Red Sox’s Magic Number remains at 1 as Boston loses to Alex Bregman-led Houston Astros

BOSTON — The Red Sox’s Magic Number to clinch the AL East remains at 1 with two games left in the regular season. 

Alex Bregman went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and RBI single to lead the Astros 3-2 over Boston here at Fenway Park on Friday. 

Boston lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Red Sox remain in search of their second straight division title. They never have won consecutive division titles in team history. John Farrell also is pursuing his third AL East title, which would be the most ever by a Red Sox manager. 

But it will have to wait at least one more day. 

Boston has to win one of its final two games or the Yankees have to lose one of their final two games for the Red Sox to clinch. 

The Yankees won 4-0 over Toronto earlier today.

Saturday probable starters:

Astros RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3, 4.01) vs. Red Sox LHP Drew Pomeranz (16-6, 3.38)

Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (13-8, 3.06) vs. Yankees Jaime Garcia (1-3, 4.70)

Doug Fister escapes first-inning jam

Doug Fister’s first-inning woes appeared like they would continue. He entered Friday’s start with a first-inning ERA of 9.64 (15 earned runs, 14 innings).

But Fister escaped a second-and-third, no-out situation. He retired Jose Altuve on a grounder back to the mound, struck out Carlos Correa swinging on a 91.5 mph two-seamer and retired Marwin Gonzalez on a groundout to second base. 

Fister pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, all earned, five hits (one homer) and one walk while striking out five. 

He also has experienced difficulty in second innings (9.00 ERA entering today) but he hurled a scoreless second inning as well.

Derek Fisher singled off Fister to begin the third inning, advanced to second on a weak groundout in front of the mound and then scored on Alex Bregman’s single to right. 

Bregman struck again with two outs in the fifth inning. He crushed a two-run home run over the Green Monster to make it 3-0 Astros.

Charlie Morton perfect through…

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