Entering Thursday’s American League Division Series Game 1 between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, the storyline was all about the battle of the aces. While Justin Verlander did enough to pick up the win, it was the Astros MVP candidate Jose Altuve that stole the show.
Altuve blasted three solo home runs to help lift the Astros to an 8-2 win over the Red Sox. Altuve is the ninth player all-time to hit three home runs in a playoff game and the second player to do so the ALDS.
The Astros faced one of the top candidates for the AL Cy Young Award from the Red Sox with Chris Sale. The Astros ushered Sale into it his first playoff start of his eight-year career with back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Alex Bregman and Altuve connected for dingers, Bregman smacked a 2-2 slider and Altuve hit a 97.3 MPH fastball.
The Red Sox would scrap out a run in the second and fourth innings. But the Astros would be put crooked numbers in four straight innings.
Marwin Gonzalez smacked a two-run double in the fourth inning and Altuve hit his second home run off Sale in the fifth inning.
The Astros knocked out the sixth inning behind Evan Gattis' second double and Josh Reddick walked on five pitches. A bases-loaded single by the No. 9 hitter Brian McCann broke the game open with two runners scoring.
Altuve’s third home run came in the seventh inning, he would get a curtain call from the Astros fans.
Verlander left in the sixth inning. He allowed two runs on six hits over six innings, striking out three and walking one.
Chris Devenski pitched a clean seventh inning with two strikeouts. Will Harris couldn't get out the seventh after getting the first two outs, but Francisco Liriano cleaned up the eighth.
Joe Musgrove came to close out the game and ended the game without a problem.
Astros lead the ALDS over the Red Sox, 1-0.