Astros blast past Red Sox for World Series spot

Yordan Alvarez had an RBI double among his four hits on Friday, helping the host Houston Astros advance to the World Series for the third time in five years with a 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Kyle Tucker belted a three-run homer in the eighth inning for the Astros, who dispatched the Red Sox in six games to win the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

The Astros, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series and fell to the Washington Nationals in the 2019 Fall Classic, will face the winner of the National League Championship Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Dodgers. Atlanta holds a 3-2 edge entering Game 6 on Saturday.

The World Series will open on Tuesday in Houston or Los Angeles.

Alvarez had a triple, two doubles and a single to finish 12-for-23 (.522) with a homer, six RBIs and seven runs in the ALCS, landing his series Most Valuable Player honours. He was 9-for-13 with five extra-base hits over the last three games.

Rookie Luis Garcia (1-1) allowed one hit and struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings. The performance stood in stark contrast to his previous outing in Game 2 on Saturday, when he surrendered a grand slam and five runs in one-plus inning of a 9-5 loss.

Alvarez, who had a run-scoring double in the first inning, chased Josh Taylor with a triple to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Tanner Houck hit Carlos Correa with a pitch before Tucker’s hard-hit smash to first base resulted in a double play, but heads-up baserunning allowed Alvarez to score from third to give Houston a 2-0 advantage.

Tucker extended the Astros’ cushion with two outs in the eight inning. He deposited a 2-1 fastball from Adam Ottavino over the left field wall for his second homer of the ALCS and fourth of the postseason. (Reuters)