Dustin Pedroia Returns to Boston Lineup Despite Knee Injury

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Getty Images

Jose Altuve hit yet another solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, just to throw some more dirt on Boston's Game 1 grave. Another home run, which was Altuve's third of the night, was added in the 7th inning off of right-handed reliever Austin Maddox.

It was just the 10th time since 1903 that a player homered three times in a postseason game.

Marwin Gonzalez, the Astros' RBI leader who was hitting eighth in the lineup, chose to join the action with a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning. He's one of the few players remaining who languished through a rebuilding process that led to three straight 100-loss seasons from 2011-13, and is perhaps the biggest reason this team ran away with the AL West title this year. Houston's Verlander was the prize late-season acquisition, with the Astros completing the trade for Verlander right before the trade deadline at the end of August. He would go on to be charged with seven earned runs in five innings on nine hits.

"First off, how good is Jose Altuve?". The Sox are always the better team on the field when Sale pitches. Chris Sale will likely start in the first game, followed by either Rick Porcello or Pomeranz. "The guy is going to hit a ball 5 feet and get a single out of it, and then he can hit it 450 feet and do some pretty special things".

"It's hard to describe in different ways", Verlander said.

After Verlander and Sale meet in Game 1, it will be Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award victor, meeting Boston's Drew Pomeranz on Friday.

Quite a comeback from his only previous postseason - in 2015, he batted just.154 (4 for 26) without an extra-base hit.

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Robertson went from being a closer with the Chicago White Sox to being willing to pitch in any situation at any point in the game. That could end up being in Arizona's wheelhouse since power threats such as 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Mike Lamb and RF J.D.

"At this point, no", Farrell said plainly before the team worked out at Fenway Park.

"Whether you know it or not, there are really bad people that pry on people that's having a good time", said James Pellerin.

Photo Boston's Chris Sale, who led the majors in strikeouts this season, struggled against the Astros in his postseason debut. We'll even start to see the "Sale can't pitch in the postseason, either" narrative polished from the New England-area media (columnists and sports talk radio, that is) come Friday morning, if I had to guess. He allowed the most hits and home runs in the majors this year.

"I'm going to say three (games to) zero, the Astros win the series", she said. "This is a new season for me".

Said catcher Brian McCann: "He can cover every pitch in every quadrant". I think my first postseason experience I was in a wild-card game (with the Oakland A's in 2014), and I didn't get to pitch, so all I wanted to do a year ago was pitch, and I got into the bullpen. He believes there is an advantage to having playoff experience, but no matter how many times he's done it, he still deals with jitters when he takes the mound in a game that means so much.

Next month, Altuve might be crowned MVP, assuming he edges out Judge in the voting that ended after the regular season. Red Sox manager John Farrell has his work cut out for him this weekend both on and off the field. Due to the severity of the injury, Nunez has been taken off the Red Sox ALDS roster. He came back for one game on September 25, leaving after two at-bats because of renewed pain in that knee.

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