Astros' Verlander cools off Red Sox to win Game 1 of ALCS
Justin Verlander outlasted an uncharacteristically wild Chris Sale, overcoming control problems of his own to give Houston six innings of two-hit ball on Saturday night and lead the Astros over the Boston Red Sox 7-2 in the AL Championship Series opener.
On a 48-degree Farenheit night that left both aces struggling to find the plate — and rookie Red Sox manager Alex Cora struggling to control his temper — Carlos Correa fisted a single into left field to break a sixth-inning tie and give the defending World Series champions their fifth straight post-season victory.
Josh Reddick hit a solo homer leading off the ninth, and Yuli Gurriel curled a three-run shot into the front row beyond the Pesky Pole to clinch it. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday night, with Boston left-hander David Price trying to end his post-season skid against Astros righty Gerrit Cole. Cora has expressed confidence in Price, a Cy Young Award winner who is 0-9 in 10 career post-season starts, and the 108-win Red Sox will need him to be better than Sale was in the opener.