Baseball

Benintendi, Red Sox hold off Astros 8-6 for 3-1 ALCS lead

Fans interfere with Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts trying to catch a ball hit by Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve during the first inning in Game 4 of a baseball American League Championship Series on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Houston. Altuve was called out. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Fans interfere with Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts trying to catch a ball hit by Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve during the first inning in Game 4 of a baseball American League Championship Series on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Houston. Altuve was called out. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) AP

Left fielder Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch with the bases loaded for the final out, and the Boston Red Sox held off the Houston Astros 8-6 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Boosted by a questionable fan interference call early in a back-and-forth game and a go-ahead homer from Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox moved within one victory of their first World Series trip since winning the 2013 title.

Craig Kimbrel earned a shaky six-out save, aided by a rocket throw from right fielder Mookie Betts and Benintendi’s daring grab of Alex Bregman’s sinking liner in left.

Boston improved to 4-0 on the road in these playoffs and inched closer to eliminating the defending champions.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Houston, where ace Justin Verlander will pitch for the Astros. Boston’s starter was uncertain after Chris Sale was ruled out Wednesday while recovering from a stomach illness.

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