ALCS: Astros vs. Red Sox
It was Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman once again.
Led by their October-tested stars, the Astros are going back to the AL Championship Series for the fifth straight year.
Altuve hit a three-run homer, scored four times and stole a base, and the Astros eliminated the White Sox with a 10-1 victory in Game 4 of their AL Division Series on Tuesday in Chicago.
Correa and Bregman each hit a two-run double as the Astros bounced back from Sunday night’s 12-6 loss with their usual relentless brand of baseball. Michael Brantley had three hits and two RBIs.
Next up for Altuve and company is Game 1 of the ALCS against former Astros bench coach Alex Cora and the Red Sox on Friday in Houston. The Red Sox eliminated the Rays with a 6-5 victory in Game 4 on Monday night.
Kiké Hernandez delivered the Red Sox’s secondstraight walk-off win against the Rays, scoring pinch-runner Danny Santana with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
“They know how to play the game,” Altuve said of the Red Sox. “They’ve been in the playoffs before, so it’s going to be fun.”
It’ll be the Astros’ second ALCS under 72-year-old manager Dusty Baker.
Baker replaced A.J. Hinch, who was fired in fallout from the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal that also resulted in a one-year ban for Cora.
Gavin Sheets connected for the White Sox, becoming the third rookie in franchise history to homer in a postseason game. But Carlos Rodon was knocked out in the third inning of his first start since Sept. 29, and the AL Central champions left eight runners on base.
The Astros are looking for the franchise’s second championship after winning it all in 2017, a title that still evokes a strong reaction around the game after the team was punished for using electronics to steal signs.
Soler on COVID list:
Braves right fielder Jorge Soler was pulled from the lineup for Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Brewers after testing positive for COVID-19.
The game ended too late for this edition.
Outfielder Cristian Pache took Soler’s spot on the roster, Major League Baseball announced.
Soler was replaced at the top of the order by shortstop Dansby Swanson. Joc Pederson, slated to start in left field, shifted to right. Guillermo Heredia was inserted in center field batting eighth, and Adam Duvall switched from center to left.
Soler batted .091 with no homers and no RBIs through the first three games against the Brewers. He hit a combined .223 with 27 homers and 70 RBIs with the Royals and Braves during the regular season.
Dodgers look to Buehler:
Walker Buehler was set to start Tuesday night on three days’ rest for the Dodgers in Game 4 of their NLDS against the visiting Giants.
The Giants led the bestof-five series 2-1. The game ended too late for this edition.
Buehler pitched into the sixth inning Friday, throwing 99 pitches in a 4-0 loss to the Giants in Game 1.