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Astros erupt for seven runs in ninth, beat Red Sox to tie ALCS – Sportsnet.ca

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BOSTON — Six outs from falling behind 3-1 in the AL Championship Series and facing elimination in Game 5 in Boston — where the Red Sox had yet to lose this postseason — the Houston Astros offence awakened.

After tying it in the eighth inning on Jose Altuve’s solo homer, the Astros bullied the Boston bullpen for seven runs in the ninth to win 9-2 on Tuesday night and even the best-of-seven playoff at two games apiece.

“This is one of the great things about baseball,” said the Astros’ 72-year-old manager, Dusty Baker. “When you’re dead in the water and things aren’t going good, and then all of a sudden, boom, boom, boom, and you got seven runs.

“That’s what they’ve been doing to us this whole series,” he said. “And we’re capable of doing that as well.”

Jason Castro looked off a potential third strike from Nathan Eovaldi before driving in watch-tapping Carlos Correa with the go-ahead run in the ninth, then the AL West champions kept on scoring to guarantee themselves at least one more game back home.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Boston, with Games 6 and 7 back in Houston on Friday and, if necessary, Saturday.

The Red Sox are 5-0 after playoff losses under manager Alex Cora.

“We’re feeling pretty confident,” said Eovaldi, the Game 2 winner who made his first relief appearance since 2019. “That’s been one of our strengths is being able to turn the page and come in tomorrow.”

In a series that had been dominated by offence — especially Boston’s, which has hit 10 homers in the series, including a record-setting three grand slams to turn Games 2 and 3 into routs — the teams traded first-inning home runs.

Alex Bregman hit a solo shot into the Green Monster seats, then Xander Bogaerts topped it with a towering, two-run drive onto Lansdowne Street in the bottom half to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.

Then, the pitchers took over.

It was still 2-1 when Altuve homered against Garrett Whitlock to tie it in the eighth. It was his 21st career postseason home run, breaking a tie with Derek Jeter for third-most in baseball history and trailing only Manny Ramirez (29) and Bernie Williams (22).

Eovaldi, making his first relief appearance since he was coming back from an injury two years ago, came on for the ninth and gave up Correa’s leadoff double.

The Red Sox thought they were out of the inning when Eovaldi’s 1-2 breaking ball appeared to catch the plate for strike three on Castro. Still alive, Castro singled in Correa to give Houston the lead.

“Yeah, a lot of people thought it was a strike,” Cora said. “It was a good game until the end, right? We were one pitch away from ending that inning, and it didn’t happen, and then they scored seven.”

Michael Brantley hit a three-run double off Martin Perez. Yordan Alvarez added an RBI single. Perez’s throwing error on Correa’s infield single allowed a run to score, and Kyle Tucker singled in another run.

Houston has scored 36 runs with two outs in the postseason, including 18 of its 22 in this series.

“We knew with this team that we’re playing we wanted to pad the lead,” Baker said. “And pad the lead we did, you know what I mean? That one run might not have stood up, especially in this ballpark.”

The Red Sox, who were the first team in major league history to have double-digit hits six straight times in a single postseason, had just five on Tuesday — two of them when already trailing by seven in the ninth.

Nick Pivetta allowed just one more hit after Bregman’s homer before leaving with a 2-1 lead through five innings. Eovaldi took the loss, allowing four runs while getting just two outs.

Kendall Graveman, the fifth Houston pitcher, threw two scoreless innings for the win. The Astros had special praise for Cristian Javier, who pitched three scoreless innings to get them through five as Houston’s bullpen delivered 7 2/3 shutout innings.

“What the relievers did today was amazing,” Altuve said.

It was the third straight game the Red Sox got five or more innings from a starter, and the third straight that the Houston starter didn’t make it out of the second inning; Zack Greinke got just four outs on Tuesday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: CF Jake Meyers, who injured his left shoulder crashing into the wall in the Division Series clincher, was originally listed in the starting lineup but “wasn’t quite ready yet,” Baker said. Chas McCormick started in centre instead.

Red Sox: Schwarber appeared to tweak his left hamstring on a swing in the fourth inning. He limped out a groundout and remained in the game.

UP NEXT

Game 5 is Wednesday at 5:08 p.m. Chris Sale will start for the Red Sox after allowing one run over 2 2/3 innings in Game 1. Framber Valdez goes for Houston. He gave up two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings during the series opener.

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Canada to join allies in diplomatic boycott of Winter Games -Trudeau

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Canada will join its allies in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to send China a message over its human rights record, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

Australia and Britain will join the diplomatic boycott, their prime ministers said on Wednesday, as other allies weighed similar moves to protest at China’s human rights record..

President Joe Biden’s administration cited what the United States calls genocide against minority Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region. China denies all rights abuses.

“Many partners around the world are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government. That’s why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympics,” Trudeau told reporters.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, Editing by Mark Heinrich by Alistair Bell and David Gregorio)

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Trudeau announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics – CBC News

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that Canada will launch a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

No federal government officials will attend the games. Canadian athletes will still be allowed to compete.

The U.S., U.K. and Australia already have announced they won’t send official delegations to the games — a collective attempt to send a message to China that its human rights abuses have not gone unnoticed.

Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill, Trudeau said the government is “extremely concerned” by the “repeated human rights violations carried out by the Chinese government.” He said Canada will show its displeasure with the communist regime by withholding the delegates that normally would attend high-profile events like the opening and closing ceremonies.

Asked if he was anticipating any blowback from Beijing for snubbing China as it prepares to host the world, Trudeau said “this should not come as a surprise” to the regime.

“For months, we have been coordinating and discussing the issue with our allies,” he said.

WATCH: Trudeau announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympic Games

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympic Games

2 hours ago

Duration 0:55

Trudeau tells a press conference in Ottawa that Canada will join other countries in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games in response to China’s human rights violations against the Uyghur community. 0:55

MPs, senators and civil society groups have been pushing the Trudeau government to hold China accountable for its crackdown on democratic rights in Hong Kong and the ongoing abuse of the Uyghur Muslim minority.

Earlier this year, the House of Commons passed a motion branding the violence directed at religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang province as “genocide.” That motion followed a Commons subcommittee report that found China persecutes its Muslim minority through mass detention in concentration camps, forced labour, state surveillance and population control measures — policies the report said are designed to “eradicate Uyghur culture and religion.”

In the motion, MPs also called on the federal government to use its influence to pressure the International Olympic Committee to move the games out of China “if the Chinese government continues this genocide.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said Wednesday his party’s push to relocate the games got “no traction with Mr. Trudeau” and a diplomatic boycott is the next best thing.

While he said he’s horrified by reports of violence in Xinjiang, O’Toole said a full boycott would be unfair to Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have trained so hard for the world’s premier sporting event.

WATCH: Conservative leader calls on prime minister to boycott Beijing Olympics

Conservative leader calls on prime minister to boycott Beijing Olympics

2 hours ago

Duration 1:14

Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to join other countries in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in 2022. 1:14

Trudeau agreed that Olympic athletes shouldn’t pay a price for China’s abuses. “They need to have one thing in mind and that’s representing the country to the best of their ability and winning a gold medal for Canada,” he said.

In a media statement, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said it “understands and respects” the government’s decision and applauds the effort to “draw an important distinction between the participation of athletes and the participation of government officials.”

The last time Canada pursued a full boycott of the Olympics was in 1980, when Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau blocked athletes from participating in the summer games in Moscow to protest the Soviet Union’s military presence in Afghanistan.

Citing that 1980 move, the COC said “history has shown that athlete boycotts only hurt athletes without creating meaningful change.” The COC said the games will “create an important platform to draw attention” to ongoing issues in China.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said the decision to pull diplomats and keep Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge and others at home was motivated by reports of abuse coming out of Xinjiang, an oil-rich territory in the country’s northwest.

“Clearly it is important for us to send a strong signal to China because we’re extremely concerned about allegations about the Uyghurs,” Joly said.

Joly said she has raised the possibility of a boycott with allies in nearly every meeting she’s had since being named foreign minister in October. She said she will travel to a G7 meeting in the U.K. this weekend to press other holdouts, such as France and Germany, to join the boycott.

“Canada has been playing a leadership role on this — this is in line with our foreign policy. Canada always stands up on questions of human rights,” she said.

A visitor rests near logos promoting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in Beijing on Sept. 25, 2021. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo)

Canada-Chinese relations soured after China detained two Canadians — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig — in an apparent act of retribution for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s 2018 arrest on U.S. fraud charges. In September, the two men were freed by China’s communist regime after the legal dispute involving Meng was partly resolved by U.S. prosecutors.

The western world’s relationship with China has deteriorated over the past two years. China has been accused of covering up early COVID-19 outbreaks and of pushing World Health Organization (WHO) officials to praise its pandemic response rather than scrutinize its actions.

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Olympic diplomatic boycott: PM says decision coming today – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be an announcement later today on the government’s decision about whether to proceed with a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.

Speaking to reporters on his way into a caucus meeting on Wednesday, Trudeau said it’s important to align with allies – many of whom have chosen not to send government officials to the Games, but allow athletes to continue to compete.

“For the past many, many months we’ve been talking about our approach with allies around the world. We know that on issues like this it’s important to make sure that we are working with our allies…we will have an announcement to make later today,” he said.

The U.S. announced a diplomatic boycott on Monday as a means of protesting against human rights abuses in China towards the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the U.S. has a “fundamental commitment to promoting human rights” and that it “will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games.”

Since then, Australia and the U.K. have followed suit.

China has denied those allegations and says the boycott violates “the principle of political neutrality of sports established by the Olympic Charter and runs counter to the Olympic motto `more united,”‘ Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters.

Many former diplomats and international security analysts suggest Canada should go further and enforce a full boycott, withdrawing all Canadian presence, including athletes.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly also commented on the issue on Wednesday, noting that Canada is acting in a “diligent” manner.

“The most important thing for Canada right now is to make sure that we can have a strong voice on the question of human rights in Xinjiang in China,” she said.

With a file from The Associated Press.

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