HOUSTON — With the Houston Astros down one run going into the eighth inning, Manager AJ Hinch went to closer Roberto Osuna in hopes of keeping it that way. But things only got worse in Game 3 of the ALCS.

Osuna gave up a grand slam to Jackie Bradley Jr. after hitting consecutive pinch hitters with pitches, and the Boston Red Sox won 8-2 on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

In his first ALCS appearance for the Astros, the controversial midseason acquisition came on with Houston trailing 3-2 and retired J.D. Martinez on a deep fly to start the eighth. Hinch treats one-run deficits like a tie game in the postseason, figuring his team still has a chance to win.

But after an infield hit and a fielder’s choice grounder for the second out, Rafael Devers singled. Pinch-hitter Brock Holt was hit on the foot to load the bases before Mitch Moreland got plunked as well, forcing in a run. Bradley’s slam to right field gave Boston an 8-2 cushion.

It was another postseason meltdown for a hard-throwing Astros closer, similar to Ken Giles last October.

Giles was traded to Toronto in July as part of the deal that brought Osuna to the Astros.

In Game 4 of the World Series last year, Giles came into a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning and was charged with three runs without getting an out in a loss to the Dodgers. It was the sixth time in seven postseason appearances that he gave up a run.

Osuna made two scoreless appearances for the Astros in the AL Division Series against Cleveland, getting the save in Game 2 after pitching the final 11/3 innings.


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