BOSTON (AP) — Gerrit Cole struggled at the beginning of his second playoff start with the Houston Astros.By the time he recovered http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-mike-scott-jersey
, it was too late. Boston was well on its way to a big win.Cole’s electric fastball was lined all over Fenway Park and he also committed a costly error in his first career appearance in the AL Championship Series, losing 7-5 to the Red Sox in Game 2 on Sunday.“You know early, I thought he was a little over-amped,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He was pretty excited — a lot of energy, wasn’t (executing) a ton of pitches.”One night after Justin Verlander pitched Houston to a 7-2 victory in the series opener, Cole was unable to duplicate the success of his fellow hard-throwing right-hander. The 28-year-old Cole allowed a season-high five runs and surrendered six hits — all of them on fastballs — in six innings.Game 3 is Tuesday in Houston.Cole said his main trouble in the first inning was his inability to get his breaking pitches over the plate.“I was just not able to really find the zone with it and be able to put pressure on them with those offerings,” he said. “You know, I just found myself without leverage and I found myself with traffic, and I had to make some pitches. I did the best I could in those situations Alex Bregman Jersey
, but when you’re facing some of the best hitters in the world, they do their job as well.”Cole went 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA in his first season with Houston after he was acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh, helping the World Series champion Astros return to the playoffs with a second straight AL West title.He was terrific in the AL Division Series against Cleveland, striking out 12 while pitching seven innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 victory in Game 2. He joined Hall of Famer Tom Seaver as the only players to strike out at least 12 without walking a batter in the postseason.He had a completely different performance against the high-scoring Red Sox.Looking amped and jittery, Cole allowed his first run on his sixth pitch of the game. Mookie Betts drove his 3-1 pitch off the wall in center, and Andrew Benintendi followed with an RBI single.After J.D. Martinez lined to second, Cole picked up Xander Bogaerts’ bouncer in front of the mound and threw wildly to first for an error. The miscue helped set up Rafael Devers’ RBI single.“I fielded the ball, I checked second,” Cole said. “I felt like I had good footing to throw to Yuli (Gurriel) and the back foot gave out as I was throwing it and I just kind of goosed it.”Houston tried to pick up Cole with two runs in the second and third Carlos Beltran Jersey
, but he was unable to hold onto the 4-2 lead.Jackie Bradley Jr. put Boston ahead to stay with a three-run double off the Green Monster with two out in the third. Cole walked Devers on four pitches and struck out Ian Kinsler swinging before Bradley’s big blow.“I was having a little bit of trouble that inning trying to field my way through the strike zone,” Cole said. “I felt that after I had got the count back to 2-1 that I was going to just try to execute a fastball down and away. I executed it down, but it creeped over the plate too much which I guess gave him enough barrel to be able to just put it right on the wall down there.”After Boston took its 5-4 lead, Cole struck out Christian Vazquez to end the inning and retired his next nine batters before he was lifted from just his third career start at Fenway.Cole was 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA in four career playoff starts coming into the night. SAN FRANCISCO — Two sub-.500 teams taking a different approach to September meet one more time with the season series on the line when the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants wrap up their three-game set Sunday afternoon.Veterans Wilmer Flores, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier combined to produce an 11th-inning run for the Mets on Saturday, sending the Giants (68-69) back below .500 and into even more of a look-at-the-prospects mode for the final 25 games of the season.One of the Giants’ top young pitchers, right-hander Chris Stratton (9-7, 4.99 ERA), will duel Mets standout Noah Syndergaard (9-3 http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-brian-mccann-jersey
, 3.51) in the series finale, with each team having won three times in the seven-game season series.Article continues below ...Stratton pitched against the Mets for the first time in his career on Aug. 21, limiting them to two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He did not get a decision in a 6-3 loss.Michael Conforto’s three-run homer off Giants reliever Tony Watson in a four-run eighth inning made the difference that night after Stratton left a 2-2 game in the seventh.Stratton, a veteran of only 31 major league starts, rebounded to shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks for eight innings in a 2-0 win Monday.Stratton might find himself pitching to a familiar batterymate, catcher Aramis Garcia, a teammate earlier this season at Triple-A Sacramento.Garcia homered in his major league debut in Friday’s 7-0 victory over the Mets.Austin Slater, Alen Hanson and Chris Shaw, three other potential foundation pieces in the Giants’ future Josh Reddick Jersey
, also have seen playing time in the New York series even though San Francisco technically remains alive in the National League West and NL wild-card races.The Mets, meanwhile, were long ago left in the dust in the NL East, yet battled the young Giants with mostly veterans Saturday, including 34-year-old Jerry Blevins, the game’s winning pitcher.New York also summoned former standout third baseman David Wright from a minor league rehab in hopes that he can make his season debut this month.Syndergaard will seek to become the Mets’ first 10-game winner this season.He pitched a 5-3 victory over the Giants on Aug. 22, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings, to run his career mark against San Francisco in four starts to 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA.Like Syndergaard, Stratton has a chance to become the first Giants pitcher this season to reach 10 wins in a year in which ace Madison Bumgarner missed more than two months with a broken finger and Johnny Cueto was shelved on more than one occasion with neck and elbow ailments.After the teams went scoreless into the seventh inning Friday night Tyler Clippard Jersey
, it was no surprise Saturday’s matchup went into extra innings.The Giants lead the majors with 19 extra-inning games. Nine of their last 10 games have been decided by two or fewer runs.The Mets, meanwhile, have gone extras 16 times this season, winning seven times.Frazier’s one-out sacrifice fly that scored Flores with the game-winner in the 11th Saturday delivered only the Mets’ second run of the series. They’ve gone 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the 20 innings.