An early pitchers’ duel turned into a slugfest, and the Astros squandered a four-run lead in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, losing for the second straight day at Yankee Stadium, 6-4.
For much of the game, bats were quiet on both sides, thanks to exceptional work in the early innings by Lance McCullers Jr. for the Astros, and solid pitching by the Yanks’ Sonny Gray. But in the top of the sixth, George Springer walked, Josh Reddick went to first after catcher interference was called, and Altuve walked to load the bases. After Carlos Correa struck out, Yuli Gurriel smashed a liner down the left field line just past the glove of the Yanks’ third baseman Todd Frazier. By the time the ball was recovered, the bases had been cleared and the Astros were up 3-0. The team scored again in the next inning, after Marwin Gonzalez doubled, later scoring after an error by the Yankees’ second baseman Starlin Castro.
In the bottom of the seventh, after a towering home run by right fielder Aaron Judge, the Astros’ relief squad--the team’s Achilles heel--allowed the Yanks to build momentum and come roaring back. Chris Devenski immediately gave up a triple to shortstop Didi Gregorius, who scored on a sacrifice. Next, Joe Musgrove came in for Devenski, retiring the Yanks in the seventh. But in the eighth, after singles by Frazier and Chase Headley, and with nobody out, A.J. Hinch turned to closer Ken Giles. Frazier scored on a ground out by Brett Gardner, which brought up Judge, who doubled home Headley to tie the game. Later in the inning, Gary Sanchez doubled home two runs, giving the Yankees a 6-4 lead and, ultimately, the game.