The Houston Astros are headed to the World Series.
The Astros closed out the American League Championship Series with a dominant 5-0 win in Game 6 to beat the Boston Red Sox on Friday night at Minute Maid Park. That officially secured them their third trip to the World Series in five years.
They fell to the Washington Nationals in that 2019 Fall Classic. They won the 2017 title, later tarnished by the infamous sign-stealing scheme that upended the team’s leadership, leading to the firing of GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch in early 2020.
“It went through our minds, what happened in 2019,” Carlos Correa said on Fox. “So we made sure that we came here to play and finish it in Game 6, and thank god we did it. They have a great team over there, we respect them a lot. We know how good they are so we wanted to get it done today, because Game 7, you never know what could happen.”
Astros shut out Red Sox to reach World Series
The win caps three huge outings from the Astros pitching staff, following up their 9-2 win in Game 4 of the series and Framber Valdez’s gem in a 9-1 win in Game 5. Boston managed to put up just three runs in 27 innings — and couldn’t get a single one on Friday night.
Houston, though, didn’t have that problem.
Yordan Alvarez, who was named the ALCS MVP after the win, put the Astros on the board in the first inning after hitting a deep RBI double to center field.
He then kicked off the sixth inning with a triple deep to the right field wall, and was knocked in when Kyle Tucker grounded into a wild double play.
Though the Red Sox got runners on first and third in the seventh inning, pitcher Kendall Graveman escaped when he struck Travis Shaw out and catcher Martin Maldonado threw Alex Verdugo out at second in a momentous double play.
While the win was essentially already in the bag, the Astros made sure to close things out in the eighth.
Tucker hit a three-run homer with two outs to give them a 5-0 lead, which eventually became a five-run win after the Astros picked up three quick outs in the ninth to secure the victory.
The Astros will take on either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in the World Series. The Braves hold a 3-2 series lead over the Dodgers headed into Saturday night’s Game 6 of the NLCS in Atlanta.
The Astros, who have made it to at least the ALCS in each of the past five seasons, won that 2017 World Series over the Dodgers. They’re now looking for the franchise’s second title, and perhaps its first that will stand unquestioned.
Houston manager Dusty Baker — brought in to restore credibility and order after the scandal — is now just the ninth manager in MLB history to win a pennant in each league, and has finally made it back to the World Series after a drought of nearly two decades.
“Hey, I’m going back to the world series,” Baker said with a huge smile on his face. “Hey man, we did this for the H-Town, and I’ve got the greatest guys in the world.”