Boston bounces defending champs, Red Sox advance to World Series

The Boston Red Sox celebrate defeating the Houston Astros in Game Five of the American League Championship Series. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, Texas – Major League Baseball will not have a repeat champion, just like every year since 2001.

Thursday, the Boston Red Sox eliminated the defending world champion Houston Astros with a 4-1 victory in the American League Championship Series to win the AL pennant four games to one.

Former Old Dominion University star Justin Verlander was saddled with the game five loss. The 2017 American League Championship Series MVP surrendered four runs on seven hits in six innings, including a pair of home runs. Prince George, VA native Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Prince George H.S.) was voted series MVP.

Boston, a team that won a franchise record 108 games during the regular season, will face either Milwaukee or Los Angeles in the World Series. The Red Sox are seeking their fourth title since breaking the curse (no titles between 1918 and 2003) in 2004.