The Runner Sports

ALDS Game 4: Bregman, Beltran Lead Astros To 5th Franchise LCS, Edge Red Sox, 5-4

It was a nail-biter. It was an edge-of-the-seater. Houston Astros third baseman, Alex Bregman, hit a game-tying solo home run in the 8th inning off Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale, making a rare appearance out of the bullpen, and pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran‘s 8th inning double added a needed insurance run, sealing Houston’s 5-4 win in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.

Houston topped the Sox in the best-of-five series, 3-1, as the Fenway Park win, Monday, sends the Astros to the fifth League Championship Series in club history (first time since 2005), Friday, their first in the American League.

Having opened the scoring in Game 1 with a long homer off Sale, Bregman solved the tall righty again, before right fielder, Josh Reddick, slapped a single off RHP Craig Kimbrel to score pinch-runner Cameron Maybin, making the score 4-3. Following a hit-by-pitch of Marwin Gonzalez, Yuli Gurriel singled to right. After seeing eight pitches from Kimbrel, pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran chased the top closer with a run-scoring double off the Green Monster, stretching the score to 5-3.

Related: Josh Reddick: Speedos, Spiderman, and the Tao of “WOO!”

For those who actually wondered why Beltran should be on the postseason roster, it was for matchups like the one against Kimbrel. Needless to say, his insurance-run RBI was the one needed to put the game, ultimately, out of reach.

Houston closer, Ken Giles, pitched a perfect 8th, but yielded an inside-the-park homer to Rafael Devers in the bottom of the ninth; the tough righty gritted his teeth, and sewed the game shut with the final score landing on 5-4.

While not overpowering, Houston got on the board first (as they had done in all four of the series’ games), as center fielder, George Springer, doubled to left-center, and moved to third on a wild pitch by Boston starter, Rick Porcello. After a Reddick walk, Jose Altuve hit into a double play, scoring Springer.

A strong defensive play in the third by left fielder, Marwin Gonzalez, kept a run off the board for the Sox. With two outs, Hanley Ramirez singled with Keith Moreland trying to score from second. Gonzalez lasered a throw that nailed Moreland, easily, at the plate.

Bringing starting ace Justin Verlander in to pitch in the 5th inning in relief would have been hotly debated had the Astros let this one go. Verlander had never pitched in relief before, even in the minors, and the Red Sox bringing in their ace, Sale, in the 4th, gave Houston manager A.J. Hinch the notion that the Sox may think the rain, threatening to worsen throughout the game, might hold off. Sale ended up pitching 4.2 innings, and drew the loss. Verlander’s stint lasted 2.2 innings, and he gave up a run.

Related: Astros Win Game 2, While Sox Stay Alive With Game 3 Victory

Bringing in ALDS Game 1 starter Verlander into this game showed the confidence Hinch has in fellow ace, Dallas Keuchel, in starting Friday’s ALCS Game 1 in Houston, against the Yankees, as they eliminated the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday night.

For coverage from the Yankees’ perspective throughout the ALCS, follow TRS’ Griffin Fuller.

The Astros have the home-field advantage for the ALCS.

Related: Pride, Purpose, Passion Propel Astros Into Playoffs

Brad Kyle

Brad Kyle

Brad Ramone with (L-R) Dee Dee, Johnny, and Joey Ramone, backstage at Houston's Liberty Hall, July, 1977.

Johnny, the Ramones' influential guitarist, who passed away in 2004 at 55, was an avid baseball and New York Yankees fan since childhood. He even once ranked baseball above rock'n'roll in a personal Top 10 List!

Like Johnny, my love for rock is only equaled by my love for baseball and my hometown Houston Astros, present and past!

At TRS, you'll get full Astros coverage, minor league peeks, player profiles, interviews, MLB historical perspective, and maybe a little rock'n'roll!
Brad Kyle