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Red Sox hope Porcello can help even series with Astros

BOSTON -- On Sunday, the Boston Red Sox did something they had not done in nearly four years.

They won a playoff game.

Now the Red Sox must win another to stay alive in Game 4 of their American League Division Series with the Houston Astros on Monday afternoon at Fenway Park.

"We're just playing for the next first pitch," Boston's Dustin Pedroia said. "We're not worried about momentum. We want to keep playing. We don't really care about anything else."

Boston trailed 3-0 early in Game 3 on Sunday before rallying to rout the Astros 10-3 and avoid a three-game sweep in their best-of-five ALDS series with Houston.

Before Sunday, the Red Sox's last postseason victory came Oct. 30, 2013, against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the World Series to secure the team's eighth and most recent championship.

Houston won both Game 1 and Game 2 of the current series by a score of 8-2.

The winner of the Astros-Red Sox series will face either the Cleveland Indians or New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series.

Weather forecasts in the Boston area call for rain throughout the day on Monday, which could result in a delay or potential postponement to the off day on Tuesday.

"We'll get to the ballpark (on Monday), get the weather forecast, meet with the umpires, we'll do the whole weather thing here," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "Not much we can do about it other than sit and wait and watch."

Rick Porcello will be tasked with trying to save the Red Sox's season and send the series to Houston.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner had an abysmal follow-up season, establishing a career-high in losses while going 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA.

Porcello is 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in three career regular-season starts against Houston. He faced them in a relief role in Game 1 on Thursday, tossing a scoreless inning.

"It's always a different animal in the postseason, so it was good to get out there and get an inning of work," Porcello said.

Carlos Beltran is batting .370 (10-for-27) with a home run and four RBI for his career against Porcello. Jose Altuve is 2-for-9 with a home run and two RBI, and Josh Reddick (3-for-10) has a solo home run vs. Porcello.
Charlie Morton will make his second career postseason start with hopes of duplicating his Sept. 29 performance against Boston, which was his final start of the regular season.

The right-hander limited the Red Sox to two runs on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts in a 5 1/3-inning victory at Fenway Park.

Morton went 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA in the regular season. He is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in two career starts against Boston.

"It's the playoffs, and this is the biggest game I'll throw in all year," Morton said. "I'm really excited about it. I'm excited to be here in Boston and pitch at Fenway against the Red Sox."

Morton's only other playoff start came with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Oct. 7, 2013, when he allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts in a 5 2/3-inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

Boston's Chris Young has been fairly productive in his career against Morton, going 3-for-12 (.250) with a home run and four RBI. Hanley Ramirez (1-for-15, .067), Dustin Pedroia (0-for-3) and Rafael Devers (1-for-2) each have one RBI vs. Morton.

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