The Houston Astros evened the best-of-seven American League Championship Series (ALCS) at two games apiece with a commanding 10-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 4 on Thursday night. The game was marked by struggles from both starting pitchers, resulting in a combined six runs in just three innings of work.
Astros’ Corey Seager broke his ALCS slump with a home run, while first baseman José Abreu added to his impressive postseason performance with his fourth home run. The Astros faced a potential threat in the bottom of the fifth inning, but a controversial double play credited to Abreu after a replay review helped squash the Rangers’ momentum.
Before the game, there was much discussion about the decision to keep the roof open at Globe Life Field, which generally favors hitters. However, it was the visiting Astros who took full advantage of the conditions.
Looking ahead, Game 5 will be held in Arlington, and with the series tied at 2-2, it guarantees at least a Game 6 back in Houston.
Here are some key takeaways from Game 4:
– Texas starter Andrew Heaney struggled, lasting only two outs in the game and allowing three runs on four hits.
– The Rangers now face concerns about bullpen fatigue heading into Game 5, as their pitchers were heavily relied upon in Game 4.
– Astros’ starter Urquidy initially had a 3-0 lead, but that quickly dissipated as the Rangers tied the game in the third inning.
– Yordan Alvarez of the Astros narrowly missed a grand slam in the fourth inning, settling for a sac fly instead.
– José Abreu extended Houston’s lead with a powerful home run, solidifying their advantage in the game.
– The Astros’ victory means the ALCS has essentially become a best-of-three series, with Houston having home-field advantage for Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7.
– The upcoming Game 5 will be a rematch of Game 1, featuring the Astros’ Justin Verlander and the Rangers’ Jordan Montgomery.
With the series poised at 2-2, the pivotal Game 5 will determine which team has the upper hand as the series shifts back to Houston for Game 6. Historically, the team leading 3-2 in a best-of-seven MLB postseason series has a greater than 70% chance of ultimately winning. The outcome of Game 5 will have significant implications for both teams.
The pitching match-up for Game 5 mirrors that of Game 1, with Verlander taking the mound for the Astros and Montgomery for the Rangers. The game is scheduled for 5:07 p.m. ET.
As the ALCS intensifies, baseball fans eagerly await the outcome of this critical Game 5, which could have a profound impact on the overall series.