This was one the Red Sox let slip away

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Boston Baseball
The Tanner Houck Interview
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HOUSTON - The Red Sox are going to look back at this one with a good chunk of regret.

The Red Sox couldn’t hold on to a 3-1 lead heading into the sixth inning of their Game 1 American League Championship League showdown with the Astros Friday night, ultimately succumbing to Houston, 5-4, at Minute Maid Park.

The two biggest blows of the game both came with two outs. First, Jose Altuve - who had made a crucial error I’m the Red Sox’ three-run third inning to let a run score - took Tanner Houck deep for a two-run homer to tie the game. Then, in the next frame, came Carlos Correa.

The Astros shortstop turned on a 2-2 changeup from Hansel Robles, hitting it 350 feet for the go-ahead run.

While the two home runs certainly highlighted the Astros’ comeback, the Red Sox offensive futility after their three-run frame off Houston starter Framber Valdez didn’t help matters. Going up against seven different relievers following Valdez, Alex Cora’s club stranded six runners in scoring position.

Up until Houck surrendered the two-run blast to Altuve, the Red Sox pitching staff had done an admirable job holding down the high-powered Astros.

While starter Chris Sale only went 2 2/3 innings, he did leave with a two-run lead. It was an advantage Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor and Ryan Brasier kept intact until the sixth.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the next three relievers - Houck, Robles and Hirokazu Sawamua - each gave up runs on the way to a 1-0 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

The undisputed star for the Red Sox was Kiké Hernandez, who not only homered twice but made a pivotal diving catch to end the second inning that saved a pair of runs.

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