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Major League Baseball
Preview
Boston at Houston
When: 8:39 PM ET, Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

The Boston Red Sox attempt to take a 3-1 lead when they visit the Houston Astros on Wednesday for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Jackie Bradley Jr. broke Game 3 open with a grand slam in the eighth inning as Boston posted an 8-2 victory to win its second straight in the series.

Bradley's blast was the sixth postseason slam in Red Sox history and it put a capper on the team's solid performance. "It's a credit to him, because at this level, when you're hitting .180 after two months or I think it was three months, it is hard," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said during his postgame press conference. "And he kept showing up. He kept working. He kept working his craft. Now you see the results." The defending World Series champion Astros aren't overly worried about trailing through three games as they had to win the final two games of the 2017 ALCS to knock out the New York Yankees. "There's no pouting around here. There's no panic around here," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said in his postgame press conference. "It's just get ready for (Wednesday's) game. We've done a really good job of being focused on what the next situation is."

TV: 8:39 p.m. ET, TBS

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.35 ERA) vs. Astros RH Charlie Morton (regular season: 15-3, 3.13)

Porcello, a 17-game winner in the regular season, struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief in Game 2 of this series. The 29-year-old won his lone start of the AL Division Series when he gave up one run and four hits over five innings against the Yankees and he said he has adjusted to the dual role. "I think as a starter you're trying to cover the course of a whole ballgame, so you're kind of trying to keep your emotions in check just because you've got a lot of baseball to pitch," Porcello said at his press conference. "You don't want to get too high, too low, whatever it is."

Morton posted career highs for victories and strikeouts (201) but this will be his first appearance of the postseason. The 34-year-old has pitched just four innings over the last month with his last outing being a three-inning stint against the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 30. "I tried to keep playing catch, and I threw a lot of (batting practice), threw a bullpen all in the past week and a half," Morton said at his press conference. "So we discussed just trying to get some rest, take advantage of this time and try to stay sharp at the same time."

WALK-OFFS

1. Red Sox LHP Chris Sale (stomach) rejoined the team and will throw a bullpen session Wednesday before the team decides whether or not he will start Thursday's Game 5.

2. Houston 2B Jose Altuve (knee) served as the DH in Game 3 and Hinch is leaning toward keeping him in that role in Game 4.

3. Boston DH J.D. Martinez had a run-scoring double in Game 3, his lone hit in 11 at-bats in the series.

PREDICTION: Astros 6, Red Sox 5
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Boston 113-56 W2 59-26 54-30 55-25 19-14 23-13 16-4
Houston 107-61 L2 48-36 59-25 20-17 28-7 46-30 13-7
Last Meeting
Boston Houston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
10/16/18 BOS 8 HOU 2 .257 2 .807 .206 0 .506
Player Stats
AL  Championship Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston M. Moreland 1.000 1 2.000
Houston A. Bregman .333 2 1.214
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston S. Pearce 1 4 1
Houston Y. Gurriel 1 2 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 4.33 .212 25
Houston 5.19 .194 23
Playoffs
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston M. Moreland .500 2 1.167
Houston A. Bregman .467 7 1.714
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston S. Pearce 1 7 3
Houston G. Springer 3 5 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 3.86 .251 56
Houston 3.57 .262 53