Jose Altuve belted three solo home runs in the opening game of the AL divisional series, leading the Houston Astros to an 8-2 thrashing of the Boston Red Sox.
|Altuve: 3-4, 3 HR, 3 RBI|
Sale went five innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. Verlander gave up six hits over six innings, allowing single runs in the second and fourth. Four Houston relievers mopped up over the final three innings.
Altuve, who led the majors with a .346 batting average, is one of the leading candidates for league MVP. His performance on Thursday will likely sway a few votes in his direction.
Game two of the best-of-five series is scheduled for a 2:05 pm ET start, Friday in Houston.
In the other AL division series, Cleveland took a 1-0 lead on the visiting Yankees with a 4-0 victory. Trevor Bauer blanked the Yanks on two hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight. Jay Bruce doubled and scored in the second inning, socked a two-run homer in the fourth and drove in his third run of the game with a fifth-inning sac fly.
The Yankees will try to even the score with the reigning AL champs on Friday in game two. Game time is 5:00 pm at Cleveland's Progressive Field.
There were no games in the National League. The divisional series begin Friday.
Washington hosts Chicago at 7:30 pm ET. The Dodgers host Arizona at 10:30 pm ET.