The Red Sox will be playing past the American League Division Series for the first time since 2013.
Boston put away the New York Yankees 4-3 in Game 4 on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, clinching the ALDS 3-1 and securing a date with the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.
Three of Boston’s runs came in the third inning, with one other coming in the fourth. After that, the Sox relied on the pitching to carry them to victory.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The game hung in the balance the entire time, but clutch showings at different points in the game guided the Red Sox to the series-clinching win.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello was sharp in five innings of work, earning his first postseason win. He allowed one run on four hits with no walks and one strikeout.
The right-hander was in total control through the first few innings. He tossed 1-2-3 frames in the first and third, and allowed a single in the second and double in the fourth but stranded both runners.
Porcello ran into his only trouble of the night in the fifth inning. He surrendered a one-out double to Gary Sanchez then a single to Gleyber Torres, which moved Sanchez to third. Brett Gardner came through with a sacrifice fly, cutting Boston’s lead to 4-1. With Torres on third and two out, Porcello got Aaron Hicks to fly out to finish the inning and end his night.
— Matt Barnes entered in the sixth and was faced with Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and Giancarlo Stanton, but retired the trio in order.
— Ryan Brasier took over in the seventh and pitched a hitless, scoreless stanza, striking out one.
— In a somewhat surprising development, it was Chris Sale who got the ball in the eighth, but he didn’t disappoint. The southpaw sat down all three batters he faced, striking out one.
— Craig Kimbrel handled the ninth and began the inning by issuing a walk and giving up a single. He bounced back by striking out Stanton, but walked Luke Voit to load the bases. Kimbrel then plunked Neil Walker, bringing in a run to make it 4-2 while keeping the bases juiced. Gary Sanchez brought the game within one with a sacrifice fly, but Kimbrel got Torres to ground out to end the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— After a 16-run deluge in Game 3, the Red Sox still had some runs left in the chamber for Game 4, starting with a three-spot in the third to open the scoring.
Andrew Benintendi was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, then moved to third on a Steve Pearce single the next at-bat. J.D. Martinez responded by bringing Benintendi home with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. Pearce moved to second on a Xander Bogaerts ground out, then to third on a passed ball from CC Sabathia.
Ian Kinsler roped a double to left that went just over Brett Gardner’s head and brought Pearce in, then he scored when Eduardo Nunez followed up the two-bagger with a single down the left field line, extending the advantage to 3-0.
— With Sabathia out of the game, Christian Vazquez welcomed Zach Britton in the fourth with a leadoff homer just over the short porch in right field, furthering the lead to 4-0.
— Pearce and Nunez led the Red Sox with two hits apiece.
— Martinez, Bogaerts, Kinsler and Vazquez all had one hit.
— Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Benintendi went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
When you run rings around Aaron Boone.
The Red Sox will begin the American League Championship Series against the Astros on Saturday night. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 8:09 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images