Astros Advance

Say what you wanted about the ALDS series between the Red Sox and the Astros but it ended the way it began—with Justin Verlander and Chris Sale pitching.

But when I say ended—I mean “ended” because those two men that started Game 1 were each called in as middle relievers in last night’s Game 4 with the same result.

Verlander got the win and Sale got the loss as the Astros advanced to their first ever American League Championship Series, rallying past the Boston Red Sox 5-4.

Verlander—the former AL MVP and Cy Young winner—earned the victory in his first relief appearance after 424 starts in a major and minor league career.

"All the things that you would like to do as a starter, and I was able to do that," Verlander said. "Top to bottom, man, these guys grinded against two of the toughest competitors in this game in Sale and (closer Craig) Kimbrel."

Carlos Beltran added to his postseason legacy with an RBI double in the ninth—an insurance run that became the game-winner when Rafael Devers hit an inside-the-park homer off closer Ken Giles over leaping center fielder George Springer and off the Green Monster toward center.

Giles retired the next three batters for the six-out save.Please! I don't want to hear about 2005!!!

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