No denying Pearce's first postseason homer

No denying Pearce's first postseason homer

HOUSTON — Steve Pearce watched Tony Kemp rob him of a run-scoring hit in the third inning Tuesday night. Three innings later, he made sure the outfielder couldn’t do it again.

Pearce drilled a Joe Smith fastball into the seats over the high wall in left field, his majestic blast putting the Red Sox back on top of the Astros, 3-2, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.


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HOUSTON — Steve Pearce watched Tony Kemp rob him of a run-scoring hit in the third inning Tuesday night. Three innings later, he made sure the outfielder couldn’t do it again.

Pearce drilled a Joe Smith fastball into the seats over the high wall in left field, his majestic blast putting the Red Sox back on top of the Astros, 3-2, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.


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Alex Bregman had tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a double off the glove of third baseman Rafael Devers, sending the packed house at Minute Maid Park into a frenzy. With one swing eight pitches later, Pearce quieted the fans down and re-energized the Red Sox’s dugout.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Bregman hits an RBI double to left on TBS

Pearce’s homer — the first of his career in the postseason — came off the bat at 107 mph, the second straight at-bat in which he scorched a ball in the triple-digit range for exit velocity. His deep fly to left field in the third measured 101.1 mph, but Kemp made a leaping catch at the wall, taking away at least one Boston run and possibly two.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Kemp makes a fantastic jumping grab on TBS

The Red Sox had jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning, pouncing on Dallas Keuchel just as opponents had done all season.

Mookie Betts opened the game with a single to center, then Andrew Benintendi singled to left field, putting runners at first and second.

J.D. Martinez, who was 0-for-7 in the first two games of the series, followed with a double to right field, scoring Betts for a 1-0 lead. With runners at second and third and nobody out, the Astros’ bullpen began to stir in case Keuchel required an early hook.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Martinez rips an RBI double to left on TBS

Keuchel, who had a 6.88 ERA in the first inning this season, finally recorded the first out of the game on Xander Bogaerts‘ groundout to shortstop, though Benintendi scored on the play to make it 2-0 in Boston’s favor.

Pearce was unable to get Martinez home from third with his ground ball to second, though at 98.9 mph off the bat, he certainly gave it his best shot. Eduardo Nunez hit a hard liner to second, where Marwin Gonzalez — starting in place of Jose Altuve, who served as Houston’s designated hitter — caught it to end the inning.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Published at Tue, 16 Oct 2018 23:37:09 +0000

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