BOSTON — While nothing is official for Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday, Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said Thursday that he’s unlikely to make changes to his playoff roster for Boston’s best-of-seven matchup against the Houston Astros.

“Most likely we’ll stay the same but we still have to meet and talk about it and obviously make a decision as a group,” Cora said.

Cora said that if a change is made, it would likely be that the Sox add a 12th pitcher to the staff after carrying just 11 in the ALDS. He cautioned that there were a few pitchers on the roster, like Joe Kelly and Heath Hembree, who could go multiple innings after not being asked to do so during the regular season.

“I think our roster in the Yankees series matches up well with who we’re gonna play here,” Cora said, mentioning Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez as lefty hitters on Houston’s roster. “Our righties threw the ball well against the Yankees.”

Cora and his coaching staff were planning on meeting to discuss the final roster, with lefties Brian Johnson and Bobby Poyner as the main candidates to join the team if a pitcher is added.

One other factor is the health of Mitch Moreland, who tweaked his hamstring in Game 2 of the ALDS and is questionable to play against Houston.


“Mitch is feeling better,” Cora said. “Today, he’s gonna hit inside. We’ve still got time to see where we’re at with him. Hopefully he keeps getting better and will be ready to go on Saturday.”

Moreland didn’t play in the final two games of the ALDS after hurting himself rounding third base scoring on an Ian Kinsler double in Game 2. Steve Pearce took over for him at first base, going 3 for 9 with an RBI in Games 3 and 4.

If Moreland isn’t healthy enough to play this weekend, the Red Sox could leave him off the ALCS roster entirely (meaning he’d still be eligible for the World Series) or leave him on in hopes that he wouldn’t have to be replaced at some point during the series and thus be ineligible for the World Series. Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin has been with the team this week as a possible replacement.

Moreland would be Boston’s likely starter for Games 1 and 2 against Houston righties Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

NOTES: Boston was 57-24 at Fenway Park this year, the best home record in the major leagues, and Game 1 starter Chris Sale has a 1.29 ERA and .199 opponents’ batting average in his last eight home starts. “I think he just feeds off the crowd and he just feels more comfortable at home,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. … Boston won the AL pennant in four of the six times it opened the Championship Series at Fenway – in 1975, 1986, 2007 and 2013 – the last two en route to World Series titles. The Red Sox failed at this stage in 1988 and 1990. “It’s a big difference to be able start at home against a good team,” Holt said. … With its quirky dimensions that include the Green Monster in left, Fenway can be difficult for visiting teams defensively. Marwin Gonzalez has played just 24 regular-season innings in left field at Fenway plus the two games last October. … After beating the 100-win Yankees, the Red Sox face the 103-victory Astros. The only other year Boston met a pair of teams in the postseason with triple-digit regular-season wins was in 2004, when the Red Sox beat the Yankees (101) to become the first major league team to rebound from a 3-0 postseason deficit, then swept St. Louis (105) for their first title since 1918.

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