening.

Brantley flares the next ball into shallow center. It falls in for a single, scoring Altuve.

With Altuve now on second, Robles can focus on the man at the plate and he deals a strike.

Robles tries to pick off Altuve and it squirts away from Schwarber! Altuve takes second on the error. Brantley has yet to face a pitch.

Robles has thrown three pitches to the same spot. 97 mph fastballs outside corner at the knees, only one was called a strike. He throws it again and Altuve slaps it into right for a single.

Hansel Robles takes over for Boston to face the top of the Houston order.

Kyle Schwarber comes in and nails one, right on the screws, but straight at Yuli Gurriel for the final out. The Red Sox have now stranded two as we move to seven.

Kiké Hernandez hits a routine fly ball to right for the second out.

Vazquez hits a shot down the left field line for a double. He is only the second baserunner of the night for Boston.

In the last 14 innings, Boston have been outscored 14-0

The Fenway crowd is subdued. Stunned is more the word. They have the look of someone who can't quite take in what they are seeing. After Games 2 and 3, they could be forgiven for daring to hope that Boston were head and shoulders the better team. But after last night and what they are seeing here, they can't be sure of anything anymore.

He hits a shot to left but it is reined in by Verdugo and the Red Sox are finally out of the inning.

Maldonado goes in to see if he can get his bat working tonight.

Houston has now scored five runs in the sixth, three of them with two outs.

Jose Siri comes to the dish with two in scoring position and he comes out swinging blooping one into right! Both baserunners score!

Gurriel slaps the first pitch that he sees int the right field corner for a double! Alvarez scores from third and Tucker is held, men on second and third with two outs.

He is first pitch swinging and hits a chopper to the second base side into a heavy shift. Bogaerts has to play it and Tucker beats it out! Men on the corners with two outs.

Correa goes down on a low fastball. Two down and that brings up Kyle Tucker.

With Alvarez on second, Brasier will face Correa with one out.

That will be it for Sale, as Alex Cora makes the switch and brings on Ryan Brasier to get a handle on this.

Yordan Alvarez knocks one into the left field corner to score both baserunners. Houston leads by three.

Bregman grounds out as Altuve holds at third and Brantley advances to second.

Crazy play! Altuve takes off on a hit and run, the ball is put into play on the infield grass. Devers plays the ball to first and Altuve never breaks stride, rounding second and heading for third. Schwarber bobbles the throw and everyone is safe! First and third, nobody out.

Altuve comes up to lead off six and starts it by drawing a walk, the second one given up by Sale.

Apparently, we are hearing that there was someone with a light behind the outfield wall which is what gave the umpires concern last inning.

Verdugo steps up to try and push Devers across the plate. He can't do it! Ground out to first base. Boston strands one, but they have begun to chip away at Valdez at the end of five.

This is the first sign of any wobble that Valdez has shown. He now faces Renfroe with men on first and second.

The first two are in the dirt before Hunter hits into a 6-4-3 double play. Devers advances to third base with two outs.

The crowd comes alive and Valdez hits Martinez with a pitch.

In any event, they seem to be ok to continue and Devers leads off with the first Boston hit of the night, poking one through to right.

The umpiring crew is meeting and pointing at the wall before we start four. Not sure what they are concerned about.

In the top of five, Gurriel, Siri and Maldonado swing early, and wind up giving cheap fly ball outs. The Red Sox get out of the inning in quick succession.

Bogaerts grounds out to second and the pitching record has an extra element. Not only has everyone been out, but everyone has been out on hits in the infield. Nothing has made it to the outfield at all, no fly balls.

Schwarber grounds out to first and that perfection becomes 11 batters.

That is a history-making out: Framber Valdez is now perfect through the first ten batters, no hits, no walks, no errors. That is the first time that anyone has ever done that in post-season history in Fenway against Boston.

Bottom of the fourth and Valdez faces the top of the order, retiring Kiké Hernandez with a routine ground ball.

With two out, Tucker comes to the plate and Sale jumps on him with two big strikes.

He throws high heat, 98MPH at the top of the zone and Tucker takes a cut and comes up empty. What a big out! Sale is pure emotion, screaming as he walks off. That is a huge danger avoided by Boston.

Correa comes up with men on the corner and Ottavino is now up and taking sides for Boston. Three straight strikes and Correa sits down. That is big-time in this situation! You cannot overstate how difficult it is for a pitcher to come back from a walk and a big hit with those pitches.

Now with a runner on first and one out, Alvarez comes to the plate. They throw him high and tight and he runs the count to 3-1.

Christian Vazquez tries the catcher's pick to first to keep Bregman honest.

The 3-2 is a heater and Alvarez takes it to the monster for a long single, moving Bregman to third.

Bregman took a lot of pitches in his first at-bat before grounding out. He comes up now showing that same restraint, taking one, successfully checking his swing on another, fouling two off.

He runs the count full and he hits  the payoff pitch a ton, but foul. He watches ball four and goes to first on the first walk of the game. Great at-bat.

Michael Brantley has been Mr Reliable at the plate for Houston this season. Tonight he has struck out twice and he gives Boston the first out of the inning.

Christian Vazquez is up and takes three cuts and sits down. The Sox go in order and we move to four, Houston leading 1-0.

Arroyo grounds out to third for out number two.

The bottom of the third inning starts with a long Verdugo foul that only missed being extra bases by inches. He hangs in and manages to hit one down the other baseline, fielded by Gurriel for the putout. One down in three.

Altuve now at 0 for 1, having flied out with the first pitch of the game. He shows more discipline this time and works the count full. The payoff pitch comes in and is fouled off. Another payoff and same result. Once again and we are here again. He faces his ninth pitch and swings big, coming up empty.

Jose faces as many pitches in that at bat as were thrown in the entire first inning.

Maldonado grounds out to third in a routine play for the second out.

We head to three and Jose Siri steps in to lead off and quickly falls behind 0-2.

He stays tough, taking one and fouling another off. The 1-2 pitch misses by a mile. He reaches for the next pitch and Sale takes it himself, calling off Schwarber!

The real hero of the 2nd inning.

Hunter Renfroe has a strong at-bat, fighting off the low stuff, running the count to 2-2 before watching a breaking ball strike three to end the inning.

JD Martinez follows up with a strikeout on five pitches for the second out of the inning.

Devers comes out first pitch swinging and shatters the bat! A fan caught it in the seats and has a very unique souvenir. The ball went to first and was a routine putout, but Devers didn't run, he was too preocupied with the bat flying into the stands.

First pitch of the second inning

Yuli Gurriel steps in and runs the count full. Tough at-bat, fouling off the payoff before getting rung up on a beauty of a fastball to end the inning. Gurriel caught napping and we go to the bottom of two.

Kyle Tucker gets flipped on the first pitch, nearly taking it in the ear, but again comes back aggressive, swinging big for the next three pitches, fouling one back. He hangs in there 2-2 for the delivery that he puts onto the warning track in left. Verdugo reels it in and we have a second out.

Correa comes out swinging as well to quickly fall behind in the count 1-2. Houston seems determined to jump on Sale early. He is unfazed though, throwing a steamer knee-high for a called strike three. One away.

Second inning starts with Yordan Alvarez first pitch swinging and hits a bomb to left that clears the Green Monster. The Astros have struck first and lead 1-0.

Bogaerts looks at a strike before grounding to short for the third out. Both sides fall in order and we move to the second inning with no score.

Schwarber takes a cut and breaks his bat on a ground ball to second for out number two.

Framber Valdez is on the hill for Houston and Kiké leads off taking a ball low. There is a lot of whip on that fastball and the count runs full.

Kiké was looking walk all the way and got caught looking on a fastball that painted the inside corner for a called strike three.

The Astros certainly looked aggressive with the bat and the Red Sox will surely come out to match that in their half of the inning. As the game wears on, Houston may change their tactics and look to take more pitches, but they certainly have no intention of doing that right now.

Bregman comes up aggressive and sees a change-up first pitch. He can't stop the check swing and gets jammed on the next pitch. Slaps it to short for a routine 6-3 putout to end the inning. The Astros go in order, 1-2-3.

Michael Brantley shows a little more restraint than Jose, taking a strike then a low ball before fouling one off.

He takes the heat outside for 2-2 and then whiffs a high fastball for strike three. Two down.

Jose Altuve steps in to take the first pitch and sends it to the track in left for a long out. One away on one pitch.

Chris Sale is on the mound and warming up. Expect 80% of his pitches to be fastballs and sliders. He throws hard and rarely goes off-speed.

Alex Cora is pure emotion, raw emotion on the baseball field. Dusty Baker is calm, too cool for school. Been there, done that. Which type of coach do you respond to? Which type of fan are you?

Both teams have warmed up and are ready for the start. Are you?

Alex Cora is confident in his pitcher

Kyle Tucker sees no reason to change

Astros Batting Order

Jose Altuve (R) 2B
Michael Brantley (L) LF
Alex Bregman (R) 3B
Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
Carlos Correa (R) SS
Kyle Tucker (L) RF
Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
Jose Siri (R) CF
Martín Maldonado (R) C

Red Sox Batting Order

Kike Hernández (R) CF
Kyle Schwarber (L) 1B
Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
Rafael Devers (L) 3B
J.D. Martinez (R) DH
Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
Alex Verdugo (L) LF
Christian Arroyo (R) 2B
Christian Vázquez (R) C

Framber Valdez will start for Houston tonight

Houston coach Dusty Baker on the other hand sees no need to fundamentally change the gameplan. They have leaned heavily on their solid starters and have had at times explosive, if somewhat inconsistent, hitting. Game 3 proved that they can put up big numbers when they need to and their bullpen will weather the storm most days. That is not to say that he is unwilling to try something new, he went from a no-shift to a hard-shift offense overnight earlier this season because he saw the results. Just because he isn’t busy sweeping out the old doesn’t mean that he won’t try something new.

Chris Sale gets the start for Boston

Boston coach Alex Cora has nailed his colors to the mast for Game 5, shuffling the batting order from what we have seen in the series up to now. He is announcing that he has no intention of relying on his pitching staff to see off Houston. Both of Boston’s wins have come on the back of power hitting and a high-scoring offense and the Red Sox definitely intend to “dance with the girl that brought you”.

Welcome to the live commentary of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox . At two games apiece, this series is still wide open and anyone's for the taking. Tonight is the final game to be played in Fenway Park, Minute Maid in Houston will host the final two, if necessary, games.


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