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Yanks blank Astros, take 3-2 ALCS lead

By LARRY FLEISHER
The Sports Xchange

October 18. 2017 9:20PM
New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley reacts after hitting a double during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game five of the 2017 ALCS at Yankee Stadium. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK — Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven outstanding innings and the New York Yankees scored four runs against Dallas Keuchel in a 5-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday.

The Yankees lead the best-of-seven series 3-2. They are one win from their 41st pennant and the first since beating the Los Angeles Angels in 2009.

Game 6 is Friday in Houston and Justin Verlander awaits New York’s lineup.

Tanaka (1-1) posted his second career postseason win by allowing three hits and working out of a few minor threats. He struck out eight and walked one in a 103-pitch outing as New York improved to 6-0 at home in the postseason.

Keuchel (1-1) took a 13-inning postseason scoreless streak against the Yankees into the game and it lasted one more inning before Greg Bird hit an RBI single.

Aaron Judge drove in his 10th run of the postseason with a double in the third before Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius added RBI singles in the fifth.

New York’s final run scored on Sanchez’s third postseason homer in the seventh.

Keuchel lost for the first time in five postseason starts. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, getting knocked out early after holding the Yankees to one hit in seven scoreless innings during Game 1 last Friday.

The Yankees scored their first postseason run off Keuchel with two outs in the second. After Starlin Castro doubled to deep left, Bird lined a single to right field.

New York took a 2-0 lead with one out in the third as Brett Gardner raced home from first and executed a headfirst slide into the plate on Judge’s double down the left field line.

The Yankees extended it to 3-0 with two outs in the fifth. After a walk to Judge that put runners at first and second, Sanchez lined a single to left field and Chase Headley scored.

The lead grew to 4-0 when Gregorius placed a single up the middle just under Jose Altuve as the second baseman attempted to make a diving stop.

Sanchez capped the scoring with a long homer into the left-field seats.

In between runs, Tanaka escaped a few times.

With the game still scoreless, Yuli Gurriel was on third with two outs in the second, but Tanaka retired Carlos Beltran and Marwin Gonzalez on groundouts.

Three innings later, the Astros put two on with one out, but Tanaka struck out George Springer and Josh Reddick, keeping Altuve and Carlos Correa from coming up with runners on.


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