MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 1 0 0 0 5 1 0 2 9110
Boston0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 132
  W: F. Valdez (1-0)   L: C. Sale (0-1)
2:08 PM PT3:08 PM MT4:08 PM CT5:08 PM ET17:08 ET21:08 GMT5:08 2:08 PM MST4:08 PM EST4:38 PM VEN1:08 UAE (+1)3:08 PM CT, October 20, 2021
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 37,599

Astros carry momentum from late rally into Game 5 at Boston

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox

  1. The Astros have trailed in four of their five postseason wins this year (including both wins in this series), and they came from behind in five of their eight postseason victories last year.
  2. The Astros' seven-run ninth inning tied the MLB record for most runs scored by one team in the ninth inning of a postseason game. The last such inning before yesterday was by the Marlins in Game 3 of the 1997 World Series. The Red Sox allowed a seven-run ninth inning in a postseason game once before: to the A's in Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS at Fenway Park.
  3. This is the seventh best-of-seven ALCS to be tied at two wins apiece. In five of the six prior instances the Game 5 winner went on to win the series. The exception was in 2017, when the Astros lost Game 5 to the Yankees in New York but won Games 6 and 7 in Houston.
  4. Kiké Hernandez is 19-for-41 (.463) in nine postseason games this year. (No other player has more than 14 hits in the 2021 playoffs.) The MLB record for fewest games needed to reach 20 hits in one postseason is 11, a mark shared by Marquis Grissom (1995), Carlos Beltran (2004), Hideki Matsui (2004) and David Ortiz (2004).
  5. Framber Valdez is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA and .175 opponents BA in his four career postseason road games (three starts and one in relief, all in 2020). In his two postseason home games (two starts in 2021) he has allowed seven runs (six earned) and 13 hits in seven innings.
  6. Chris Sale is 1-1 with an 8.18 ERA in his six career postseason starts. The only other pitcher in MLB history with an ERA of 8.00 or higher in the first six postseason starts of his career is Doyle Alexander, who was 0-5 with an 8.38 ERA in his only six postseason starts.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 10/20/2021 thru 10/20/2021
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

BOSTON -- One crooked inning on Tuesday night sent the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox back to square one.

Houston erupted for seven runs in the ninth inning en route to a 9-2 victory in Game 4, leveling the best-of-seven American League Championship Series at two games apiece.

Now a best-of-three between the Astros and Red Sox will decide which team will advance to the World Series, starting with Game 5 on Wednesday night in Boston.

The Red Sox had outscored the Astros 21-8 while winning Games 2 and 3 to take a 2-1 series advantage.

Xander Bogaerts' go-ahead, two-run homer in the first inning of Game 4 gave Boston a 2-1 lead that held until Jose Altuve's game-tying solo homer in the eighth inning.

In the ninth, Jason Castro's two-out RBI single opened the floodgates for the Astros to make it a brand new series.

"We're all going to bounce back. It's who we are," said Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who will start Game 5. "We're tied now, and we've got one more at home. ... We've got to take this last one, hop on the plane to Houston and take care of business down there."

Wednesday's game will feature a rematch from the series opener as Astros left-hander Framber Valdez (0-0, 7.71 ERA in the 2021 postseason) opposes Boston southpaw Sale (0-0, 14.73 ERA).

"It's going to be a fun game, man," Houston shortstop Carlos Correa said. "Sale versus Valdez. You've got two great pitchers. It's gonna be great, so make sure you tune in."

Neither Valdez nor Sale was effective in Houston's 5-4 victory in Game 1 on Friday.

Valdez allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, with three walks and two strikeouts, in 2 2/3 innings. Sale also lasted just 2 2/3 innings while giving up a run on five hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

Valdez will be making his third start of this postseason. He tossed 4 1/3 innings of four-run, seven-hit ball, with a walk and six strikeouts, in Houston's 9-4 win against the Chicago White Sox in Game 2 of the teams' AL Division Series.

Despite his struggles this October, Valdez has posted a respectable 3-1 record with a 3.19 ERA in six career postseason games (five starts). In regular-season outings against Boston, the 27-year-old lefty is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four total appearances (two starts).

Sale has earned his reputation as one of the premier southpaws in the game, but his numbers in the postseason have been far from dominant. In nine career playoff games (six starts), Sale has gone 1-2 with a 6.91 ERA.

His last start prior to Game 1 did little to reverse that trend, as Sale was pulled after serving up five first-inning runs on four hits -- including a grand slam by Tampa Bay's Jordan Luplow -- in Boston's wild 14-6 comeback win over the Rays in Game 2 of their ALDS.

The seven-time All-Star has faced Houston in nine regular-season starts, going 5-3 with a 2.20 ERA.

--Gethin Coolbaugh, Field Level Media

Updated October 20, 2021

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