American League Division Series
Astros 10, White Sox 1
Houston wins series 3-1
CHICAGO — It was Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman once again.
Led by their October-tested stars, the Houston Astros are going back to the AL Championship Series for the fifth straight year.
Altuve hit a three-run homer, scored four times and stole a base, and Houston eliminated the Chicago White Sox with a victory in Game 4 of their AL Division Series.
Correa and Bregman each hit a two-run double as the Astros bounced back from Sunday night’s 12-6 loss with their usual relentless brand of baseball. Michael Brantley had three hits and two RBIs.
Next up for Altuve and company is Game 1 of the ALCS against former Astros bench coach Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox on Friday in Houston. The Red Sox eliminated Tampa Bay with a 6-5 victory in Game 4 on Monday night.
It’ll be Houston’s second ALCS under 72-year-old manager Dusty Baker, whose club got the best of 77-year-old Chicago skipper Tony La Russa.
Gavin Sheets connected for Chicago, becoming the third rookie in franchise history to homer in a postseason game. But Carlos Rodón was knocked out in the third inning of his first start since Sept. 29, and the AL Central champions left eight runners on base.
National League Division Series
Braves 5, Brewers 4
Atlanta wins series 3-1
ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman homered off Milwaukee closer Josh Hader with two outs in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves advanced to the NL Championship Series for the second year in a row, finishing off the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Braves won the best-of-five Division Series three games to one, advancing to face either the 107-win San Francisco Giants or the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers with a trip to the World Series on the line.
The game was tied at 4 when the Brewers brought on Hader to make sure it stayed that way. The hard-throwing lefty struck out Eddie Rosario and Dansby Swanson, but he couldn’t get past the 2020 NL MVP.
Freeman caught up with an 84-mph slider, launching a 428-foot drive into the seats in left-center — only the fourth homer all season off Hader.
Freeman celebrated wildly on his way around the bases, and popped back out of the dugout for a curtain call as the crowd of 40,195 roared.
Will Smith pitched a scoreless ninth for his third straight save in the series, while Tyler Matzek claimed the win with a perfect eighth.
“Freddie! Freddie! Freddie!” the crowd chanted as the Braves celebrated in the center of the field.