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Springer's homer proves to be difference-maker as Astros stay alive with 4-3 win in Game 4 of ALCS

The Astros lost the first three games of the series but stayed alive Wednesday thanks to a great start by Zack Greinke and homers from Springer and Altuve.
Credit: AP
Houston Astros George Springer, center, celebrates with Houston Astros Carlos Correa after hitting a two run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game 4 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO — The Houston Astros were able to stave off elimination in the American League Championship Series in Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Rays thanks to a 4-3 win.

Zack Greinke started for Houston and delivered six strong innings of two-run ball. Christian Javier came on in relief in the seventh and didn't allow a run until Ryan Pressly allowed an inherited runner to score on a double in the final frame.

Houston lost the first three games of the series:

Game 1: 2-1
Game 2: 4-2
Game 3: 5-2

One of the storylines of the series has been Jose Altuve's fielding errors, which have led to a number of Rays' runs in two of the three losses, but his bat has kept the Astros alive in the playoffs.

Game updates, highlights:

Greinke started for Houston and sat the Rays down in order in the first, including a pair of strikeouts.

Altuve, who has been hot with his bat and cold with his glove, opened the scoring in the game with a first-inning homer off Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow, giving Houston a 1-0 lead. The homer was Altuve's 18th postseason round-tripper, which is the most in Astros franchise history. It was also his third first-inning homer of the series.

Greinke held the lead by retiring the Rays in order in the top of the second inning. In the third, he induced a double-play after surrendering a leadoff walk in and got a groundout to end the inning.

Altuve was at it again in the bottom of the third inning when he hit a double off the wall that drove in Martin Maldonado, making 2-0.

Greinke picked up his fourth strikeout of the game when the Rays' Manuel Margot went down swinging to start the fourth. The Astros pitcher gave up his first hit of the game to Austin Meadows who singled up the middle. Randy Arozarena followed with a two-run shot to left field to tie the game.

In the home half of the fifth inning, Maldonado singled and George Springer followed with a two-run homer, putting the Astros back on top, 4-2. Springer's homer was also his 18th of the postseason, tying the team record set by Altuve earlier in the game.

Michael Brantly followed Springer's homer with a single through the shift, bringing up Altuve, who grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Greinke ran into some trouble in the top of the sixth, loading the bases, but got a key strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.

Christian Javier came on in relief of Greinke in the seventh inning. He worked around an infield single to keep it 4-2 Houston.

Javier worked into the ninth but was pulled after walking the leadoff batter. Ryan Pressly entered the game with three outs to get for the win. He got two outs before surrendering a run-scoring double. The run was charged to Javier. Pressly then got a lineout to end the game.