Astros close out Red Sox, advance to ALCS

It was a gutsy move, but it almost backfired.

Astros manager AJ Hinch, with the Astros nursing a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning of Game Four of the ALDS against the Red Sox, turned to starter Justin Verlander out of the bullpen. In what was Verlander’s first career relief appearance, he surrendered a two run homer to the first batter he faced.

But these Astros were not about to go quietly into that good night.

Alex Bregman homered in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game at three. Josh Reddick untied the game with an RBI single, and Carlos Beltran doubled in an insurance run in the eighth as the Astros held on for a 5-4 win.

The victory closed out the Red Sox and gave the Astros their first postseason series victory since 2005, when they won the national league pennant.

Astros fans were well represented in Boston, and told our television partner Channel 2 they are thrilled with what the Astros have done, putting an entire city on its back following the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

"It's awesome," Sloane Kamitzi-Ditzel said. "This park has such a long history, and for Houston to finally make a stamp in this place is awesome."

"Toward the end we stopped celebrating too much because we're like, 'we might get beaten up if we're not careful,'" said Sean Hardesty, a Houston native who now lives in Connecticut.

As for the players themselves, George Springer says they expected nothing less than this.

“We envisioned ourselves being here since the beginning of the ear,” Springer said.

The Astros will face the winner of the Yankees-Indians series. The deciding Game five is tomorrow. Game one of the ALCS will either be in Cleveland Friday night or at Minute Maid Park if the Yankees complete the comeback. They were down 2-0 in the best of five series.

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