ALCS Game 4: Astros rally late, blow things open in ninth to win, 9-2

BOSTON — The Houston Astros rallied late to win ALCS Game 4 at Fenway Park Tuesday, knotting the series up at 2-2. After trailing most of the contest, the Astros tied the score on a homer in the eighth and went ahead on an RBI single in the ninth.

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The pivotal moment came in the top of the ninth inning when Nathan Eovaldi was staring down Jason Castro on a 1-2 count. A curveball dropped into the top right corner of the strike zone, looking like the inning-ending third strike. Instead, the pitch was called a ball. Two pitches later, Castro stroked an RBI single to right to give Houston the lead.

But that would be far from the end of a nightmare ninth inning for the Red Sox, who would yield six more runs across both Eovaldi’s and reliever Martin Perez’s late outings in the contest. The game would end that way as the Astros won, 9-2. With the series now tied at two games apiece, the Sox and ‘Stros will duel in Wednesday’s all-important Game 5 at Fenway Park.

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The Red Sox and Astros traded runs early in the contest, both launching home runs in the first inning.

Alex Bregman opened the scoring in the game by hitting a solo shot over the monster to put Houston ahead, 1-0. In the next half inning, Xander Bogaerts flipped the script, crushing a 2-run homer over the wall in left to turn the Sox one-run deficit into a one-run lead.

From that point on, the score remained the same until the first pitch of the eighth inning, where Houston leadoff man Jose Altuve crushed a solo shot of his own to knot the score at 2-2. That set the stage for Boston’s nightmare ninth, where Houston moved ahead for good to even the series.

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Live Updates:

12:15 p.m.: Bogaerts strikes out to end the game as the Astros win, 9-2, evening the ALCS at two games apiece.

12:00 p.m. The Astros opened the floodgates following the go-ahead single, adding six more runs to post a seven-spot in the ninth inning. Houston now leads 9-2.

11:40 p.m.: Following what looked to be an inning-ending third strike, Eovaldi yields a one-run single to Jason Castro, giving Houston the late lead, 3-2.

11:27 p.m.: Nathan Eovaldi heads in to pitch the top of the ninth with the score tied at 2-2.

11:08 p.m.: Altuve drills a solo home run over the monster in left to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the eighth.

10:58 p.m.: Nathan Eovaldi is warming in the bullpen for the Red Sox.

10:55 p.m.: Kyle Schwarber snags a scorcher hit to first to end the top of the seventh and send the Red Sox to the plate holding a 2-1 lead.

10:25 p.m.: Ottavino strikes out Correa as the Red Sox head to the bottom of the sixth still leading by a run.

10:23 p.m.: Quick hook for Taylor after getting two outs and yielding a single to Alvarez. Adam Ottavino on to pitch for Boston as they still lead 2-1.

10:20 p.m.: Josh Taylor comes on in relief of Pivetta, who finishes the day with the following final line: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.

10:05 p.m.: Rafael Devers turns a great play and Kyle Schwarber stretches for the final out of the top of the fifth inning.

9:53 p.m.: The Astros get out of a jam following a one-out triple by Christian Arroyo. A ground out by Schwarber and a foul out by Hernandez keep things at 2-1 Sox.

9:35 p.m.: Alex Cora gets into a dust-up with the home plate umpire following a strike-three call on JD Martinez that appeared to be outside the zone. Cora was restrained before he could face discipline.

9:00 p.m. Greinke exits with one out in the bottom of the second. Brooks Raley in for Houston.

8:50 p.m.: Pivetta escapes a jam with two on and two out by getting Maldonado to fly out to CF.

8:25 p.m.: Xander Bogaerts sends a shot over the wall in LF to make it 2-1 Boston as the early deficit evaporates.

8:14 p.m.: Houston takes a 1-run lead early as Alex Bregman hits a solo shot to left in the top of the first.

8:08 p.m.: The game is underway at Fenway Park!

6:00 p.m.: JD Martinez takes batting practice ahead of ALCS Game 4.

4:45 p.m.: The lineups are set heading into Game 4 for both squads. The Red Sox will use the same lineup they had in Game 3′s big win over Houston:

  1. Kyle Schwarber, 1B
  2. Kiké Hernandez, CF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  5. Alex Verdugo, LF
  6. J.D. Martinez, DH
  7. Hunter Renfroe, RF
  8. Christian Vazquez, C
  9. Christian Arroyo, 2B

And here’s how Houston will set their lineup for Game 4:

  1. Jose Altuve, 2B
  2. Michael Brantley, LF
  3. Alex Bregman, 3B
  4. Yordan Alvarez, DH
  5. Carlos Correa, SS
  6. Kyle Tucker, RF
  7. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
  8. Chas McCormick, CF
  9. Martín Maldonado, C

Here’s the schedule for the remaining game ahead in Boston:

ALCS Game 5: Wednesday, 5:08 p.m. at Fenway Park and on FS1.

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