(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Monday’s Major League Baseball playoff games:
Astros 5, Red Sox 4
The Houston Astros clinched their first trip to the American League Championship Series with a 5-4 victory against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of their AL Division Series on a rainy Monday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Houston won the best-of-five series 3-1 after Boston temporarily staved off elimination with a 10-3 win in Game 3 on Sunday, assuring the Red Sox would not be swept in the ALDS in consecutive seasons.
The Astros will face either the Cleveland Indians or the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Cleveland leads its ALDS series against New York 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday night.
Josh Reddick drove in the go-ahead run on a two-out single to left field in the eighth inning off Boston’s Craig Kimbrel, who relieved starter-turned-reliever Chris Sale (0-2) in the eighth after Houston tied it.
Evan Gattis reached second on a hard-hit bouncer down the third base line with one out in the inning off Sale, but was sent back to first because it was errantly picked up by a ball girl.
After Cameron Maybin entered as a pinch runner for Gattis, George Springer drew a walk off Kimbrel before Reddick’s big hit.
Pinch hitter Carlos Beltran doubled in a critical two-out insurance run in the ninth.
Rafael Devers cut the Astros’ deficit to one with an inside-the-park home run, his second of the playoffs, to lead off the Boston ninth against closer Ken Giles.
Giles proceeded to strike out Jackie Bradley Jr. and got Dustin Pedroia to ground out to complete the six-out save.
Alex Bregman clubbed a game-tying solo home run off Sale in the eighth, his second of the series, and Springer and Jose Altuve drove in one run apiece for Houston.
Andrew Benintendi hit a tying two-run homer in the fifth and Xander Bogaerts crushed his first career playoff homer, a solo shot in the first, for the Red Sox.
Game 1 starter and winner Justin Verlander (2-0) earned the victory after making his first career relief appearance, allowing one earned run on one hit — Benintendi’s homer — with two walks in 2 2/3 innings.