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One win away: Astros' Valdez goes 8, beats Red Sox 9-1 for 3-2 ALCS lead

Houston leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 scheduled for Friday at Minute Maid Park.

BOSTON — Framber Valdez gave the Houston Astros the start they were looking for.

The Astros lefty was perfect through four, took a two-hit shutout into the seventh and became the first pitcher in the 2021 postseason to finish eight innings on Wednesday.

That helped Houston beat Boston 9-1 in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.

The Astros are one win from a second straight trip to the World Series.

Yordan Alvarez had three hits and three RBIs for the Astros.

They can clinch their third pennant in five years with a victory in Game 6 at home on Friday night.

Game highlights

Houston 9, Boston 1

Yuli Gurriel singled home two in the top of the ninth inning.

Houston 7, Boston 1

Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh for the first run of the game for the Red Sox.

Houston 7, Boston 0

In the seventh inning, Michael Brantley singled to center, scoring Jose Altuve.

Houston 6, Boston 0

After Yuli Gurriel's two-out hit in the sixth, Jose Siri got a base knock to right, bringing home two runs and making it 6-0 Astros.

Houston 4, Boston 0

Later in the sixth inning, with two outs, Yuli Gurriel delivered an RBI double to right, putting the Astros up 4-0.

Houston 3, Boston 0

Yordan Alvarez delivered a two-run double down the left-field line to give Houston a three-run lead in the top of the sixth inning.

Houston 1, Boston 0

Yordan Alvarez hit a solo homer in the second inning to put the Astros on top early.

Game recaps

GAME 4: Astros wake up for 7 in 9th, beat Boston 9-2 to tie ALCS 2-2

GAME 3: Red Sox cruise to 12-3 win over Astros in Game 3, lead ALCS 2-1

GAME 2: Red Sox power past Astros 9-5, tie ALCS at 1-1

GAME 1: Correa, Altuve power Astros to 5-4 ALCS Game 1 win

Can Red Sox fans say anything nice about the Astros?