By Ron Kaplan, contributor

It took a circus catch by Andrew Benintendi on Wednesday to prevent Alex Bregman — who has “buckets of natural talent” — from being a hero once again for the Houston Astros.

The home team had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth and were trailing the visiting Boston Red Sox, 8-6. If the ball drops, two runs would have scored, and if it gets by Benintendi, the game would be over. As it was, the Sox took a three-games-to-one advantage with the victory.

Perhaps it’s because he’s been so selective at the plate (11 walks in the post-season), but the Astros moved Bergman into the lead-off spot, where he went 0-for-5.

Ian Kinsler appeared as a defensive replacement for the Sox in the ninth.

Game 5 in the Astros-Red Sox series takes place tonight.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-2 win. Joc Pederson came on as a defensive replacement in the fourth inning and was 1-for-2 over the rest of the game.

Ryan Braun — who, at 34, remains a key presence in the Milwaukee clubhouse — was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Brewers.

Game Six will have to wait for the teams to return to Miller Park on Friday.

Ron Kaplan (@RonKaplanNJ) hosts Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He is the author of three books, including The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games and Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

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