Houston leads the series 2-1

Astros drop wild ALDS Game 3 as White Sox stave off elimination

Houston gave up a four-run lead as Chicago's offense battered Astros' pitching in ALDS Game 3. Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

With two sure-handed wins at home under their belt in this series already, the Astros picked up in Chicago to try and complete an ALDS sweep in hostile territory. After at one point grabbing a four-run lead, Houston's momentum quickly deteriorated in Game 3, as the White Sox would roar back to win and force a Game 4.

Final Score: White Sox 12, Astros 6

ALDS Series (Best of Five): Houston leads 2-1

Winning Pitcher: Michael Kopech

Losing Pitcher: Yimi Garcia

White Sox score first, but Houston roars back

In the rowdy confines of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, the Astros as visitors had their chance to quiet the crowd if they could put together some offense in the top of the first inning. That didn't happen, as Dylan Cease would keep the home fans energized with a 1-2-3 frame. Luis Garcia then took the mound in the bottom half and would allow a leadoff single to come around to score with two outs on an RBI single to make it a 1-0 White Sox lead.

After the impressive first, Cease had a disastrous top of the second. He issued back-to-back walks to start the frame, bringing Kyle Tucker to the plate, who put the Astros in front with a two-RBI double. Tucker moved to third on a flyout by Yuli Gurriel, then scored on an RBI single by Jake Meyers, extending the new lead to two runs. Cease would face two more batters, getting a generous strikeout call for out two then issuing another walk as Chicago would make the change to Michael Kopech, who would get the third out.

Tucker notches two more RBI before Chicago's offense breaks out

Tucker would get the best of Kopech in the top of the third, as he would get his second two-RBI hit in as many innings and at-bats, taking advantage of a runner on base by launching a two-run opposite-field home run to push the lead to 5-1. Chicago would breathe some life back into the stadium against Garcia in the bottom of the inning, as a leadoff walk would set them up for their own two-run homer, as Yasmani Grandal would trim the lead back to two runs at 5-3.

Luis Garcia's struggles continued in the third, as after the home run, he would get a groundout before giving up back-to-back hard-hit singles, putting the tying run on first base. After falling behind 2-0 on the next batter, Dusty Baker would make the hasty call to bring in Yimi Garcia in the middle of the at-bat. That proved costly, as Garcia would give up a go-ahead three-run homer to Leury Garcia, putting the White Sox back on top by a run at 6-5.

Houston tied things up in the top of the fourth, putting together a two-out rally starting with a walk by Jose Altuve, who would later score on an RBI single by Alex Bregman. Things spiraled out of control in the bottom of the inning for the Astros, though, as Yimi Garcia would allow three-straight singles, the third an RBI by Jose Abreu to give Chicago the lead back.

Dusty Baker then moved to Zack Greinke in the middle of the inning, and chaos ensued as he would induce a groundball to Yuli Gurriel by Grandal, who would run wide down the first-base line and get hit by Gurriel's throw home. That allowed the run to score, which would stand after an umpire conference. Greinke would allow an RBI single in the next at-bat, making it 9-6, before he would get the three outs to put an end to the lengthy inning.

Astros drop Game 3 as White Sox live to see another day

Things settled down after that inning on both sides, as Houston's offense would go quiet with ten in a row getting retired by Chicago's bullpen to get through the seventh. After Greinke finished the fourth for Houston, Cristian Javier took over to try and get a long relief outing. He worked around a walk and hit batter in the fifth, then got the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston pitching in the sixth.

Javier would issue a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, then retired two more batters before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the final out of the frame. The White Sox continued to mow down Houston's bats with another scoreless inning in the eighth, then Stanek returned to get two strikeouts to start the bottom of the eighth before Baker would bring in Brooks Raley.

Raley would allow Chicago to reach double digits, giving up five two-out hits in a row, three driving in runs to make it a six-run game at 12-6 before he could get the third out. The Astros would not get anything going in the top of the ninth, as Liam Hendricks would make easy work of the three batters he faced to wrap up the win for Chicago.

Up Next: Game 4 of this best-of-five will be an afternoon start on Monday's four-game slate, beginning at 2:37 PM Central. The Astros have not yet named who they expect to start for the game, while Chicago is expected to send Carlos Rodon, who was 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA in the regular season, to the mound.
UPDATE: Game 4 was postponed due to weather on Monday, and will instead take place on Tuesday at 1:07 PM Central

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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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