Trolls push Red Sox all the way to World Series

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The club that led the majors with 108 wins this season eliminated the defending champion Houston Astros with a 4-1 victory, taking the AL Championship Series 4-1.

Price, with his record of futility - winless in 11 starts - as a postseason starter, looked like he would be a cross between roadkill and sacrificial lamb considering the steep odds against him and the team before the game started. He struck out a postseason career-high nine batters while walking none and holding the Astros to three hits.

Troy Caldwell made headlines yesterday when it was ruled that he interfered with Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts after he attempted to rob a Jose Altuve home run ball. Kate Upton, former Sports Illustrated model and wife of Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, was one of many who engaged in the social media fiasco after the game.

The Red Sox claimed the final four games of the series by punishing the Astros' stellar pitching with an endless string of quality plate appearances.

There was plenty of reason for the Red Sox to celebrate Thursday night, and not just clinching a spot in the 2018 World Series.

On Monday afternoon, an off-day between Games 2 and 3 of the American League Championship Series, a new Instagram story appeared under the account of Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman.

I hate to say it, but I think Joe West may have gotten this one right.

Once it was established that the unexpected - from everybody but the Red Sox - was the norm, everything else fell in place. Before his homer run in Game 5, Martinez had just one postseason home run. The 35-year-old entered the day 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA over his last four postseason starts in which his team faced elimination. The Red Sox were last in the World Series when they won it all in 2013. If their best players play well, they should breeze through the series. "We had guys playing through so much", Verlander said.

"That's a championship-caliber performance", Hinch said of Price, transformed from playoff laughingstock to pennant hero this evening.

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Tied 1-all, Muncy grounded a 1-2 pitch from Brandon Woodruff into left field, scoring Justin Turner , who led off with a single. After he got two hits in Game 3, Machado's frustration at the plate also probably played a role in his mood in Game 4.

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Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez hit an early homer off Verlander, and Price made the lead stand up into the late innings.

On Thursday night, Price was something different.

Craig Kimbrel was going for a six-out save for the Red Sox and got into trouble in the ninth.

Boston awaits the victor of the National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

"He just said that there was fan interference on the field and my argument was more about the fact that the ball was leaving the yard, the trajectory was there", Hinch said during an in-game interview on TBS.

The gift that keeps on giving for these Red Sox continues to be their perception that nobody thinks they can win this thing.

Altuve went 1 for 4 in the finale. Devers also hit a homer to left which scored Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler.

Devers, who turns 22 on Wednesday, has 12 RBIs in 10 postseason games. It was by far his most successful playoff start.