Hirokazu Sawamura flat in MLB playoff debut as Astros beat Red Sox

Japanese right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura made his main league postseason debut for the Boston Purple Sox on Friday, struggling to get one out in a 5-4 loss to the Houston Astros in Sport 1 of the American League Championship Sequence.

The Purple Sox took a 3-1 lead after a three-run third at Minute Maid Park, sparked by a Kike Hernandez leadoff house run, however a two-run Jose Altuve homer within the sixth and a Carlos Correa solo blast within the seventh put the Astros again on high.

One among eight pitchers for Boston, who acquired simply 2⅔ innings from starter Chris Sale, the 33-year-old Sawamura took the mound to begin the underside of the eighth along with his group trailing 4-3.

He issued a leadoff stroll to former DeNA BayStar Yuli Gurriel, allowed a single after which hit a batter to load the bases with no outs. An Altuve sacrifice fly introduced house one run as Sawamura exited in favor of lefty Martin Perez.

Hernandez narrowed the margin with one other solo homer within the ninth, ending an impressive night time on the plate 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.

Boston’s Hansel Robles (0-1) was tagged with the loss after permitting Correa’s go-ahead house run, whereas righty Ryne Stanek (1-0) acquired the win for Houston, which additionally used eight pitchers.

The groups will meet once more on Saturday for Sport 2 in Houston. Sawamura is the one Japanese main league participant whose membership superior to the playoffs this season.

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