Garcia, Alvarez help Astros oust Red Sox, reach World Series

Rookie Luis Garcia displayed the poise of an October ace and MVP Yordan Avarez was hot at the plate. The Houston Astros won another trip to the World Series by beating the Boston Red Sox 5-1 in Game 6 of their AL Championship Series.

Garcia, Alvarez help Astros oust Red Sox, reach World Series

The Astros reached the World Series for the first time in five seasons. They won the 2017 championship, a title marred by the sign-stealing scandal. In 2019, they lost seven games to the Washington Nationals.

Dusty Baker's team, Manager, will open the World Series Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium in Atlanta or at home against Atlanta. Los Angeles leads the Braves 3-2 going into Game 6.

Baker, 72 years old, said that there were four more wins. "You have four more wins to get."

Garcia pitched no-hit ball until the sixth inning. There was a huge ovation after Kike Hernandez's triple. The 24-year-old gave it his all, bouncing back from discomfort in his right knee. He pitched Game 2 and gave up a grand-slam in the first.

Alvarez's scorching streak continued a year after he watched at home, after undergoing surgery to his knees. The Astros were just one game away from the World Series. The hard-throwing designated hitter had four hits including a triple, two doubles and a single. He was a key player in Game 5's win, with three hits and three RBIs.

Alvarez set an ALCS record of.522 (12 out 23), with one homer and three doubles. He also had six RBIs during Houston's six-game win. In his 13 last at-bats, he scored nine runs.

Houston led 2-0 with Catcher Martin Maldonado making the defensive play on the strikeout-throwout double to end the seventh.

Baker will make his second trip to Fall Classic as a manager, and the first since leading San Francisco Giants to NL pennant glory in 2002. Baker was a Dodgers player and made three trips to the Fall Classic, winning them all in 1981.

Baker announced to a cheering crowd at Minute Maid Park, "Hey, it's me going back to World Series!"

Houston won the AL West title with a team win that included all aspects of the game. The Astros won without Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa hitting -- Alex Bregman scored two runs and got two hits.

The seventh was Boston's best chance to score. After Alex Verdugo's single, the wild-card Red Sox were left with runners at first and third. Kendall Graveman struck out Travis Shaw as a pinch-hitter, and Maldonado made the perfect throw to Correa who was second to end the inning.

Maldonado jumped with joy as Graveman, Correa and the crowd of 42 718 roared.

Kyle Tucker opened the game with a three-run homer in the eighth. He also had two outs. The cameras caught Houston's Hall of Fame duo of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, who cheered Tucker as he rounded the bases.

Ryan Pressly won the ninth. In their last game, the Red Sox, who had looked so strong at the plate at start of season, were only able to score two runs.

Bregman walked with two outs in his first, before Alvarez's double put the Astros ahead 1-0. Hernandez was poised to catch the ball, but it sailed below his glove and fell in for the hit.

Consecutive romps from Boston and its bashers gave the impression that the Red Sox had taken complete control of the series. However, as Alvarez's long fly proved, they weren't in complete control.

The Astros were buoyed by their young pitching staff and rediscovered offense and won the next two games 18-3 to win the series.

Framber Valdez pitched to the Astros to a game 5 win at Fenway Park. Then their rising stars Garcia and Alvarez, both 24 years old, took care of the rest.

Houston had an opportunity to increase the lead in the fourth. Bregman singled, and Alvarez doubled again to put Houston at third. They came up empty after Nathan Eovaldi escaped the jam.

Alvarez tripled in the sixth with no outs to chase Josh Taylor, Tanner Houck and Correa. Tucker hit a grounder at Kyle Schwarber, first baseman. Correa was then tagged for the unassisted double play. Alvarez made it 2-0.

Eovaldi won in a strong Game 2, but was later charged with losing Game 4, after giving up the go ahead runs in Game 9.

He allowed five runs and five hits Friday as the Red Sox lost to the Red Sox in a playoff game. This was his first start after he had been 5-0 in his previous starts.

Garcia is the first pitcher who has taken a no-hitter to sixth in a possible playoff clincher since Noah Syndergaard, the Mets' sixth-inning starter, got two runs against the Giants in the 2016 NL wild card game.

After Schwarber's strikeout, Garcia allowed Schwarber to reach on the wild pitch and Verdugo was walked with one out in second. After that, he settled down and sat down the 13th with five strikeouts before Hernandez scored Boston's first run on a triple in the sixth. Garcia had seven strikeouts.

Phil Maton assumed control and retired Rafael Devers.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Alex Cora, Boston manager, has heard rumors that the Astros relay signs from the bases to Alex Cora and stated that the Red Sox are ready to defend themselves against such speculations.

Cora stated, "It's about technology and other stuff." There's stuff on the field that needs to be protected. We play defense against other teams in the same way as teams do. We did it against both the Yankees and the Rays. It's just the nature of the game. We are prepared for it."

Cora is an expert on Houston's history of sign-stealing. She was the team's bench coach in 2017, when they were discovered to have broken rules by using a television camera for catching catchers' signs.

UP NEXT

The Astros will be making their fourth appearance in the World Series. They were defeated by the Chicago White Sox in their first attempt, and lost again in 2005.

If the Braves advance to the World Series, Game 1 will be played Tuesday night. Houston will travel to LA if Houston wins the NL pennant.

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