Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7 in ALCS
HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander remained perfect with the Houston Astros, pitching seven shutout innings when they needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs during a 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night that extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7.
Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine of his outings for the Astros. And with his new club facing playoff elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.
After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit.
George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and the Astros up 3-0.
Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers. CC Sabathia is scheduled to start for New York against Charlie Morton in a rematch of Game 3, won 8-1 by Sabathia and the Yankees.
Brian McCann’s RBI ground-rule double in the fifth ended an 0-for-20 slump before Altuve snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a two-run single later in the inning. Altuve hit his fourth homer of the postseason when he connected on a solo shot off David Robertson with no outs in the eighth.
Houston improved to 5-0 at home this postseason after dropping three straight in New York as the Astros chase their second trip to the World Series. Saturday will be just their second Game 7 in franchise history after losing the final game of the 2004 NLCS at St. Louis 5-2.