ALCS: Houston Astros beat New York Yankees, take 3-1 series lead

Houston Astros slugger Carlos Correa is congratulated by Yordan Alvarez (R) after hitting a three-run home run in the sixth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 18 (UPI) — Carlos Correa and George Springer each blasted three-run homers as the Houston Astros slugged their way to an 8-3 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series.

With the victory, the Astros moved within one win of reaching their second World Series in three years. The winner of the ALCS will play the wild-card Washington Nationals, who swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

The Yankees grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after Astros starter Zack Greinke walked Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner with the bases loaded. Greinke lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. He struck out five and walked four.

In the third, Springer jumped on an 86-mph splitter from Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka and sent a shot over the left-field wall, giving Houston a 3-1 lead. Tanaka gave up three earned runs on four hits across five innings. He recorded one strikeout and walked two.

Correa, facing Yankees reliever Chad Green, pushed the Astros’ lead to 6-1 with his own three-run homer in the top of the sixth. Later in the inning, New York’s Gary Sanchez answered with a two-run home run to left, trimming the Yankees’ deficit to 6-3.

The Astros plated two more runs in the eighth and ninth after an error by Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres and an RBI single from Michael Brantley, sealing the 8-3 victory.

Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Friday night at Yankee Stadium. The Astros are expected to send Justin Verlander to the mound against Yankees starter James Paxton.

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