Yankees vs. Astros score: Houston powers way to ALCS Game 4 win, takes commanding series lead

The Astros are one win away from heading to the World Series

The Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees 8-3 in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. Houston took a commanding 3-1 series lead with the win and is now just one victory away from the 2019 World Series.

The Astros jumped out to a five-run lead thanks to a pair of three-run homers: Carlos Correa hit one off reliever Chad Green in the sixth inning and George Springer launched his in the third against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. The Astros tacked on two more runs in the late innings to pad their lead.

Zack Greinke got the start for the Astros, and the righty struggled in the first inning. He walked three batters in the first inning, and Brett Gardner's free pass with the bases load put the Yankees ahead of the Astros early. Greinke finished his 4 1/3-inning outing, giving up just three hits and one run. He struck out five and walked four.

The Yankees had a chance to erase Houston's lead in the fifth inning, but Ryan Pressly struck out Gleyber Torres and Edwin Encarnacion with the bases loaded to end the inning. Astros reliever Josh James gave up a lead-off walk to Brett Gardner before Gary Sanchez capitalized with a two-run homer to shorten Houston's lead to three runs in the sixth, but the Yankees would not get closer.

Here's a breakdown of Houston's Game 4 win:

Why the Astros won

It was an offensive outburst for the Astros in Thursday's Game 4 win. Their eight runs scored were the most runs they have recorded so far in the American League Championship Series. Houston was shut out in Game 1, scored three in Game 2 and four runs in Game 3. Springer and Correa led the way at the plate for the Astros, each knocking in three-run homers. It's a feat no team has accomplished in the postseason since the Astros themselves did it in 2017:

Springer's third-inning home run was his 13th career postseason homer, setting an Astros franchise record. Springer broke a tie with his teammate Jose Altuve, who went deep in Game 3 off Luis Severino for his 12th career postseason homer. Correa, at just 25 years old, joins a legendary list with his 10th career postseason homer. Correa was the walk-off hero with his home run off Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ in Game 2 in Houston.

To go along with the hot offense, Houston had clutch, shut down pitching. The Astros finished with 13 strikeouts and received three scoreless innings from the backend of their bullpen.

Why the Yankees lost

The reason the Yankees lost their third straight game to Houston in this series is a theme that has been apparent in each defeat: missed opportunities. In this loss, New York's offense was lifeless, getting just one run (on a walk) out of a pair of bases-loaded chances.

There was also the issue of reliever Adam Ottavino still not looking like himself. He now has four appearances this postseason in which he did not record an out. It's the most in a single postseason in MLB history. Starter Masahiro Tanaka also had a subpar game by his postseason standards. The righty was charged with three runs in a postseason start for the first time in his career. His streak of seven postseason starts with two or fewer runs allowed was an MLB record, and he entered the game with the second-lowest postseason ERA among starting pitchers (1.32) since earned runs became an official stat in 1912.

Turning point

The Carlos Correa homer in the sixth inning really put this game away. It also took the life out of Yankee Stadium and its sell-out crowd.

Play of the game

Although the Yankees struggled with fielding tonight, right field Aaron Judge had a brilliant play in the top of the fifth inning.

Judge laid out in right field to steal a two-out extra-base hit from Michael Brantley. You could tell Tanaka was thankful for the save, as he let out a huge sigh of relief on his walk off the mound.

What's next

The Astros will look to close out the ALCS against the Yankees on Friday. With a win, Houston will advance to the World Series to face the NL champion Washington Nationals. The Astros will send out right-hander Justin Verlander to face left-hander James Paxton. Game 5 at Yankee Stadium is set for Friday at 7:08 p.m. ET -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free). The full postseason schedule can be found here.

CBS Sports was with you for the entire game providing updates below in our live blog. You can relive Game 4 below.

Live updates
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October 18, 2019, 4:39 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:38 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:35 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:30 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:28 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:28 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:28 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:09 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:08 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:06 AM
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October 18, 2019, 4:05 AM
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October 18, 2019, 3:57 AM

LeMahieu, Torres, Bregman, even Correa in the first, though he recovered nicely

October 18, 2019, 3:52 AM

is it just me or has there been a lot of bad, uncharacteristic glovework on the infield tonight?

October 18, 2019, 3:52 AM
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October 18, 2019, 3:48 AM
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October 18, 2019, 3:47 AM

looking forward to casting a Hall of Fame vote for CC. Gonna miss him.

October 18, 2019, 3:46 AM
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October 18, 2019, 3:44 AM
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October 18, 2019, 3:42 AM

Sabathia coming off with an injury. I think it was his shoulder rather than the knee. If that was an end, it's a heartbreaking way to go out, but there's also something fitting about him pitching until his body broke. That guy pitched through everything.

October 18, 2019, 3:40 AM
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October 18, 2019, 3:39 AM

Hope that isn't the end for CC.

@MLB via Twitter
October 18, 2019, 3:37 AM

Judge nearly came into the infield to take that one

October 18, 2019, 3:36 AM

looks like he looked up at the runner instead of seeing the ball into his glove

October 18, 2019, 3:29 AM

oh man, CC gets a routine grounder and Torres boots it, then he doesn't even get the out available at first

October 18, 2019, 3:28 AM

Might be the last time we see him.

CC sighting!

October 18, 2019, 3:27 AM
@MLB via Twitter
October 18, 2019, 3:26 AM

For the sixth time in seven postseason games, Adam Ottavino was asked to retire a key right-handed hitter leading off an inning, and all six reached base.

October 18, 2019, 3:21 AM
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