BOSTON (CBS) — For much of Tuesday night’s Game 4, the Red Sox appeared poised to take a 3-1 series lead. But then, the Astros rallied. Then they blew it open.
Houston entered the eighth inning while trailing 2-1, but when they were done hitting in the ninth, they led 9-2.
That held as the final score. Now, the ALCS is all tied up at two games apiece.
The Astros took a 3-2 lead with two outs in the top of the ninth. With Nathan Eovaldi working an inning of relief, Carlos Correa sent a fly ball deep to right field, over the reach of an outstretched Hunter Renfroe, for a leadoff double. With two on (after an intentional walk) and two outs, Eovaldi delivered what looked like strike three against Jason Castro.
This was called a ball instead of strike three.
Go-ahead single was delivered two pitches later.
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) October 20, 2021
But home plate umpire Laz Diaz called the pitch a ball.
Two pitches later, Castro delivered a single into center field, driving in the go-ahead run.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 20, 2021
Eovaldi then walked Altuve, leaving the game with the bases loaded. Martin Perez entered in relief, and Michael Brantley sent the first pitch he saw into right field, driving home all three runs to give the Astros a 6-2 lead.
After an intentional walk to Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez singled into left field, driving home Brantley to give Houston a 7-2 lead. Perez made a throwing error on a dribbler up the third base line, scoring another Houston run, followed by an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to make it 9-2.
Earlier, Red Sox manager Alex Cora got into a heated argument with Diaz over a called strike three against Martinez. The ball call for Eovaldi certainly became a much bigger issue for the home team.
Houston got out to an early lead, when Alex Bregman sent a high fly ball into left field that just cleared the Green Monster to give the Astros a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
— MLB (@MLB) October 20, 2021
That ball had an expected batting average of .080, but at Fenway Park, it’s a homer.
That would be the only run that Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta allowed over his five innings of work. The right-hander allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out three, giving the Red Sox an efficient start and leaving with the lead.
The Red Sox had that lead thanks to Xander Bogaerts’ response in the bottom of the first. After two quick outs from Houston starter Zack Greinke, Rafael Devers worked a walk. Bogaerts then crushed a 413-foot shot well over the Green Monster and out of the building for a two-run homer.
A Lansdowne landing. pic.twitter.com/MP4LwRXOKx
— MLB (@MLB) October 20, 2021
Greinke lasted just 1.1 innings before giving way to the Houston bullpen.
The Red Sox’ 2-1 lead remained intact until the top of the eighth inning. In for his second inning of work, Garrett Whitlock’s first pitch of the frame caught far too much of the plate. Jose Altuve was swinging away, and the Astros’ second baseman sent a no-doubter over the wall in left, tying the game at 2-2.
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 20, 2021
Game 5 will take place at 5:08 p.m. on Wednesday at Fenway Park. Game 6 will be played in Houston on Friday night.