Houston came through late
Astros use late offensive surge to take ALCS Game 4 and even series with Red Sox
Although not technically an elimination game, down 2-1, and with the knowledge of the lack of success of teams that go down 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, the Astros knew they needed a win in ALCS Game 4 in a big way. Although they would get the first highlight of the night, things shifted back Boston's way until, in the final two innings, Houston would overtake the Red Sox for the crucial win.
Final Score: Astros 9, Red Sox 2
ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 2-2
Winning Pitcher: Kendall Graveman
Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi
Both teams get first-inning homers before runs become scarce
Houston got what they needed in the top of the first inning to grab the early momentum to shake off the two lopsided losses, courtesy of Alex Bregman. He launched a solo homer with two outs to put the Astros in front 1-0, sending Zack Greinke to the mound with a lead. After two quick outs by Greinke in the bottom of the first, though, Boston would quickly shift things back their way, getting a walk followed by a go-ahead two-run homer to make it 2-1 after the first frame.
Things stayed in a stalemate there into the late innings, and over that span, Houston tried to navigate getting a full game out of their strained bullpen and pitching staff. After getting through the first, Greinke would face just two batters in the second, getting one out while allowing a walk, making it through Boston's lineup one time but only getting four outs from them. Brooks Raley was first out of the Astros' bullpen, getting the final two outs of the second inning.
Javier eats up much-needed innings as the game stays close
While the Astros continued to be stymied at the plate by Nick Pivetta, they handed the ball to Cristian Javier, starting in the bottom of the third, hoping to get a few innings out of him. He did his job well, erasing a walk in the third, stranding a one-out triple in the fourth and a one-out double in the fifth. Javier stayed on the mound for the bottom of the sixth to face one more batter, issuing a walk before Phil Maton would come in and sit down three Boston batters in a row to keep it a one-run game.
Astros roar back to take Game 4 and tie series 2-2
Kendall Graveman took over in the bottom of the seventh, and against the 2-4 hitters in Boston's lineup, was able to get a 1-2-3 inning to keep the score put. On the first pitch of the top of the eighth, Jose Altuve finally gave Houston's offense a spark, drilling it for a game-tying solo homer over the Green Monster to make it 2-2.
.@JoseAltuve27 has 21 HR in the #postseason, the third most ever.
He only trails:
Manny Ramirez, 29
Bernie Williams, 22 pic.twitter.com/b8Atbg2z5O
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 20, 2021
Graveman kept going in the bottom of that inning, getting two outs to make it five in a row sat down before issuing a two-out walk, which he would erase by getting the third out against the next batter as the tied game went to the ninth. Boston opted to bring in Game 2 starter Nathan Eovaldi out of their bullpen in the top of the ninth, and he was met with a leadoff double by Carlos Correa to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.
Still on second after two outs and an intentional walk to Yuli Gurriel, Correa looked to Jason Castro to try and come through and bring him home. He did so, getting an RBI single to give the Astros their first lead since that homer back in the top of the first inning and leaving runners on the corners. Jose Altuve loaded the bases against Eovaldi, working a walk as Boston would move on to another reliever to try and end the threat.
Instead, Michael Brantley blew it open on the first pitch he saw, getting a bases-clearing double to extend Houston's lead to four runs. He would score as well, as the runs kept coming on RBI singles by Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker and another on an error, making it a seven-run frame and a 9-2 lead. Already warmed up, Ryan Pressly entered in the bottom of the inning to finish things off, and despite a couple of two-out singles, he would wrap up the massive win for Houston.
Up Next: ALCS Game 5 will get started earlier on Wednesday, with a start time of 4:08 PM Central from Fenway Park in Boston. While not confirmed, the expected pitching matchup is a rematch of Game 1 with Chris Sale for the Red Sox going against Framber Valdez for the Astros.
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