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  • June 4, 2019
    Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesThe Boston Red Sox won 7-5 on Sunday
    night Denard
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    , knotting up their ALCS matchup with the Houston Astros at
    one game apiece.The series now shifts to Minute Maid Park in Houston, as the
    Astros will look to put things away at home, while the Red Sox will have to win
    at least one game to force the series back to Fenway Park.Ahead is a look at
    what's left of the ALCS schedule, some updated World Series odds and a quick
    outlook of what lies ahead in the series.ALCS ScheduleGame 3 (at HOU):Tuesday,
    Oct. 16 at 5:09 p.m. ET on TBSGame 4 (at HOU):Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 8:39 p.m. ET
    on TBSGame 5 (at HOU):Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8:09 p.m. ET on TBS*Game 6 (at
    BOS)aturday, Oct. 20 at 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS*Game 7 (at BOS)unday, Oct. 21 at
    7:39 p.m. ET on TBS*If necessary Odds to Win 2018 World Series (via
    OddsShark)Astros: +175Red Sox: +290Series OutlookDallas KeuchelGregory
    Shamus/Getty ImagesThe Game 3 pitching matchup will pit a pair of upcoming free
    agents against one another, as Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel (12-11, 3.74 ERA, 153
    K, 204.2 IP) takes on Red Sox deadline-addition Nathan Eovaldi (6-7, 3.81 ERA,
    K ,
    111.0 IP).Eovaldi threw a gem in his postseason debut in Game 3 of the ALDS,
    allowing just five hits and one earned run in seven innings of work against the
    Yankees.Keuchel lasted five innings in his ALDS outing, giving up four hits and
    two earned runs. He has a 3.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 46.2 innings.Charlie Morton
    (15-3, 3.13 ERA, 201 K, 167.0 IP) and Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.28 ERA, 190 K,
    191.1 IP) are the scheduled starters for Game 4, and both pitchers have enjoyed
    their fair share of recent postseason success.Porcello picked up the win in his
    ALDS start by allowing one run in 5.2 innings in the Game 4 clincher.Morton
    didn't take a turn in the ALDS as the Astros swept the Cleveland Indians, but he
    was instrumental in the team's World Series success last year. He posted a 1.74
    ERA and 0.58 WHIP with 11 strikeouts in 10.1 innings in one start and one relief
    appearance.Both teams have stacked offenses, so if one of those
    back-of-the-rotation starters can turn in a dominant start, it could swing the
    entire series.The ace matchup of Justin Verlander and Chris Sale will be on tap
    again for Game 5, and the pitching decisions from there will be dictated by who
    is on top in the series.We're just two games in, but this series already has the
    makings of a seven-game classic. All stats courtesy of Baseball
    Reference Ben
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    , unless otherwise noted. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With an opening
    for a designated hitter and a need for more power in the lineup, the Minnesota
    Twins found quite a fit on the free agent market with a six-time All-Star in
    Nelson Cruz.They’ll be counting on his impact beyond the middle of the batting
    order. There’s a clubhouse filled with still-developing players who could use
    his wisdom, too.The Twins signed Cruz to a one-year, $14.3 million contract that
    comes with a $12 million club option for 2020, formalizing Wednesday their
    addition of a player whose 203 home runs over the previous five seasons are the
    most in the major leagues during that span.“I don’t think we view Nelson just as
    a DH,” Twins general manager Thad Levine said. “He’s clearly going to be
    occupying that spot in the lineup, but as we’ve intimated, and you’ve got to
    hear in his voice, what he brings to the table is so much more than that. So we
    did prioritize this type of offensive production. We did try to prioritize this
    type of quality of character and leadership.”Cruz, who will turn 39 on July 1,
    batted .256 with 37 homers, 97 RBIs and a .342 on-base percentage in 2018 for
    Seattle. He hit a career-high 40 homers in 2014 in a one-year stop in Baltimore,
    after an eight-season run with Texas. Over the last five years, Cruz has played
    in an average of 153 games.Cruz served a 50-game suspension in 2013 for
    violating the major league drug agreement in relation to the sport’s
    investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic. The Twins are still eager to
    rely on his production and mentorship in a youthful clubhouse.“I know my body. I
    know what I need to do to stay healthy first, you know? And what I do on a daily
    basis to prepare myself to be successful on the
    field ,
    that’s the biggest difference,” said Cruz, who added he would be “very proud” to
    play in the outfield, where Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler are set at the corner
    positions. He’s only played there nine times over the previous two seasons.The
    Twins signed Logan Morrison last year for $6.5 million to serve as the primary
    designated hitter, but coming off a career-high 38-homer season, he struggled
    badly and eventually had hip surgery that shelved him in mid-August with a .186
    batting average.Morrison, who wound up playing more than expected at first base
    while Joe Mauer recovered from a concussion, took 35 turns as the DH. He took a
    $1 million buyout and became a free agent. Mauer, who retired , had 33 starts.
    Robbie Grossman, who was not offered a contract and became a free agent, was the
    DH 36 times.With 360 career home runs, Cruz is fourth on the active list behind
    Albert Pujols (633), Miguel Cabrera (465) and Edwin Encarnacion (380). He will
    earn $14 million in 2019, and if the Twins were to decide to decline the $12
    million option for next
    year Mitch
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    , they would owe him a $300,000 buyout.By signing second
    baseman Jonathan Schoop and claiming first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers, the
    Twins have added 88 homers to their lineup after finishing 23rd in the majors
    with 166 last season.“I could not be more excited. Last year when I went to
    Minnesota, I was thinking ahead, ‘This should be a good fit for me, a team that
    has really good young guys with a lot of talent,'” Cruz said on a conference
    call with reporters.MCruz’s most important relationship in Minnesota may be with
    third baseman and fellow Dominican Republic native Miguel Sano, a slugger long
    groomed to be a franchise cornerstone who regressed so much in 2018 he was sent
    to the minor leagues for six weeks of holistic reconditioning, from his swing to
    his attitude to his diet.“I naturally am always ready to help and willing to
    help,” Cruz said, “and he expressed that. He told me, ‘I want to learn how to be
    part of good teams.'”Schoop helped recruit Cruz, his teammate in Baltimore in
    2014. Cruz is in the position that seven-time All-Star second baseman Michael
    Young held with Texas as the mentor of that team while Cruz was an
    up-and-comer.“He’s going to set a wonderful example in the way that he prepares
    for games and just being the person he is,” new manager Rocco Baldelli said.
    “That alone is going to be an asset for us going forward.”