Bregman homers, Valdez pitches 7 strong innings as Astros edge Yankees for 2-0 ALCS lead

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Alex Bregman hit an early three-run homer, Framber Valdez pitched seven strong innings and the Astros edged the New York Yankees 3-2 Thursday evening in Houston to take a 2-0 lead within the AL Championship Series.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge simply missed a two-run homer within the eighth when his drive was caught simply in entrance of the quick wall by proper fielder Kyle Tucker. The ball would’ve landed within the quick right-field porch at Yankee Stadium, Statcast confirmed — with the roof open at Minute Maid Park, the wind may’ve knocked down Judge’s bid.

An evening after Justin Verlander fanned 11 in a 4-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-seven collection, Valdez turned in one other strong pitching efficiency and Bregman’s third-inning homer was all of the offence Houston wanted. The Astros improved to 5-0 this post-season.

Valdez allowed simply 4 hits, walked none and struck out 9. The solely runs New York mustered had been unearned, coming within the fourth after a flustered Valdez dedicated two errors on the identical play.

But he shortly moved previous the gaffe and shut down the highly effective Yankees lineup the remainder of the way in which. Valdez allowed only one baserunner after that inning on a single to Harrison Bader with two outs within the fifth and retired the final seven hitters he confronted, capped by hanging out the facet within the seventh.

Featuring a mixture of pitches, Valdez obtained 25 swings and misses. He additionally helped finish the Yankees’ file run of 23 straight post-season video games with a house run.

Bryan Abreu pitched a scoreless eighth. Ryan Pressly walked one in a scoreless ninth, hanging out three for his second save of the collection.

There was a slight delay earlier than Pressly threw his first pitch after a fan obtained on the sector and appeared to attempt to hug Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and take a selfie with him. Security and cops shortly descended on the person and pulled him away from Altuve earlier than wrestling him to the bottom, handcuffing him and escorting him off the sector.

The collection shifts to New York for Game 3 Saturday the place the Yankees will attempt to dig themselves out of a gap to keep away from being eradicated by Houston within the ALCS for the third time in six years.

Houston is 7-2 total in opposition to the Yankees this yr.

Yankees starter Luis Severino plunked Martin Maldonado on the left forearm to begin Houston’s third earlier than the slumping Altuve struck out. Jeremy Pena singled to heart earlier than Yordan Alvarez grounded right into a forceout at second.

Bregman then knocked a fastball past the wall in left discipline for his second house run this post-season to make it 3-0. It was his 14th profession house run within the playoffs to maneuver him previous Justin Turner for most homers by a 3rd baseman in MLB historical past.

It was a bit windy at Minute Maid Park in a uncommon sport the place the retractable roof was open, and it was unclear how a lot the situations impacted flyballs. Judge, who set an AL file with 62 house runs throughout the common season, gave the Houston followers along with his drive that Tucker grabbed earlier than knocking into the wall.

The Astros are unbeaten this post-season after sweeping the AL Division Series in opposition to Seattle. They’ve completed it with none assistance on offence from Altuve, lengthy a post-season powerhouse.

The three-time batting champion went 0 for 4 Thursday to fall to 0 for 23 within the playoffs this yr, which is the longest hitless streak to start a post-season in MLB historical past. He handed Dal Maxvill, who went 0 for 22 within the 1968 World Series for the Cardinals.

Judge obtained his first hit of the collection with a single to get issues going for the Yankees within the fourth.

Then got here a nightmare of a play for Valdez the place he made each a fielding and a throwing error. Giancarlo Stanton hit a chopper towards Valdez, and he grabbed it, presumably with time to begin a double play, however then dropped it.

Valdez picked up the ball however fell backwards to the bottom as he threw to first. His toss was offline, permitting Judge to advance to 3rd and Stanton to achieve second on the play.

Valdez remained on his again on the grass for a couple of seconds after seeing the ball roll previous first base and put a hand to his face and shook his head earlier than gathering himself and returning to the mound.

Anthony Rizzo adopted with a groundout that scored Judge to make it 3-1.

A single by Gleyber Torres despatched Stanton house to get the Yankees inside 3-2. But Valdez struck out Josh Donaldson and Kyle Higashioka to restrict the injury.

Severino was lifted after permitting a single to Tucker with no outs within the sixth. Jonathan Loaisiga took over and was greeted with a single by Yuli Gurriel. But Aledmys Diaz grounded right into a double play to finish the inning.

Severino allowed 5 hits and three runs with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

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