The Houston Astros clinched the ALDS with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in game four on Wednesday night inside Target Field. The win propels the Astros to their seventh consecutive American League Championship Series.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Twins started right-handed Joe Ryan, who was making his first career postseason start. Ryan was able to work a quick one-two-three first inning against the Astros.
Houston went to veteran righty Jose Urquidy. Urquidy allowed a lead-off double, but that was erased by a diving double play from shortstop Jeremy Peña. However, the next batter was Royce Lewis, who launched a solo home run to left field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
The Astros were able to answer in the top half of the second. After a couple of quick outs, Michael Brantley crushed a solo homer to right to tie it 1-1. Ryan was able to work his way through that inning afterwards, but that is where is night would end.
The Twins decided to go with a bullpen approach after two innings. In the fourth, the Astros got some offense going off of Caleb Thielbar courtesy of a two-run home run for Jose Abreu- his third in the last two games. That made it 3-1 Astros.
Urquidy was able to settle in after the first inning. He tossed zeroes in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings. In the sixth, Edouard Julien got to him for a solo home run to cut the lead in half and make it 3-2.
Urquidy got two outs in that inning, and then the Astros turned to Hector Neris. Neris was able to get out of the sixth with the Astros clinging to their one-run lead. Additionally, he worked a clean seventh, getting four huge outs in this ballgame for Houston.
The Minnesota bullpen did an outstanding job in the latter innings keeping the Astros off the basepaths. Abreu reached in the ninth, but that was the only baserunner they had in the late stages.
Bryan Abreu worked a clean eighth for Houston, and they handed the ball to closer Ryan Pressly to try to send them back to the ALCS, clinging to a one-run lead. Pressly navigated the two-three-four hitters perfectly to send the Astros back to the championship series.
BIG NUMBER: 3
Three represents the number of runs the Astros scored in game four. It also represents the number of home runs Jose Abreu hit in the last two games. The next three the Astros will work on? A third consecutive ALCS title.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jose Abreu
Abreu went 2-4 with a huge two-run home run that proved to be the difference. It was a slow start to the Astros’ career of Jose, but he sure is arriving in the big moments.
UP NEXT: Game one of the American League Championship Series between the Astros and the Texas Rangers will be on Sunday, October 15th with the start time to be determined.