Astros blow out White Sox, advance to ALCS
10/12/2021 10:01:46 PM EST
Jose Altuve slugged a three-run homer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley each drove in two runs, and the Houston Astros booked a spot in the American League Championship Series for the fifth straight season with a 10-1 trouncing of the host Chicago White Sox in Game 4 of the AL Division Series on Tuesday.
Correa delivered a two-run double in the third inning that put the Astros ahead to stay. Bregman ripped a two-run double one inning later as Houston won the best-of-five series three games to one. Brantley contributed a pair of one-run singles.
Altuve, who went 3-for-5 and scored four runs, turned the game into a laugher with his blast off White Sox right-hander Liam Hendriks in the ninth. He is tied for fourth in postseason history with 19 homers.
The Astros will face the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Houston, which has advanced to two of the past four World Series, lost in five games to the Red Sox in the 2018 ALCS.
Houston joins the Oakland Athletics (1971-75) as the lone AL team to reach five straight championship series.
"I think we have good chemistry and some of the guys have good experience being here for five times," Altuve said afterward on the FS1 broadcast. "We're playing as a team. We're a really good team. We're not trying to be heroes. We're just trying to win games."
Martin Maldonado also had an RBI single. Brantley was 3-for-6, Correa was 2-for-4 and Yuli Gurriel was 2-for-5 as Houston racked up 14 hits.
Gavin Sheets went 2-for-4 with a homer for the White Sox, who haven't won a postseason series since beating the Astros (then in the National League) in the 2005 World Series.
"Obviously right now it sucks, it hurts," Sheets said afterward. "But to have this experience my rookie year, I'm gonna grow from it."
Houston right-hander Yimi Garcia (1-0) recorded the victory with a perfect fifth inning.
Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. pitched the first four innings and allowed one run and five hits. He struck out five and walked three.
White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-1) gave up two runs and three hits over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
The Astros loaded the bases in the third inning against Rodon as Altuve was hit by a pitch with one out and Bregman and Yordan Alvarez drew two-out walks. Correa followed by lacing a 0-2 fastball for a two-run double to left to give Houston a 2-1 lead.
"I saw he was striking out people with the fastball up and he was yelling and banging his chest," Correa told FS1. "So I was like, 'I'm 0-2 right now, bases loaded, the crowd on their feet. He wants to blow a fastball by me so he can bang his chest once again.'
"So I was all over the fastball. I was trying to get on top of it and he threw it. And I capitalized on it, I was ready for it."
Houston's Kyle Tucker singled off right-hander Michael Kopech to lead off the fourth and stole second and third. With one out, Maldonado drilled a run-scoring single to center. Altuve followed with a single, and Bregman came up later in the inning and slammed a two-run double to left-center off left-hander Garrett Crochet to make it 5-1.
Brantley had RBI singles in both the sixth and eighth innings as Houston increased its margin to six runs.
"They beat us," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "They played better. We're disappointed."
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second when Sheets hit a one-out homer to center. Houston's Jake Meyers (left shoulder discomfort) was injured while leaping in an attempt to catch it and departed the game.
--Field Level Media
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