Red Sox win AL pennant

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HOUSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox are American League champions for the first time since their World Series run of 2013.

David Price worked six shutout innings and the Red Sox belted two home runs off Justin Verlander in a 4-1 victory over the Astros in Houston. Boston ended the Astros' reign as champions by sweeping the final four games of the series.

J.D. Martinez opened the scoring with a third-inning homer off Verlander, who also surrendered Rafael Devers' three-run blast in the sixth.

Price scattered three hits in the best postseason start of his career. He had been 0-9 in 11 playoff starts before shutting down Houston.

Houston failed to score until Marwin Gonzalez belted a solo shot off Matt Barnes in the seventh. It was one of just five hits for the Astros.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was named the series MVP. Bradley provided a go-ahead, three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in the third game and a go-ahead, two-run homer that helped Boston take a 3-1 series lead.

The Red Sox are 5-0 on the road this postseason as they seek their fourth crown in 15 years.

They will open the World Series at home against either the Dodgers or Brewers.

The victory means Chris Sale will likely be the Game 1 starter for Boston in the World Series.

Manager Alex Cora said he expected his ailing left-hander to pitch Game 6 of the ALCS Saturday unless Boston wrapped up the pennant Thursday.

Cora says Sale threw off flat ground Thursday and was feeling better since a stomach illness led to him spending a night in a hospital.