HOUSTON (AP) – Another great starting pitching performance led to another 2-1 victory as the Houston Astros grabbed a two-games-to-none lead in the American League Championship Series.
Justin Verlander went the distance on a five-hitter and Carlos Correa laced an RBI double with one out in the bottom of the ninth as the Astros pulled out a 2-1 verdict over the New York Yankees. Verlander had a playoff career-high 13 strikeouts in tossing the second complete game in an ALCS since 2005. He blanked the Yankees following Todd Frazier’s game-tying double in the fifth inning.
Verlander improved to 3-0 in this postseason and 8-0 since being acquired from the Tigers at the Aug. 31 trade deadline. But he was staring at a possible no-decision until the Astros rallied off Aroldis Chapman.
Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) sparked the rally with a one-out single and sprinted home from first on Correa’s two-bagger. The relay throw was in plenty of time to get Altuve, but catcher Gary Sanchez misplayed the short-hop.
Altuve is hitting .565 in the postseason, going 13-for-23.
Correa also homered for the Astros, who have allowed just 10 hits in the series.
Verlander’s gem came one day after Dallas Keuchel blanked the Yanks over seven innings.
Game 5 is Monday in the Bronx.