Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrates his three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The Houston Astros are returning to the American League Championship Series for the fifth consecutive year after a 10-1 win over the Chicago White Sox in Game 4 of their AL Division Series on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve blasted a three-run homer in the ninth inning to punctuate his team's ALDS-clinching victory over the White Sox. He also scored four times and stole a base.
Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman each hit two-run doubles for the Astros in the win. Houston veteran outfielder Michael Brantley added three hits and two RBIs.
The Astros will play the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday in Houston. The Red Sox eliminated the division rival Tampa Bay Rays with a 6-5 win in Game 4 on Monday night.
"They know how to play the game," Altuve said of the Red Sox. "They've been in the playoffs before, so it's going to be fun."
Gavin Sheets put the White Sox ahead 1-0 with a 408-foot solo home run to center field in the bottom of the second. Sheets' long ball, however, proved to be the only offense that Chicago could muster, with the AL Central champions leaving eight runners on base.
The White Sox also fell in the first round of the 2020 postseason, losing two of three to the Oakland Athletics. Before this year, the White Sox had never reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
Correa's two-run double in the top of the third gave the Astros the lead for good. Houston added three runs in the fourth to extend its lead to 5-1.
Brantley then plated the Astros' next two runs with a pair of RBI singles, bringing the score to 7-1 in the eighth. Altuve's three-run shot in the ninth capped the Astros' dominant victory.
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. pitched four innings and allowed five hits and one run. He struck out five and walked three. Reliever Yimi Garcia took over for McCullers in the bottom of the fifth and threw a spotless inning to earn the win.
White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon, who was credited with the loss, lasted only 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs and three hits. He recorded three strikeouts and two walks.
The Astros are searching for their second World Series championship in franchise history. Houston won it all in 2017, a title that is mired in controversy after the organization was punished for an illegal sign-stealing scandal.