It was on Thursday when the Boston Red Sox magic number to clinch the AL East plummeted to one. Not because of something they did, but because of a New York Yankees loss. Nonetheless, one is still one.
Flash forward two days later to Saturday, the Red Sox entered play losers of four out of their last five and having only mustered four runs over the past 18 innings.
With two games left in the regular season, and the Yankees in the midst of wrapping up their slate of games against the Toronto Blue Jays, a pair of Red Sox losses and two New York wins would have sent the two into a one-game tiebreaker for the division. Boston had to help itself out, and Saturday it did just that.
Behind six innings of one-run ball from Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros 6-3 to make it back-to-back AL East crowns.
Boston got the scoring going in the fourth inning when Hanley Ramirez of all people drilled a ground-ball single that off the glove of Jose Altuve and brought home Mookie Betts to make it 1-0.
Next up Rafael Devers, next in Mitch Moreland. The rookie ripped 96 mile per hour fastball on the first-pitch up the middle for a single to bring in Moreland and make it 2-0.
After another shutout bottom of the inning from Pomeranz, Boston was back at it in the fifth. With one on, Andrew Benintendi took a knuckle curve from Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. into right field to plate Xander Bogaerts and make it 3-0.
Two batters later, Moreland doubled in Benintendi and Betts, who was on base via a single, to extend the Red Sox lead to 5-0.
Houston would finally get to Pomeranz in the sixth. After a leadoff single by Jose Altuve, that was the end of the game for the lefty. With Carson Smith in, the Astros stung together three straight singles to slice their deficit to 5-2. Fortunately for Boston, David Price was able to come out of the bullpen to avoid any further damage.
In the bottom half of the frame, Betts would add some insurance with a 412-foot home run off Luke Gregerson to make it 6-2.
Houston was able to get to Craig Kimbrel in the ninth for one run, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox held on for the win.
With the win, Boston will face these same Houston Astros in the American League Divisional Series.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 30, 2017
We did it‼️‼️👏🏽👏🏽 2017 AL East Champs baby!! October ⚾️ is otw, we need your support Red Sox Nation. #OneGoal
— Mookie Betts (@mookiebetts) September 30, 2017
2017 AL East Champs! Very proud of my team! Let’s do this! @RedSox 🙌🏼
— Eduardo Nunez (@EduardoNunez15) September 30, 2017
It’s going to be weird seeing the red sox in October without big papi
— Drew (@Dmacgucci12) September 30, 2017
— Maria (@iaia77) September 30, 2017
Red Sox 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼
— max white (@MaxWhite6) September 30, 2017
As a Bostonian, I’m paid to care about the Red Sox, and as such this is fine if only bc the Sox are above the Yankees
— im dan (@Wendidani) September 30, 2017
— Alexander Martinez (@Amartinezpr) September 30, 2017
— Rob Bruckner (@RobBruckner2) September 30, 2017
— Roubybabybens (@Mass6xAppeal) September 30, 2017