ALCS: David Price shines as Red Sox reach World Series

The Boston Red Sox celebrate their win over the Houston Astros in American League Championship Series game five on Thursday at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 18 (UPI) — The Boston Red Sox used a strong pitching performance from David Price to defeat the Houston Astros by a 4-1 margin, advancing to the World Series for the 13th time in franchise history and fourth in the last 15 seasons.

Boston defeated the Astros in five games of the best-of-seven series and reached their first World Series since being crowned champions in 2013.

Price’s postseason struggles have been documented throughout his career, but the left-hander threw six dominant innings on Thursday night to guide his team to the win.

He gave up only three hits and no earned runs while striking out a postseason career-best nine batters. It was the first scoreless start of his playoff career, and his first postseason victory as a starting pitcher.

Boston opened up the scoring with a 396-foot solo shot to left field from J.D. Martinez, giving the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead in the third inning.

After allowing the solo homer, Houston starting pitcher Justin Verlander locked in for the next two innings, but eventually succumbed to the long ball again in the sixth.

Verlander gave up a lead-off double to Mitch Moreland, and Ian Kinsler followed that with a single to right field. Not to be outdone, Rafael Devers delivered a three-run home run to left field to push Boston’s lead to 4-0.

It was Devers’ third home run in the playoffs before turning 22 years old, putting him in an exclusive group of players. Only Mickey Mantle (4), Bryce Harper (4), Miguel Cabrera (4), Andruw Jones (4) and Devers (3) have hit three or more homers before reaching that age.

Verlander threw six innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four.

The Astros’ only offense came in the form of second baseman Marwin Gonzalez. His solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning off reliever Matt Barnes was Houston’s only tally of the game.

George Springer and Jose Altuve both finished 1-for-4, and Yuli Gurriel was 2-for-3 with a double.

Boston awaits the winner of the NLCS matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers. Los Angeles holds a 3-2 series advantage with Game 6 taking place on Friday night at Miller Park.

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