After 1st postseason cycle, Brock Holt back on Boston bench

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After being held to just one run for the first eight innings of Game 4 - including a brilliant relief appearance by ace Chris Sale in the eighth - they almost pulled off a miracle win against All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Rookie Boston manager Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach last October. The Red Sox were about to dance across the infield and spray champagne in the visitors' clubhouse for the second time in three weeks, and it wasn't going to make a lick of difference when Aaron Boone lifted his starting pitcher or how the Yankees chose to deploy their bullpen or how many home runs they had hit in the regular season. The latest was a five-out cameo in Game 2 against the Yankees in which he gave up homers to Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Craig Kimbrel allowed two runs before closing out the ninth to earn the save to eliminate the Yankees.

J.D. Martinez and the 108-win Red Sox reached the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2013. Kimbrel and the Red Sox - suspended in mid-celebration for a minute - resumed bouncing around in excitement. He held the Yankees to one run on four hits. Kimbrel bounced back by striking out Giancarlo Stanton, but then walked Luke Voit to load the bases.

Holt, a left-handed batter, had four hits and five RBIs in Boston's 16-1 rout on Monday night, his first game of the postseason.

Sabathia is right, Hernandez is an terrible umpire (arguably the worst in the game) and shouldn't be placed in a critical scenario like the ALDS, particularly one involving the Yankees and Red Sox. Since losing Game 2 of the 2004 ALCS, the Red Sox have outscored the Yankees 34-9 in postseason games in the Bronx. Don't know about you, but after this, my nerves will be ready for another Red Sox-Yankees series in, oh, about 14 years.

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Steve Pearce was at first base for the second consecutive night; Mitch Moreland left Game 2 after hurting his right hamstring while running the bases. Sabathia got Xander Bogaerts to ground out, bringing up Ian Kinsler.

Robertson continued to warm up throughout the inning, as Kinsler smoked a double over Brett Gardner's head in left and Nunez flared a single over Neil Walker's head at third.

A night after three of his calls at first base were reversed on video reviews, Angel Hernandez called balls and strikes.

Andrew Benintendi hit-by-pitch.