Yankees, Red Sox in series-saving wins over Indians and Astros
The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox stayed alive in the MLB playoffs after defeating the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros respectively.
The Yankees momentarily erased the memory of Friday's collapse by defeating the Indians 1-0 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.
Still down 2-1 in the best-of-five American League Division Series, the Yankees will have to produce more magic to reach the Champions Series.
The Red Sox also clawed back the deficit to 2-1 against the Astros with a 10-3 triumph in Boston.
After dropping games one and two of the ALDS in convincing fashion, the Red Sox fought back from an early 3-0 hole to beat the Astros.
PRICE PROVES TRUSTWORTHY IN POSTSEASON
Red Sox starting pitcher Doug Fister was lifted from the game in the second inning with three earned runs. Joe Kelly came on to finish the second inning, and pitch the third inning, but then it was David Price's turn.
Price entered the game 2-8 with a 5.32 postseason ERA, which gave him an unsavoury reputation in clutch situations. But Price tossed four shutout innings with four strikeouts in relief Sunday, helping Boston stave off elimination.
Price, who became the first Red Sox pitcher with four-plus innings pitched in relief in a postseason game since Pedro Martinez 1999, has not allowed a run in 6.6 innings of relief work this postseason. He had compiled a 6.28 ERA as a starter in his previous four playoff appearances.
TANAKA BECAME THE ACE NEW YORK NEEDED, CHAPMAN STARRING
Tanaka was inconsistent this year. His entire regular season could be summed up in his last two starts -- both against the Toronto Blue Jays. In the first of the two starts, Tanaka allowed seven earned runs in 5.6 innings. He then followed it up by striking out 15 batters in seven shutout innings.
Tanaka was like that all season. Thankfully for the Yankees, his best form was on display on Sunday, when he tossed seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Luis Severino struggled in the wildcard game, and CC Sabathia's most dominant days are behind him. Tanaka needed to be the Yankees' defacto ace, and he delivered.
After helping the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years last season, Aroldis Chapman is back with the Yankees. The flame-throwing closer consistently eclipsed 100mph, while recording a five-out save.
Chapman was called on early when it looked like the Indians might scrape together some momentum in the eighth inning. He instantly made an impact striking out his first three batters en route to four strikeouts on the night.
RAMIREZ BUSTS LOOSE
After being held out of the starting line-up in game one, and failing to record a hit in game two, Ramirez reminded everyone why he is one of the most dangerous power threats on Boston's roster by collecting four hits (one double) with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Though Ramirez can be mercurial at the plate, he proved his value by recording the third four-for-four game in Red Sox postseason history. The other two instances came in 1986 (Rich Gedman and Spike Owen).
SEE YOU LATER!
Carlos Correa sent one into the seats.
Greg Bird goes deep for the Yankees in the seventh inning.
ASTROS AT RED SOX, YANKEES HOST INDIANS
Boston will try again to stave off the Astros at home. Both teams have found offensive success this series, and that should continue as the Red Sox and the Astros start to work deeper into their rotations.
New York's Severino will attempt to rebound from a tough wildcard start to extend this series. The Indians will counter with Josh Tomlin as they try to lock up the series to avoid a nervy game five back in Cleveland.