It kinda felt like the 2018 American League Championship series, the Astros facing the Red Sox Friday night at Fenway Park, both teams intensely focused.
This time Houston won, at least the first game of the three game weekend series. The final was 3 to 1.
They play again tonight.
George Springer delivered a go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning off right-hander Rick Porcello. That pitch left Boston manager Alex Cora lamenting his decision to send Porcello back to the mound with 91 pitches on his ledger, although Porcello had retired seven consecutive batters and had yet to allow an extra-base hit through seven sparkling innings.
For the Astros, watching the Red Sox grind out at-bats against starter Gerrit Cole felt eerily familiar.
Cole worked five scoreless innings but needed 99 pitches to do so, with Boston recording more foul balls (23) than swinging strikes (16) against Cole, despite Cole averaging 97.5 mph on 54 four-seam fastballs.
When the Astros take the field on today, they'll know exactly what the Red Sox have in store for them.
"For whatever reason, this is a tough place to pitch," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Part of it is the environment, part of it is their offense. They're dangerous and they make you work. They foul balls off, they do a good job of putting together a game plan very similar to us."
Rookie right-hander Corbin Martin (1-0, 3.38 ERA) will make his second career start for the Astros. Martin allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in his major league debut against the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Martin is a Houston native who graduated from nearby Cypress Ranch High School before pitching at Texas A&M. He was a second-round selection (56th overall) by the Astros in the 2017 draft.
Right-hander Hector Velazquez (1-2, 3.95 ERA) will start for the Red Sox.