BOSTON – A 48-degree night left two aces struggling to throw strikes and both teams searching for hits Saturday.
Eventually the Houston Astros found those hits and beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 in the opening game of the American League Championship Series.
Carlos Correa fisted a single into left field to break a sixth-inning tie and move the defending World Series champions toward their fifth straight postseason victory.
Josh Reddick hit a solo homer leading off the ninth, and Yuli Gurriel curled a three-run shot into the front row beyond the Pesky Pole to secure matters.
Boston pitchers walked 10 and hit three batters, and shaky defense by third baseman Eduardo Nunez contributed to Houston's first three runs.
Justin Verlander started for Houston and gave up two hits in six innings, but he walked four, including three in a row in the fifth inning. His wild pitch allowed a run in the fifth inning.
Chris Sale was even wilder for the Red Sox, walking four and hitting a batter while giving up one hit in four innings. He threw 86 pitches.
The strike zone also led to the ejection of Boston manager Alex Cora in the fifth inning, for arguing balls and strikes.
Nunez slipped on a ball hit by George Springer, leading to two runs in the second inning. He also made an error in the sixth inning.