CHICAGO – José Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman did it again.
Guided by their proven figures in October, the Houston Astros will contest the American League Championship Series for the fifth consecutive year.
Altuve hit a three-run homer, scored four times and stole a base, as Houston beat the Chicago White Sox 10-1 on Tuesday night, eliminated in the fourth game of the division series.
Both Correa and Bregman hit two-run doubles, and the Astros finished the series, a mission they couldn’t accomplish Sunday when they fell 12-6.
On Tuesday, they did it with their usual good baseball formula. Michael Brantley had three hits and drove in a pair of runs.
On Friday, Altuve and company will play the first game of the Championship Series against their former bench coach Alex Cora, current manager of the Boston Red Sox, who eliminated Tampa Bay on Monday.
“They know how to play,” Altuve said. “They’ve been to the playoffs before, so it’s going to be fun.”
That first meeting will take place in Houston.
It will be Houston’s second Championship Series under manager Dusty Baker, 72, who beat Tony La Russa, 77, in the duel.
Baker replaced AJ Hinch, who was fired after the Astros’ signal theft scandal, which also led to a one-year suspension for Cora.
Gavin Sheets homered for Chicago. He is the third rookie in franchise history to hit a home run in a postseason game.
However, Carlos Rodón was beaten in the third inning of what was his first start since Sept. 29, and the Central Division monarchs stranded eight runners on the trails.
The White Sox were also eliminated in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, when they lost two of the three series games in Oakland. Before this year, the franchise had never advanced to the playoffs in consecutive years.
For the Astros, the Venezuelan Altuve 5-3 with four runs scored and three produced. The Cubans Yordan Álvarez 3-0, Yuli Gurriel 5-2. The Puerto Ricans Correa 4-2 with two RBIs, Martín Maldonado 4-1 with one scored and one RBI.
For the White Sox, the Cubans Yoán Moncada 4-1, Luis Robert 3-1, José Abreu 2-0, Yasmani Grandal 4-1. The Dominicans Eloy Jiménez 4-1, Leury García 3-0. Venezuelan César Hernández 3-1.