White Sox, Red Sox enjoy MLB playoff wins

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Two big swings by pint-sized Leury Garcia. A rule-testing run by Yasmani Grandal. Solid relief work from Liam Hendriks and company.

Right when the Chicago White Sox got in big trouble, they found a way.

Garcia and Grandal homered, and Grandal's base running helped the White Sox defeat the Houston Astros 12-6 on Sunday night to stay alive in their American League Division Series.

Backed by a boisterous crowd of 40,288, the AL Central champions erased an early 5-1 deficit in the franchise's first home playoff game in 13 years.

"I think we made a statement," Grandal said.

The AL West champion Astros were hoping to sweep their way into a fifth consecutive appearance in the AL Championship Series but they failed to record a hit in the last five innings.

Hendriks, the only Australian playing in Major League Baseball's postseason, joined the game in the top of the ninth and closed it out.

"It's a real tough-minded bunch," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said, "and sometimes you get rewarded with a comeback like that."

In Boston, the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 on a walk-off, two-run homer by Christian Vazquez in the 13th inning to take a 2-1 lead in their AL series.

The wildcard Red Sox are one victory from eliminating the 100-win Rays from the postseason.

Tampa Bay rallied from a 4-2 deficit to tie it in the eighth inning and it was still 4-all when Yandy Diaz singled with one out at the top of the 13th.

Kevin Kiermaier lined a two-out shot to right-centre field that bounced off the short wall in front of the Red Sox bullpen, cannoned off Hunter Renfroe and flew back into the bullpen as the right-fielder tried to snatch it back.

It's a good thing he didn't. After the umpires conferred and went to the headsets, they awarded Kiermaier a ground rule double and sent Diaz, who had come all the way home, back to third.

Diaz was halfway from second to third and easily would have scored if the ball remained in play.

But baseball Rule 5.05(a)(8) states: "Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in which case the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases."

"If I stayed at second, that's fine," a stunned Kiermaier said.

"But I was hoping to see that Yandy scored, because he would have scored obviously.

"It's incredible that it worked out to their advantage just like that.

"It doesn't make sense to me ... It's a heartbreaker, plain and simple."

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