The Houston Astros left Houston after Game Two in an 0-2 hole and desperate to find a way to get back into the ALCS against the Rangers. Two games later, the Astros' offense has carried them to a tie in the series as Houston destroyed Texas on Thursday evening by the final score of 10-3.
The Astros jumped all over the Rangers early in Game Four as they forced Texas starter Andrew Heaney out of the game before the end of the first inning thanks to a two-run triple off the bat of Alex Bregman.
Texas wouldn't go quietly, though, as they would chip away at Houston's lead over the next couple of innings. After home runs from Adoils Garcia and Corey Seager as well as a run scoring double play, the game was tied by the end of the third inning and it looked like fans were going to be in store for a tight, well contested game.
Houston wasn't having any of that, though. Mauricio Dubon gave the Astros the lead again with a RBI single and then Jose Abreu, whose redemption arc this postseason has been impressive, broke the game wide open with a monster three-run homer. The Astros bullpen did not yield any more runs the rest of the way, the offense would add on late, and what looked like it could be a close game turned into a rout.
Astros tie ALCS to turn it into a best of three series with their season on the line
Game Four was a best case scenario for the Astros. The top half of the lineup went wild when Houston needed them most. Kyle Tucker's struggles in the postseason aside, the Astros have now scored 18 runs in their last two games and look like a completely different team than who played Games 1 and 2.
It also certainly doesn't hurt that Houston has forced the Rangers into using their bullpen heavily the last couple of days. Texas had to use six pitchers last night after Heaney got bounced early and in Game Three, they had to do the same. With several of Texas' top bullpen arms now having to play back to back games and another game tonight, the Astros are in a prime position to take advantage and seize the series lead before the ALCS heads back to Houston.
The tension is palpable now as the ALCS has turned into a three game series with both teams' playoff lives on the line. Given Houston's experience in the playoffs and what they have shown the last couple of games, you have to like their chances to not fold under the pressure.