Justin Verlander outpitched Chris Sale in a relief role reversal of aces, and the Houston Astros advanced to their first AL Championship Series, rallying past the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Monday in Game 4 of their playoff matchup.
Houston will open the ALCS on Friday, either at Cleveland or at home against the New York Yankees. The Indians held a 2-1 edge over the Yankees going into Game 4 of the AL Division Series on Monday night.
With Verlander and Sale -- the Game 1 starters -- both pressed into relief, the Astros prevailed to win the ALDS 3-1.
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Alex Bregman homered off Sale to tie it in the eighth and Josh Reddick hit an RBI single off closer Craig Kimbrel later in the inning.
The Astros last reached the league championship series in 2005 as a National League, and were swept in the World Series by the White Sox.
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