Yankees' Judge walks off Astros for 2nd time in 4 days
Aaron Judge drove a three-run homer in the 10th inning for his second walk-off hit against Houston in four days, and the New York Yankees recovered after nearly being no-hit for the second consecutive game, beating Houston 6-3 to split a four-game series between the AL’s best teams.
Yankees' Cole demands ball, completes 3-hit gem vs Astros
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole demanded on the mound that manager Aaron Boone let him get the final out, then struck out Yordan Alvarez with a 99 mph fastball on his career-high 129th pitch to cap the New York Yankees’ 1-0 win over the Houston Astros.
New Jays OF Springer sees echoes of Astros in Toronto's core
Springer and the Blue Jays agreed last week to a team-record $150 million, six-year contract. The Blue Jays swept in two games during a first-round series by the eventual AL champion Rays. Besides Springer, Toronto also has signed right-handers Kirby Yates and Tyler Chatwood in the past week. Shapiro insisted the Blue Jays still have flexibility to add payroll, likely to strengthen the rotation, but said “the bulk of our heavy lifting is done.”Springer split time between center field and right with the Astros, but is expected to become a fixture in center for the Blue Jays. “This is about the Blue Jays,” Springer said.
Brantley rejoins Astros to complete unfinished business
Brantley has agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)HOUSTON – An erroneous report saying Michael Brantley had agreed to a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays had the outfielder fielding goodbye texts from his Houston Astros teammates most of Wednesday morning. By the afternoon those same teammates were sending him notes of congratulations and welcoming him back after he agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros. “There were a lot of a lot of mixed emotions, obviously, in a small timeframe," Brantley said Monday. He earned $5,555,555 in prorated pay from a $15 million salary as part of a $32 million, two-year deal that included a $2 million signing bonus.
AP source: Brantley agrees to $32M, 2-year deal with Astros
Brantley has agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)HOUSTON – Outfielder Michael Brantley has agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. Brantley spent the last two seasons in Houston after playing for Cleveland for his first 10 MLB seasons. Brantley hit .300 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 46 games in last year’s pandemic-shortened season. He earned $5,555,555 in prorated pay from a $15 million salary as part of a $32 million, two-year deal that included a $2 million signing bonus.
Astros overcome adversity to come 1 win shy of World Series
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. walks out to the infield for the national anthem before Game 7 of a baseball American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)HOUSTON – The Houston Astros overcame injuries to several top stars and dealt with the fallout from their sign-stealing scandal to come a win shy of reaching the World Series for the third time in four seasons. The Astros fell into an 0-3 hole in the AL Championship Series before beating the Tampa Bay Rays in three straight games to force a Game 7. But their powerful offense was stifled by former Astros pitcher Charlie Morton in a 4-2 loss, and the Astros are heading home instead of to their second straight World Series. “I haven’t really thought about that yet,” the 2017 World Series MVP said.
Arozarena, Rays top Astros 4-2 in Game 7, reach World Series
The Rays will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in the World Series in Arlington, Texas, starting Tuesday night. Tampa Bay’s only other World Series appearance was in 2008, when it lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Boston went on to win its first World Series in 86 seasons. Morton and McCullers became the first pair to pitch in the same winner-take-all postseason game as teammates and later start against each other in a winner-take-all game. HOMER RECORDArozarena is only one homer away from matching the major league record of eight homers in any single postseason.
LEADING OFF: Astros on brink of historic comeback vs Rays
Houston Astros George Springer (4) and Jose Altuve celebrates with his teammates after winning Game 6 of a baseball American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in San Diego. Carlos Correa, George Springer and the Astros' other players are using that unforgettable comeback as inspiration. That Red Sox team went on to win the World Series and end the Curse of the Bambino. McCullers started and Morton closed for the Astros in Game 7 of the ’17 World Series against the Dodgers. MARGOT-GO-GOTampa Bay outfielder Manuel Margot is hoping to take his successful postseason debut all the way to the World Series.
Springer, Valdéz help Astros top Rays 7-4, force ALCS Game 7
George Springer and José Altuve delivered big hits, Framber Valdéz pitched six brilliant innings and the Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the third straight time, 7-4 Friday to force a deciding Game 7 of the AL Championship Series. Despite blowing a 3-0 series lead, they remain one win from the second World Series in franchise history — and one loss from joining the 2004 Yankees in ignominy. Game 7 on Saturday night will feature the pitchers who started and finished Houston’s Game 7 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. He has yet to win a World Series as a manager. As a player, he helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win four straight World Series games in 1981 after falling behind the New York Yankees 0-2.
Rays' offense stuck in neutral again as Astros force Game 6
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)SAN DIEGO – Except for an occasional homer, the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense has fallen largely silent on the brink of the World Series. “That big hit has continued to elude us with guys on base,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. Tampa Bay went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in Game 5 after going 1 for 4 in Game 4. “We’ve been streaky throughout the course of these playoffs,” Tampa Bay outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said. That's something of a rarity in this postseason, when Tampa Bay has been practically perfect in each game.
Correa hits walkoff homer to keep Astros alive in ALCS
The Astros defeated the Rays 4-3 and the Rays lead the series 3-2 games. The Astros forced Game 6 on Friday, a rematch of the first game started by left-handers Blake Snell of Tampa Bay and Valdéz. Otherwise, big league clubs leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven postseason series are 37-1. Correa also hit a walkoff homer in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS off Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees. Houston became the first team with a leadoff and walk-off home run in a postseason game.
Rays beat Astros 5-2, move within 1 victory of World Series
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)SAN DIEGO – Kevin Kiermaier and the Tampa Bay Rays — with big assists from two former Padres who know Petco Park's outfield well — are one win from the second World Series berth in franchise history. “We’ve played just tremendous defense all season long,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. Kiermaier, the longest-tenured Tampa Bay player, said it was “an amazing feeling” to be so close to going to the Fall Classic. Wendle lined a single off third baseman Alex Bregman's glove to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. Paredes hit Kiermaier on the hand to load the bases and then grazed Willy Adames on the pinkie with a pitch to bring in another run.
Altuve's 2 early throwing errors doom Astros in ALCS Game 2
“We were down 0-2 in the World Series last year with (ALCS Game 3 starter) José Urquidy and (ALCS Game 4 starter Zack) Greinke coming up next to pitch for us,” shortstop Carlos Correa said. The Astros have made three errors in two games, while the Rays have played sparkling defense all across the diamond. I’m sure he’ll do that.”After the second error, Correa moved into the spot normally occupied by Altuve in the shift. Altuve's first error put the Astros in a hole they never escaped, even with a superb start from McCullers. After getting nine hits and just one run in Game 1, the Astros ended their 13-inning scoreless streak with Correa's homer.
Margot's homer, catch highlight Rays' 4-2 win over Astros
Asked which was bigger in the 4-2 victory against the Houston Astros, Margot said through a translator: “Definitely the home run. He played one game in right field in 2016 and the rest of his time in San Diego was spent in center. “To have the ability to know where you’re at, and kind of be able to say, ‘Forget it, I know I’m going to hit something but I’m going in,’ and still hang on to the ball, was really, really impressive,” manager Kevin Cash said. It was an unbelievable play that he made on the right field line, putting himself in a dangerous place. “Everybody is really, really supportive of him and just so happy for what he's accomplished.”Morton improved to 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in the last two postseasons.
Astros' big bats go silent in ALCS opener loss to Tampa Bay
Houston Astros watch the seventh inning in Game 1 of a baseball American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in San Diego. Tampa Bay limited the Astros' star-studded lineup to nine hits — but just one for extra bases — in the Rays' 2-1 victory to open the ALCS at Petco Park on Sunday night. The Astros got no more big hits against Blake Snell and the Rays' justifiably vaunted bullpen. But with big scoring opportunities in the final two innings of the ALCS opener, the Astros couldn't capitalize — and the last two hurt the most. The Astros scored first in all four games against Oakland in the ALDS, and they did it again in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Good guy Dusty Baker guides reviled Houston Astros into ALCS
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. signals as he walks to the mound to change pitchers during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)LOS ANGELES – If there’s a universally recognized good guy among the generally reviled Houston Astros, it’s Dusty Baker. Next up, starting Sunday in San Diego, is either the New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays with a berth in the World Series at stake. If the Astros get that far, Baker would have a shot at being the second Black manager to win a World Series, joining Cito Gaston. As manager, Baker has been made to answer for the Astros' past transgressions, even though he wasn't around.
Bang! Bang! Astros thump away vs Oakland, return to ALCS
Houston Astros' George Springer, left, celebrates with Carlos Correa after the Astros defeated the Oakland Athletics in Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. “We have young guys that are leaning on the veterans and the veterans are taking care of them right now. The Astros and A's combined for 24 homers — 12 each — the most in a postseason series of five games or fewer. The scandal led to season-long suspensions of Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, who both were fired. BACK TO THE ALCSThe Astros became the third team in AL history since 1969 to reach four straight AL Championship Series.
Springer hits 2 HRs, Astros beat A's 5-2 for 2-0 ALDS lead
Houston Astros' Carlos Correa, left, and George Springer celebrate after the Astros defeated the Oakland Athletics in Game 2 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. The Houston Astros can't miss these days. “With every victory, the energy and the confidence grows,” first-year Houston manager Dusty Baker said. Five of Springer’s postseason homers have come at Dodger Stadium, where the Astros beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. The scandal led to season-long suspensions of Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, who both were fired.
Correa, Springer rally Astros past A's 10-5 in ALDS opener
Houston Astros' Carlos Correa, left, celebrates with George Springer after they defeated the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)LOS ANGELES – A home run derby broke out during a hot, dry day at Dodger Stadium, and suddenly the Houston Astros have their swing and swagger back. “When you get the leadoff guy (Springer) getting on base every single time, good things are going to happen. Altuve's line-drive single to left scored Maldonado and Springer to put the Astros back in front, 6-5. Chris Bassitt put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on in the fifth with back-to-back singles by Springer and Altuve.
Astros win 4-1 in Game 1; Twins' record losing streak at 17
Houston Astros' Carlos Correa, left, and George Springer, center, jump in celebration of the Astros 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in Game 1 of an American League wild-card baseball series, Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. They know what it’s like," said manager Dusty Baker, after the Astros became the first team in major league history to win a game after reaching the postseason with a losing record. It didn’t go my way,” said Romo, who has three World Series rings with San Francisco and pitched in his 30th career postseason game. Minnesota’s previous win in the playoffs was notched in New York on Oct. 5, 2004, in Game 1 of the AL division series. UP NEXTThe Astros were waiting until after the game to announce their starter for Game 2, though Valdez's appearance took him out of the mix.
LEADING OFF: NL playoff race wide open, AL nearly locked in
The Marlins, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers and Giants are the top teams still in contention -- and they’re packed tightly with slots available for one team from the NL East, another from the NL Central and then two wild cards. The Mets (26-31) and Rockies (25-31) are mathematically eligible but need to win out just to have a shot. AL-MOST OVEROnly one playoff spot remains open in the AL, and Michael Brantley and the Astros are on the verge of clinching it. The Twins are trying to seal the AL Central. The Chisox have lost five in a row, dropping them out of the AL Central lead and one game behind Minnesota.
Trout sets franchise HR mark, Angels rally to beat Astros
One out later, Adell lined a two-run single to right off Enoli Paredes (1-2) for his first game-ending hit. Kyle Tucker homered and drove in three runs for the Astros, who lost in walk-off fashion for the second straight game. With two outs and runners on second and third, Martin Maldonado hit a two-run single to right-center. After Yuli Gurriel's two-run single in the third, Tucker extended the lead to 4-1 with a run-scoring infield single. It is the seventh game to start with triple-digit temperatures since the ballpark opened in 1966.