Astros ruled out Yankees to keep 1 win away from World Series berth
Cristian Javier and the Houston bullpen combined on a three hit, Chas McCormick followed up a dropped flyball with a two-run first homer and the Astros beat Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees 5-0 on Saturday night to win an AL Championship Series 3-0. conduct.
The 106-win Astros, trying for their second straight AL pennant, improved to 6-0 this postseason. On the verge of reaching the World Series for the fourth time in six years, manager Dusty Baker’s side are aiming to close the series on Sunday night when Lance McCullers Jr. starts against Nestor Cortes.
Only once in major league history has a team overcome a 3-0 deficit in the postseason series, Boston vs. the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
Christian Vazquez added a two-run single and Trey Mancini a sacrifice fly as the Astros chased Cole in the sixth inning and opened up a five-run lead.
THIS train keeps rolling. pic.twitter.com/xOYlI0FMT4
Javier pitched seven innings in the Astros’ combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium on June 25 and was nearly as snappy this time. He didn’t allow a ball out of the infield until the double with an out by Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth – the only hit Javier allowed.
Making his first start since Oct. 1, the 25-year-old right-hander pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking three.
Hector Neris, Ryan Stanek, Hunter Brown, Rafael Montero and Bryan Abreu finished with scoreless relief. The Yankees had a pair of hits with two out in the ninth.
New York facing elimination
New York, which last reached the World Series in 2009, is set to be eliminated against Houston for the fourth time in eight seasons. After sprinting to a 61-23 record in early July, the Yankees went 38-40 the rest of the way and spat in the playoffs.
The Yankees are hitting .128 in the ALCS with 41 strikeouts and have lost eight of 10 to Houston this year, throwing just 13 shots with a lead.
Gold Glove center fielder Harrison Bader made a costly mistake in the second inning and was caught stealing second by Vazquez after an early walk in the fifth.
As Bader was about to catch Vazquez’s two-out volley to center right in the second, Judge cut past Bader and the ball came out of the center back’s green glove. Vazquez, thinking he was out, had already started to cut through the infield grass toward Houston’s dugout on the third base side, then pulled out first.
The Astros teammates celebrated in the dugout with the Chas chomp – exaggerated applause with outstretched arms. The gesture appears to have been initiated by Astros fan Scott Agruso, who attends games at Minute Maid Park wearing an alligator costume.
Cole, baseball’s highest-paid pitcher with a nine-year, US$324 million contract, allowed the home run for the 11th consecutive start. He left the mound face-to-face when Boone pulled him out in the sixth.
Alex Bregman doubled over the lead, Kyle Tucker walked and Yuli Gurriel singled down the right field line.
Lou Trivino relieved and Trey Mancini, in his first start of the series, made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly that got all three runners ahead. Vazquez fielded the next throw to the left, Trivino’s second right slider, making two more runs.