Red Sox

Red Sox begin preparing for ALCS showdown with Astros

BOSTON (WPRI) -- After an electric AL Division Series win against rival New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox are now turning their attention to the AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox began their ALCS preparations Thursday with Game 1 scheduled for Saturday night. The team took the field for the first portion of practice but were forced inside due to the rain.

Ace Chris Sale will start Game 1 for Boston and David Price will take the hill for Game 2. Manager Alex Cora said he's waiting to see how the first two games go before naming starters for Games 3 and 4.

Red Sox players feel there's no extra motivation to defeat the Astros, despite being eliminated by them in last year's ALDS.

"They had a good team last year, they have a good team this year," shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "We had a great team last year and now we have an even better team this year."

"At this point you shouldn't need any motivation regardless of who we're playing," utility man Brock Holt said. "We know they have a good team, we have to play good baseball to beat them but I feel like we have the team to do it."

Cora seemed to make every right move against the Yankees, giving his team more confidence heading into the ALCS.

"I'm having a blast with them," Cora said. "Just to see them smile and enjoy what's going on. They are really enjoying what's going on. There's no sense of relief now that we're here. It's like, 'Yeah, this is cool!'"

First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. Saturday at Fenway Park.

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