Red Sox Name Starters for Games 1 and 2 of ALCS

Red Sox Name Starters for Games 1 and 2 of ALCS

When Boone brought in Zach Britton to start the fourth, and Christian Vazquez led off with an opposite-field drive over the short porch in right field for his first career postseason homer.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello was humming along. It would prove to be their only run off of him.

Brock Holt's historic cycle in Game 3 didn't come with a ticket back into the lineup, with Cora instead opting to start Ian Kinsler at second base. Barnes and Ryan Brasier followed with a ideal inning each to protect a 4-1 lead.

Kimbrel, who finished with 42 saves during the regular season, went on to struggle in the bottom of the ninth, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks before closing the door on the Yankees' season. And, to finally kill the shaky bullpen narrative once and for all, the combination of Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, and Chris Sale retired nine in a row to bridge to Craig Kimbrel - who ended up nearly single-handedly putting that narrative back in play. Sale - yep, 1-2-3.

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Craig Kimbrel had more to worry about than a beer can during Game 4 of the ALDS.

NY had not put a leadoff runner on until Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star closer, walked Aaron Judge on four pitches leading off the ninth. "He bounced back before". Kimbrel followed that up by hitting Neil Walker with a wayward curve to force in a run, making the score 4-2. Mercifully, Kimbrel ended the game by getting Torres to ground out to third base, which became a bang-bang play at first base. Houston hosted the Red Sox for a four-game series at Minute Maid Park, and then visited Fenway Park for a three-game set.

"They're never easy", said Dombrowski, who won a ring as the general manager of the Marlins in 1997 and reached two more World Series with the Tigers in 2006 and 2012.

The ALCS will begin on Saturday in Boston. We'll have to rely on each other in this trying time.

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