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.
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.
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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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