The Red Sox are in the driver’s seat.
Boston took control of their American League Championship Series with the Houston Astros on Tuesday, claiming an 8-2 win in Game 3 at Minute Maid Park.
Steve Pearce and Jackie Bradley Jr. each accounted for big home runs. With the game tied at two, Pearce gave the Red Sox the lead on a solo home run in the sixth, while Bradley blasted a grand slam in the eighth to put his team up by the deciding margin.
Nathan Eovaldi, meanwhile, was nails on the mound over six innings of work.
The Red Sox now lead the series 2-1.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Whether it was Eovaldi on the mound or Pearce and Bradley Jr.’s timely dingers, there was no shortage of clutch performances.
ON THE BUMP
— After a solid showing in his postseason debut last week against the New York Yankees, Eovaldi pitched well again in his second opportunity. He allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts over six innings of work.
The offense gave Eovaldi a two-run cushion to begin his outing, and he immediately gave one back. With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom half of the first, Marwin Gonzalez laced a single to right to plate a run and cut Boston’s lead to 2-1.
Eovaldi bounced back with a 1-2-3 second, then allowed a single and a walk in a scoreless third before retiring the side in order in the fourth.
The right-hander ran into some trouble in the fifth while trying to preserve the one-run lead. Eovaldi walked Jose Altuve with two outs, and Alex Bregman responded. The third baseman launched a bouncing ball to third and Rafael Devers was unable to come up with it, allowing the ball to roll all the way down the left field line, scoring Altuve from first to tie the game. Though it easily could have been called an error by Devers, it was scored as a double for Bregman.
With a 3-2 lead in tow in the sixth, Eovaldi surrendered a single in an otherwise clean frame to end his night.
— Ryan Brasier took over in the seventh and allowed a two-out bunt single to Altuve, but got Bregman to line out to center the next at-bat to finish the inning.
— Matt Barnes issued a leadoff walk in the eighth, then was lifted after getting the ensuing two hitters out.
— Joe Kelly relieved Barnes and got Carlos Correa to ground out to short to end the stanza.
— Eduardo Rodriguez closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox offense struck quickly, putting two runs on the board in the first.
Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi started the frame with singles, with Betts scoring on a J.D. Martinez double.
Xander Bogaerts grounded out the next at-bat to plate Benintendi, upping the score to 2-0.
— With the game tied at two in the sixth, Pearce put his team back on top.
The first baseman stepped in with one out in the frame and the bases clear and was served up a 1-0 fastball on the inside part of the plate. He put it into orbit, sending Boston back ahead 3-2.
— The Red Sox added quite a bit of insurance in the eighth off Astros reliever Roberto Osuna.
Xander Bogaerts hit a one-out single, then Devers drilled a single of his own two batters later. Brock Holt pinch-hit for Ian Kinsler and narrowly was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Then after pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland worked his way into a 2-2 count, Osuna beaned him as well, bringing in a run to make it 4-2.
Bradley then stepped in and created some fireworks, blasting a grand slam to put the game out of reach.
— Andrew Benintendi led the Red Sox with two hits.
— Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts, Pearce, Devers, Bradley and Eduardo Nunez all had one hit.
— Kinsler and Christian Vazquez went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Dane Cook from the top rope!
The Red Sox and Astros will continue the ALCS with Game 4 on Wednesday night. Rick Porcello is scheduled to get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Charlie Morton. First pitch from Minute Maid Park is set for 8:39 p.m. ET.