Astros beat Red Sox 5-4 in Game 4, advance to ALCS

BOSTON (AP) The Houston Astros poured back onto the field after advancing to their first AL Championship Series, posing for pictures with the Green Monster as a backdrop before a few players bellyflopped in the puddles in the infield dirt.

No matter, they were already soaked from celebratory beer and sparkling wine.

''Both teams were throwing their guys, and that's what you live for,'' Houston third baseman Alex Bregman said on Monday after Justin Verlander came out of the bullpen to beat Chris Sale in an aces-turned-relievers role reversal and helped the Astros eliminate the Red Sox in four games with a 5-4 victory.

''When we saw Verlander run to the `pen we said, `Our horse is on the mound, we need to win this game,''' said Bregman, who homered off Sale to tie it in the eighth before Josh Reddick's single gave the Astros the lead. ''That's kind of the whole energy that he's brought since we brought him over here. He's brought an energy with him that, `Hey, when he's out there, we're going to win.'''

Verlander, who was acquired for the playoff run after spending his first 13 seasons in Detroit, gave up the go-ahead homer to Andrew Benintendi - the first batter he faced - before shutting Boston down for the next 2 2/3 innings.

The former AL MVP and Cy Young winner earned the victory in his first relief appearance after 424 starts in a major and minor league career.

''All the things that you would like to do as a starter, and I was able to do that,'' Verlander said. ''Top to bottom, man, these guys grinded against two of the toughest competitors in this game in Sale and (closer Craig) Kimbrel.''

The Astros will open the ALCS on Friday, either at Cleveland or at home against the New York Yankees. The Indians and Yankees will play a decisive Game 5 on Wednesday night.

The Red Sox forced a Game 4 after losing the first two games in Houston, and then took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on Benintendi's homer. Bregman tied it before Reddick's single off closer Craig Kimbrel made it 4-3.

Carlos Beltran added to his postseason legacy with an RBI double in the ninth - an insurance run that became the game-winner when Rafael Devers hit an inside-the-park homer off closer Ken Giles over leaping center fielder George Springer and off the Green Monster toward center.

The 20-year-old Red Sox rookie easily circled the bases before the throw to make it 5-4.

Giles retired the next three batters for the six-out save.

''The two big boys, Sale and Verlander, both get into the game. Everybody did well,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''Nobody really wanted to concede the game.''

The Astros last reached the league championship series in 2005 as a National League team, and were swept in the World Series by the White Sox. This year's team, wearing ''Houston Strong'' patches to support the city that was flooded in Hurricane Harvey, is hoping to finish the job.

''The city of Houston is still rebuilding,'' Hinch said. ''It's easy for us to look in the rearview mirror and think that the hurricane is over (but) the rebuild is not going to stop for a long time. ... We want to win for them, we want to win for us, we want to win because we showed up in spring training to try to win a World Series.''

Springer and Yuli Gurriel each had three hits for the AL West champions, and Reddick's go-ahead single made up for misplaying a fly ball into a home run in Game 3 to force a fourth game. Reddick got a postgame drenching in the clubhouse while wearing a red, white and blue flag Speedo.

Verlander also beat Sale in the playoff opener and is now 7-0 for his new team. Sale, who had never appeared in the postseason before 2017, pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits, striking out six.

''This is what we show up to spring training for. It's what we work all offseason for. Ups and downs, all around the country,'' Sale said. ''This is what we live for.''

On a rainy day at Fenway Park - the fourth straight day game - the Red Sox again saw a starter struggle early, with Rick Porcello giving up Houston's eighth first-inning run of the series. The reigning AL Cy Young winner, who led the AL with 22 wins last year and the majors with 17 losses in 2017, gave up two runs in three innings, walking three and striking out four while allowing five hits.

Xander Bogaerts also homered for the AL East champion Red Sox, and Hanley Ramirez had two hits a day after going 4 for 4 in Boston's only postseason win since the end of the 2013 World Series.

SEE YA

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by home plate umpire Mark Wegner in the bottom of the second inning after coming out to argue a called third strike on Dustin Pedroia. The previous batter, Jackie Bradley Jr., had also been called out strikes on a close pitch.

It is the 19th ejection of Farrell's career and his third this season.

INTERFERENCE

The Red Sox ball girl was called for interference when she tried to field Gattis' fair-ball grounder down the third base line in the eighth. Instead of a potential double, Gattis was sent back to first; pinch-runner Cameron Maybin took second on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on Reddick's single.

PLAYING THE SCHEDULE

The teams finished Game 3 before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday but didn't find out until about 11 p.m. what time they would be playing Game 4, because TV wanted to keep the Yankees in prime time. That left the Red Sox and Astros with a brief afternoon window before the rain began to fall, as expected.

The game started on time and was not delayed, but the rain kept the grounds crew busy raking drying agent on the infield.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
AstrosHOU3-1
1100000215120
Red SoxBOS1-3
100020001491
  • W: J. Verlander (2-0)L: C. Sale (0-2)S: K. Giles (1)
  • HR: HOU - A. Bregman (2), BOS - X. Bogaerts (1), R. Devers (2), A. Benintendi (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF41310100.412.474.7061.1807.0
J. Reddick RF40210101.375.444.375.8194.0
J. Altuve 2B40000114.533.6321.1331.7650.5
C. Correa SS40100133.235.316.647.9630.5
M. Gonzalez LF31000012.200.294.267.5612.5
A. Bregman 3B51111013.222.222.611.8335.5
Y. Gurriel 1B51300000.529.556.7061.2617.0
E. Gattis DH40100023.400.500.6001.1000.0
C. Maybin PR01000000.000.000.000.0001.0
a- C. Beltran DH10110000.400.500.6001.1003.0
B. McCann C50000035.125.176.125.301-1.5
  • a-doubled for Maybin in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
D. Pedroia 2B50000013.125.222.125.347-0.5
X. Bogaerts SS32111103.059.111.235.3468.0
A. Benintendi LF41221000.250.294.438.7328.0
M. Betts RF40100001.313.353.438.7903.0
M. Moreland 1B30100111.385.467.5381.0052.5
H. Ramirez DH40200001.571.600.7141.3142.0
R. Devers 3B31211110.364.429.9091.3387.5
C. Vazquez C30000111.333.500.333.8330.5
J. Bradley CF40000034.200.200.400.600-1.5
    BATTING
    • 2B - G. Springer (2), Y. Gurriel, C. Beltran
    • 3B - Y. Gurriel
    • HR - A. Bregman (2)
    • RBI - G. Springer (2), J. Reddick (2), A. Bregman (2), C. Beltran
    • 2-Out RBI - G. Springer, J. Reddick, C. Beltran
    BATTING
    • 2B - M. Moreland (2)
    • HR - X. Bogaerts, A. Benintendi, R. Devers (2)
    • RBI - X. Bogaerts, A. Benintendi 2 (2), R. Devers (5)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - M. Betts
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - M. Gonzalez
    • DP - C. Correa, Y. Gurriel, A. Bregman
    FIELDING
    • DP - M. Moreland, D. Pedroia, X. Bogaerts
    • E - R. Devers
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Morton4.17222614.152.084.0
    J. Verlander (W, 2-0)2.21112013.121.279.0
    K. Giles (S, 1)2.01110116.001.0011.5
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Morton4.1
    J. Verlander (W, 2-0)2.2
    K. Giles (S, 1)2.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    R. Porcello3.05223404.502.001.0
    C. Sale (L, 0-2)4.24220618.381.454.0
    C. Kimbrel1.03111104.502.50-1.5
    A. Reed0.10000007.711.710.0
    PITCHERSIP
    R. Porcello3.0
    C. Sale (L, 0-2)4.2
    C. Kimbrel1.0
    A. Reed0.1
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 83-52, J. Verlander 40-24, K. Giles 29-21
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 3-2, J. Verlander 3-4, K. Giles 5-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Morton 20, J. Verlander 10, K. Giles 7
    PITCHING
    • WP - R. Porcello, C. Kimbrel
    • HBP - R. Porcello, C. Kimbrel
    • Pitches-Strikes - R. Porcello 70-41, C. Sale 77-52, C. Kimbrel 38-24, A. Reed 2-2
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Porcello 2-2, C. Sale 4-5
    • Batters Faced - R. Porcello 17, C. Sale 19, C. Kimbrel 8, A. Reed
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    AstrosHOU3-1
    1100000215120
    Red SoxBOS1-3
    100020001491
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF41310100.412.474.7061.1807.0
    J. Reddick RF40210101.375.444.375.8194.0
    J. Altuve 2B40000114.533.6321.1331.7650.5
    C. Correa SS40100133.235.316.647.9630.5
    M. Gonzalez LF31000012.200.294.267.5612.5
    A. Bregman 3B51111013.222.222.611.8335.5
    Y. Gurriel 1B51300000.529.556.7061.2617.0
    E. Gattis DH40100023.400.500.6001.1000.0
    C. Maybin PR01000000.000.000.000.0001.0
    a- C. Beltran DH10110000.400.500.6001.1003.0
    B. McCann C50000035.125.176.125.301-1.5
    Total395124141121-----
    • a-doubled for Maybin in the 9th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    D. Pedroia 2B50000013.125.222.125.347-0.5
    X. Bogaerts SS32111103.059.111.235.3468.0
    A. Benintendi LF41221000.250.294.438.7328.0
    M. Betts RF40100001.313.353.438.7903.0
    M. Moreland 1B30100111.385.467.5381.0052.5
    H. Ramirez DH40200001.571.600.7141.3142.0
    R. Devers 3B31211110.364.429.9091.3387.5
    C. Vazquez C30000111.333.500.333.8330.5
    J. Bradley CF40000034.200.200.400.600-1.5
    Total3349434714-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - G. Springer (2), Y. Gurriel, C. Beltran
      • 3B - Y. Gurriel
      • HR - A. Bregman (2)
      • RBI - G. Springer (2), J. Reddick (2), A. Bregman (2), C. Beltran
      • 2-Out RBI - G. Springer, J. Reddick, C. Beltran
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Moreland (2)
      • HR - X. Bogaerts, A. Benintendi, R. Devers (2)
      • RBI - X. Bogaerts, A. Benintendi 2 (2), R. Devers (5)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - M. Betts
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - M. Gonzalez
      • DP - C. Correa, Y. Gurriel, A. Bregman
      FIELDING
      • DP - M. Moreland, D. Pedroia, X. Bogaerts
      • E - R. Devers
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Morton4.17222614.152.084.0
      J. Verlander (W, 2-0)2.21112013.121.279.0
      K. Giles (S, 1)2.01110116.001.0011.5
      Total9.0944473---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Morton4.1
      J. Verlander (W, 2-0)2.2
      K. Giles (S, 1)2.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      R. Porcello3.05223404.502.001.0
      C. Sale (L, 0-2)4.24220618.381.454.0
      C. Kimbrel1.03111104.502.50-1.5
      A. Reed0.10000007.711.710.0
      Total9.012554111---
      PITCHERSIP
      R. Porcello3.0
      C. Sale (L, 0-2)4.2
      C. Kimbrel1.0
      A. Reed0.1
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 83-52, J. Verlander 40-24, K. Giles 29-21
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 3-2, J. Verlander 3-4, K. Giles 5-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Morton 20, J. Verlander 10, K. Giles 7
      PITCHING
      • WP - R. Porcello, C. Kimbrel
      • HBP - R. Porcello, C. Kimbrel
      • Pitches-Strikes - R. Porcello 70-41, C. Sale 77-52, C. Kimbrel 38-24, A. Reed 2-2
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Porcello 2-2, C. Sale 4-5
      • Batters Faced - R. Porcello 17, C. Sale 19, C. Kimbrel 8, A. Reed
      • 9TH INNING
        Devers homered to center54
        Beltran doubled to deep left, Gonzalez scored, Gurriel to third53
      • 8TH INNING
        Reddick singled to left center, Maybin scored, Springer to third43
        Bregman homered to left33
      • 5TH INNING
        Benintendi homered to right, Bogaerts scored23
      • 2ND INNING
        Springer singled to deep left, Gurriel scored21
      • 1ST INNING
        Bogaerts homered to right center11
        Altuve grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Springer scored, Reddick out at second10
      • 9TH INNING
        • C. Kimbrel Pitching:
        • C. Correa: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Gonzalez hit by pitch
        • A. Bregman: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Bregman flied out to deep center
        • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel singled to right, Gonzalez to second
        • Carlos Beltran hit for Cameron Maybin
        • C. Beltran: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Beltran doubled to deep left, Gonzalez scored, Gurriel to third
        • Addison Reed relieved Craig Kimbrel
        • B. McCann: Strike looking, McCann flied out to center
        • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • K. Giles Pitching:
        • R. Devers: Strike looking, Foul, Devers homered to center
        • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Vazquez grounded out to third
        • J. Bradley: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Bradley struck out swinging
        • D. Pedroia: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Pedroia grounded out to second
        • End of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • C. Sale Pitching:
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Bregman homered to left
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Gurriel grounded out to shortstop
        • E. Gattis: Gattis singled to shallow left
        • Cameron Maybin ran for Evan Gattis
        • B. McCann: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, McCann lined out to right
        • Craig Kimbrel relieved Chris Sale
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Ball, Maybin to second on wild pitch, Foul, Ball, Springer walked
        • J. Reddick: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Reddick singled to left center, Maybin scored, Springer to third
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Altuve flied out to center
        • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Ken Giles relieved Justin Verlander
        • M. Betts: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Betts grounded out to pitcher
        • M. Moreland: Moreland grounded out to third
        • H. Ramirez: Strike swinging, Ramirez grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • C. Sale Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Springer singled to left
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Reddick flied out to left
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
        • C. Correa: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Correa singled to left, Springer to second
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • D. Pedroia: Strike looking, Pedroia grounded out to shortstop
        • X. Bogaerts: Ball, Foul, Bogaerts flied out to center
        • A. Benintendi: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Benintendi flied out to deep right
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Sale Pitching:
        • A. Bregman: Bregman flied out to center
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Strike looking, Gurriel safe at first on 3rd baseman Devers fielding error
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Gattis struck out looking
        • B. McCann: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, McCann struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • R. Devers: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Devers walked
        • C. Vazquez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Vazquez flied out to center
        • J. Bradley: Foul, Ball, Bradley grounded into double play third to shortstop to first, Devers out at second
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Sale Pitching:
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Ball, Altuve grounded bunt out to third
        • C. Correa: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Correa struck out looking
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gonzalez flied out to center
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • D. Pedroia: Strike looking, Pedroia grounded out to third
        • X. Bogaerts: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Bogaerts walked
        • Justin Verlander relieved Charlie Morton
        • A. Benintendi: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Benintendi homered to right, Bogaerts scored
        • M. Betts: Ball, Betts grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Moreland: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Moreland walked
        • H. Ramirez: Foul, Ramirez flied out to center
        • End of the 5th (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • Chris Sale relieved Rick Porcello
        • B. McCann: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, McCann struck out looking
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Springer popped out to second
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • R. Devers: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Devers struck out swinging
        • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Vazquez struck out swinging
        • J. Bradley: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Bradley struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez grounded out to second
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman flied out to right
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Gurriel doubled to deep center
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Ball, Gattis popped out to second
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • A. Benintendi: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Benintendi singled to right
        • M. Betts: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Betts lined into double play third to first, Benintendi out at first
        • M. Moreland: Moreland doubled to deep right
        • H. Ramirez: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ramirez singled to left, Moreland out at home
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • Y. Gurriel: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Gurriel tripled to right
        • E. Gattis: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gattis struck out swinging
        • B. McCann: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, McCann struck out swinging
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Springer singled to deep left, Gurriel scored
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Strike looking, Reddick singled to left center, Springer to second
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Altuve walked, Springer to third, Reddick to second
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • H. Ramirez: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ramirez singled to left
        • R. Devers: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Devers singled to right, Ramirez to second
        • C. Vazquez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Vazquez walked, Ramirez to third, Devers to second
        • J. Bradley: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Bradley struck out looking
        • D. Pedroia: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Pedroia struck out looking
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bogaerts flied out to right
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • R. Porcello Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Springer doubled to deep center
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Springer to third on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Reddick walked
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Altuve grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Springer scored, Reddick out at second
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Correa walked
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Gonzalez hit by pitch, Correa to second
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Bregman struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • D. Pedroia: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pedroia grounded out to first
        • X. Bogaerts: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Bogaerts homered to right center
        • A. Benintendi: Strike swinging, Benintendi grounded out to second
        • M. Betts: Ball, Strike looking, Betts singled to deep left
        • M. Moreland: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Betts stole second, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Betts to third
        • End of the 1st (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)