clearn.png
Wednesday October 20th, 2021 2:29AM

Altuve, Astros going back to ALCS after topping White Sox

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHICAGO (AP) — It was Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman once again.

The Houston Astros are going to the AL Championship Series for the fifth straight year. Their October-tested stars led the way.

Altuve hit a three-run homer and scored four times, and Houston eliminated the Chicago White Sox with a 10-1 victory in Game 4 of their AL Division Series on Tuesday.

“We don't get tired of this moment,” Correa said. “They're special, and we perform our best when October comes.”

Correa and Bregman each hit a two-run double as the Astros bounced back from Sunday night's 12-6 loss with their usual relentless brand of baseball. Michael Brantley had three hits and two RBIs.

Next up for Altuve and company is Game 1 of the ALCS against former Astros bench coach Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox on Friday in Houston. The Red Sox eliminated Tampa Bay with a 6-5 victory in Game 4 on Monday night.

“We're playing another good team,” Altuve said.

It's Houston’s second ALCS under 72-year-old manager Dusty Baker, whose club got the best of 77-year-old Chicago skipper Tony La Russa. Baker replaced A.J. Hinch, who was fired in the fallout from the Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scandal that also resulted in a one-year ban for Cora.

A testy La Russa argued with umpire Tom Hallion after he felt Houston reliever Kendall Graveman hit reigning AL MVP José Abreu intentionally with two out in the eighth. Abreu was plunked 22 times during the regular season.

“There is a character choice there that they should answer for,” La Russa said. "Stupid, too.

“I'll be interested to see if they admit it. If they don't admit it, then they're very dishonest.”

Baker, who has sparred with La Russa in the past, said his team did not throw at Abreu intentionally.

“There was no reason for us to hit Abreu,” Baker said. “He hadn't done anything to us.”

Gavin Sheets connected for Chicago, becoming the third rookie in franchise history to homer in a postseason game. But Carlos Rodón was knocked out in the third inning of his first start since Sept. 29, and the AL Central champions left eight runners on base.

The White Sox also lost in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, dropping two of three in Oakland. Before this year, the franchise had never made consecutive postseason appearances.

“It was a fun ride. Ended a little short,” Rodón said.

The Astros are looking for the franchise’s second championship after winning it all in 2017, a title that still evokes a strong reaction around the game after the team was punished for using electronics to steal signs.

The crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field chanted “Cheater! Cheater!” at times during the two games in Chicago, and White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera implied late Sunday night that Houston may have been stealing signs in Games 1 and 2.

But the Astros, used to dealing with boos since fans returned to the stands this season, brushed it all off.

“We've been constantly bombarded by negatives, especially on the road,” Baker said. “But these guys, they come to play and they love each other.”

Correa put Houston ahead to stay with his two-out double in the third, pulling Rodón’s high 0-2 fastball into left. The Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a fastball that hit Altuve, drawing a round of cheers from the crowd of 40,170.

Correa pointed to his left wrist and then pounded his chest and yelled “It’s my time!” as he stood on second after the big hit in his 67th career postseason game.

“You know what time it is, baby. It’s October,” Correa said after the victory. “So yeah, I was happy with that.”

That was it for Rodón, who was limited down the stretch because of shoulder soreness and fatigue. Running his fastball into the upper 90s again after another extended break, the left-hander was charged with two runs and three hits in his first career playoff start.

“He gave us everything he had,” La Russa said.

Houston added three more in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. Kyle Tucker singled and swiped second and third — the latter without a throw — before coming home on Martín Maldonado’s first hit of the series.

Bregman drove in Maldonado and Altuve with his two-out double on a 3-0 pitch from Garrett Crochet. The left-handed reliever then struck out the lefty-batting Yordan Alvarez, ending the inning.

The big hits by Correa and Bregman supplied more than enough offense for Lance McCullers Jr., who departed with right forearm tightness after four effective innings. Yimi García got three outs for the win.

Asked if he was worried about his health, McCullers said: “I don’t know, we’ll find out, we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”

Altuve punctuated Houston’s big day with his 19th career postseason homer, a three-run shot off All-Star closer Liam Hendriks in the ninth.

“We've been here five times,” Altuve said. “And we just try to pass it on to the guys who are getting here for the first time.”

Sheets’ drive in the second bounced off the top of the wall and over. Astros center fielder Jake Meyers crashed into the wall trying to make a leaping grab, and then departed with left shoulder discomfort.

The White Sox lost their center fielder when Luis Robert left with right leg tightness before the Astros batted in the seventh.

___

Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Altuve, Astros going back to ALCS after topping White Sox
Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer and scored four times, and the Houston Astros eliminated the Chicago White Sox with a 10-1 victory in Game 4 of their AL Division Series
6:44PM ( 9 minutes ago )
3 employees killed in shooting at postal facility in Memphis
Authorities say two Postal Service workers have been fatally shot at a postal facility in Memphis, the third high-profile shooting in west Tennessee in recent weeks
6:36PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Retirements, bumpy NCAAs part of ACC 'transitional period'
The Atlantic Coast Conference is facing a changing landscape in men's basketball amid coaching retirements, roster upheaval and a bumpy showing in last year's NCAA Tournament
6:36PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'Punting Is Winning' shirts symbolize No. 2 Hawkeyes' season
Iowa's Tory Taylor is selling a T-shirt for charity
5:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
US soccer has Jekyll & Hyde personality ahead of Costa Rica
The U.S. soccer team has a Jekyll and Hyde personality that makes it difficult to determine which will show for a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica in Columbus, Ohio
5:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Florida fines county over its vaccine mandate
Florida has issued its first fine to a county it accuses of violating a new state law banning coronavirus vaccine mandates and for firing 14 workers who failed to get the shots
5:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Morton vs. Lauer in Game 4 of NLDS between Braves, Brewers
Charlie Morton will start on three days’ rest for the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers
3:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
Blowin' in the wind: Giants edge Dodgers 1-0 on Longoria HR
Evan Longoria homered off Max Scherzer in the fifth inning and the San Francisco Giants edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on a blustery night to take a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series
4:44AM ( 14 hours ago )
LEADING OFF: Braves make their pitch to close out Brewers
Boosted by a sharp start from Ian Anderson, Braves pitchers have now thrown 19 straight scoreless innings against Milwaukee in the NL Division Series
2:33AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
García, Grandal star as White Sox beat Astros 12-6 in ALDS
Leury García and Yasmani Grandal homered, and Grandal’s borderline baserunning helped the Chicago White Sox top the Houston Astros 12-6 to stay alive in their AL Division Series
2:27AM ( 1 day ago )
White Sox reliever implies Astros may be stealing signs
White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera implied that Houston may have been stealing signs in Games 1 and 2 of their AL Division Series after Chicago won the third game Sunday night
2:16AM ( 1 day ago )
García, Grandal shine as White Sox beat Astros 12-6 in ALDS
Leury García and Yasmani Grandal homered, and Grandal’s borderline baserunning helped the Chicago White Sox top the Houston Astros 12-6 to stay alive in their AL Division Series
1:23AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
3 employees killed in shooting at postal facility in Memphis
Authorities say two Postal Service workers have been fatally shot at a postal facility in Memphis, the third high-profile shooting in west Tennessee in recent weeks
6:36PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Retirements, bumpy NCAAs part of ACC 'transitional period'
The Atlantic Coast Conference is facing a changing landscape in men's basketball amid coaching retirements, roster upheaval and a bumpy showing in last year's NCAA Tournament
6:36PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Brian Goldner, who led transformation a Hasbro, dies at 58
Brian Goldner, who as CEO and chairman spearheaded Hasbro’s transformation from a toy company to an entertainment force, has died
6:22PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Police say accused synagogue shooter talked of killing Jews
Pittsburgh police officers say the man accused of killing 11 people in a synagogue shooting three years ago made several references to killing Jews
6:16PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Cardinals, Bills tied for top spot in latest AP Pro32 poll
The Arizona Cardinals and the Buffalo Bills are tied for the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll
6:03PM ( 50 minutes ago )