Astros 10, White Sox 1
There was not much suspense after the fourth inning of Game Four of the ALDS between the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox. Houston rode another impressive showing by the offense and great outing by Lance McCullers Jr. to victory. With this win, the Astros are on to their fifth consecutive ALCS appearance.
Astros’ Bats Come to Life
The White Sox jumped out to the early lead in the second inning with a Gavin Sheets solo home run. However, this was the only offense they could muster. It was all Houston after this point. The Astros took the lead on a Carlos Correa two-run double in the third inning. In the next inning, Martin Maldonado’s first postseason hit drove in the Astros’ third run of the day. Later in the inning, Alex Bregman drove in two more with a double.
In the sixth inning, Michael Brantley drove in the Astros’ sixth run of the day with a single. Brantley had another RBI single in the eighth. Warnings were issued in the bottom of the eighth after Astros’ reliever Kendall Graveman hit White Sox’ first baseman Jose Abreu with a pitch. Jose Altuve punctuated the scoring and the series with a three-run home run off of White Sox’ closer Liam Hendriks in the ninth, bringing the final score to 10-1.
How the Astros Beat the White Sox
The Astros needed to do well in all facets of the game in this series to win it, and that they did. However, the biggest reason Houston is advancing is their unrelenting lineup. They had success in the lineup from top to bottom. Starting from the top, Altuve scored nine of the team’s 31 runs in this four-game series. Kyle Tucker drove in seven runs while hitting a couple big home runs and stealing a couple bases. Correa hit .385 with four big RBI and four runs scored.
Outside of a big 12-run blowup in Game Three, the Astros’ pitching was also a key to success. In the other three games of the series combined, Houston pitchers combined to give up six runs in total. The Astros’ pitching staff was led by McCullers Jr, who furthered his reputation as a big game pitcher. The veteran made two starts in the ALDS, pitching 10 2/3 innings and giving up only a single run.
Houston’s bullpen also fared pretty well. In the four-game series, the bullpen gave up eight runs, but seven came in the blowout loss in Game Three. In the other games combined, the pen gave up one run. Closer Ryan Pressly did not rack up any saves due to the margins of victory the Astros had, but he pitched three scoreless innings over the course of the ALDS.
Astros Advance to ALCS
With the Astros’ ALDS victory over the White Sox, Houston is now on to its’ fifth consecutive ALCS appearance. They are the third team ever to reach five straight league championship series. They will face up against the Boston Red Sox with a World Series appearance on the line. The ALCS begins at Minute Maid Park on Friday.
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