Cole struggles in 2nd playoff start with Astros


Cole's electric fastball was lined all over Fenway Park and he also committed a costly error in his first career appearance in the AL Championship Series, losing 7-5 to the Red Sox in Game 2 on Sunday. He had spent the night in the hospital for observation because of a stomach illness.

While the Red Sox look to shake the inconsistency that has saddled them with 10 losses in their past 19 road dates, the Astros return home Tuesday for Game 3 pegged as -135 home favorites. "Then, after that, we'll decide what we're going to do".

"I think the one thing about our team is it's nonstop, " said Justin Verlander, the ace of the starting staff and the Game 1 victor back in Boston. He allowed three runs and got just five outs in Game 2 against the Yankees, the only Red Sox loss in the series.

"I think we're all more concerned for his personal well-being and not necessarily the team", Boston outfielder Mookie Betts said. "So to know that he's OK is definitely huge". "The fact that he's going to pitch Game 5 or whatever game is better still". For the first three innings, it was a back-and-forth affair between the offenses of the Red Sox and Astros.

Looking amped and jittery, Cole allowed his first run on his sixth pitch of the game.

It was Houston's 14th straight postseason game with a homer, breaking the major league record that had been held by the Astros from 2001-04. The final third of the game saw the Red Sox add insurance. "It's about the individual". Houston ultimately won that game, 7-2. Both teams will get an off day on Friday if the series is still ongoing, presenting Cora with an opportunity to use his bullpen liberally either without Sale or behind him.

Houston and Boston are tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 of the ALCS.

This kind of stretch isn't unprecedented during Craig Kimbrel's time with Boston, but that makes it no less disconcerting. In the bottom half of the third, the Red Sox put together a rally, loading the bases with one out.

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Kimbrel retired the first two batters in the ninth, then George Springer hit his second double of the game. But he said Bregman's post was "all in good fun".

"It was probably in the morning, like I want to say 2 in the morning, 3 in the morning".

It's worth noting the Red Sox could always replace Sale on the roster if his illness prevents him from contributing.

"We still are attacking him the way we feel", Cora said. "He was pretty excited - a lot of energy, wasn't (executing) a ton of pitches". "That would be good news for us".

"He was feeling bad and he's at the hospital", Cora said.

"I came here to win a World Series and to do it multiple times.", said Price.

Nunez is 2-for-4 against Dallas Keuchel in a right-left matchup while Devers has yet to face his fellow left-hander.

Houston has been dominant at home in recent weeks, holding opponents to just 13 total runs during a five-game win streak. Christian Vazquez set up low and inside and Price missed his spot - badly.