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David Price went home a winner in a postseason start for the first time in his career.

That, he insisted, is all he ever cared about.

 

Price was good enough, the Red Sox relievers were even better, and Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered a go-ahead, three-run double off the Green Monster to lead Boston to a 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros and tie the AL Championship Series at one game apiece.

 

Price fell one out short of qualifying for the win, which would have been his first in 11 postseason starts. But it was the first time his team had won a playoff game he started, snapping a record run of October futility.

 

Game 3 is Tuesday in Houston, followed by two more at Minute Maid Park and a chance for the defending World Series champions to clinch a second straight AL pennant at home. Marwin Gonzalez homered for the Astros, who had won five straight postseason games dating to Game 7 of the 2017 Series.

 

Price was spotted a two-run lead in the first inning and then fell behind 4-2 before Bradley clanged one off the left-field wall that Gonzalez chased helplessly as it bounced back toward the infield.

Price left leading 5-4 with two on with two out in the fifth before Matt Barnes struck out Gonzalez to end the inning and then pitched a perfect sixth to earn the victory. Ryan Brasier pitched a scoreless inning and erstwhile starter Rick Porcello set the Astros down 1-2-3 in the eighth.

 

Closer Craig Kimbrel gave up Jose Altuve's RBI single with two outs in the ninth before Bregman launched a high fly to left that Andrew Benintendi caught a step in front of the Monster.

 

Gerrit Cole, who was so dominant in his Division Series start against Cleveland, gave up a double to Mookie Betts - the first batter of the game - as Boston sent eight batters to the plate in the first and scored twice.

 

The AL West champs tied it in the second on George Springer's two-run double down the right-field line. And when Gonzalez cleared the Monster - and the seats above them - with a two-run homer in the third, it looked like Price was headed for another loss (he has won two postseason games in relief.)

 

But Boston, which won the AL East and a franchise-record 108 games, came back in the bottom half, starting with Xander Bogaerts' one-out single and then a double by Steve Pearce that sent Gonzalez crashing back-first into the metal scoreboard on the left-field wall. He fell to the warning track, but after the training staff and manger AJ Hinch went out to check on him he stayed in the game.

 

Cole walked Devers on four pitches to load the bases and struck out Ian Kinsler on three before Bradley lofted one down the left-field line and off the Monster. As the ball bounced back toward the infield, it hopped on the padding along the side wall, just out of Gonzalez's reach.

Betts scored an insurance run in the seventh, walking to lead off the inning and coming around to make it 6-4 on a wild pitch and a pair of passed balls. He gave Boston a 7-4 lead with an RBI double in the eighth.

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