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12:05 PM PT1:05 PM MT2:05 PM CT3:05 PM ET15:05 ET19:05 GMT3:05 12:05 PM MST2:05 PM EST2:35 PM VEN23:05 UAE2:05 PM CT, October 1, 2017
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 34,517

Astros visit Red Sox in ALDS preview

BOSTON -- And on the seventh day, they rested.

With nothing left to play for, the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will rest their regulars when they meet Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Boston (93-68) wrapped up its second consecutive American League East division title, and its ninth overall, with a 6-3 win against Houston on Saturday.

Its prize? A first-round, AL Division series matchup with the Astros.

"When you get in October it's a different game and a different level all across the board," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I think both teams will show up ready to play."

AL-west champion Houston (100-61) was eliminated from contention for the best record in the AL with Saturday's loss.

The Astros won the first two games of their weekend series in Boston on Thursday (12-2) and Friday (3-2). They are 3-3 through the first six contests of their seven-game season series with the Red Sox.

Chris Sale would have been the Red Sox's starter Sunday if they didn't clinch the AL East the day before, but now will get an extra day of rest.

The Cy Young Award-contending left-hander will be saved for Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday in Houston.

"They're a good ball club. They played us tough this whole series," Sale said. "We know what we're getting into. Should (make) for a fun playoff series."

Instead, Red Sox right-hander Hector Velazquez (3-1, 3.48 ERA) will get the start opposite Astros right-hander Collin McHugh (4-2, 3.45).

Velazquez has faced the Astros once in his career -- this past Thursday. He tossed one scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout and a walk.

McHugh has allowed only three runs in his last 10 innings, but has not fared well historically against the Red Sox. He is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in five starts against Boston.

Of the Red Sox most likely to play in Sunday's finale, Brock Holt is 5-for-13 with an RBI, Chris Young is 1-for-6, and Rajai Davis and Blake Swihart are 1-for-3 lifetime against McHugh.

Potential ALDS Game 1 starter Dallas Keuchel will throw a simulated game for Houston on his regular day Sunday to stay fresh.

Both teams will use Sunday as a chance to lick their wounds from a long, strenuous season.

Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is back in Houston being evaluated for a sore back he suffered on the plane ride to Boston.

Boston will give another day of rest to start utility man Eduardo Nunez, who has been nursing a sprained right knee he re-aggravated earlier in the week.

Dustin Pedroia will also benefit from a day off his feet after dealing with chronic left knee inflammation.

The Red Sox's David Price made his second relief appearance in two days Saturday. He hasn't allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings covering five games out of the bullpen since returning from the disabled list, presenting Houston another challenge.

"They can shorten the game with their bullpen," Hinch said. "Especially with Price now in the pen throwing the way he's thrown the last couple times against us (and) Kimbrel, an elite closer, at the end. You've got to get them early, and the games that we've had success against them we've done that."

Updated September 30, 2017

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