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Altuve hits go-ahead homer in ninth, Astros take 3-2 lead over Rangers in ALCS after benches clear


“This dude is among the baddest dudes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some greats,” Houston supervisor Dusty Baker stated of Altuve.

Texas’ Adolis Garcia hit a sixth-inning house run to make the rating 4-2 in favor of the Rangers on the time. (AP Picture/Tony Gutierrez) AP

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jose Altuve thrives below strain for the Houston Astros, in a position to keep calm within the greatest October moments even after one other bench-clearing fracas towards the Texas Rangers.

The defending World Sequence champions are one win from a 3rd consecutive pennant after Altuve’s three-run homer within the ninth inning of a wild and testy 5-4 victory over their instate division rival Friday gave the Astros a 3-2 lead within the AL Championship Sequence.

“He’s received a excessive focus degree, as a result of that’s what it takes in large moments like that, is focus, want, and rest all encompassed into one. And all people can’t do all three of these issues,” Houston supervisor Dusty Baker stated. “This dude is among the baddest dudes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some greats.”

Baker wasn’t within the dugout when Altuve hit his twenty sixth profession postseason homer, second in main league historical past behind Manny Ramirez (29). The skipper was ejected an inning earlier after the benches and bullpens cleared.

Rangers slugger Adolis García, who punctuated a go-ahead homer within the sixth with an empathic bat spike and a gradual trot, turned irate when Bryan Abreu hit him on the left arm with a 98 mph fastball. García instantly rotated and received within the face of catcher Martín Maldonado — the 2 additionally jawed nose-to-nose when García touched house plate after his grand slam in Houston on July 26.

“I simply reacted to the ball that got here in the direction of me,” García stated. “He might have harm me, he might have injured me. I simply let him know that shouldn’t occur there.”

Whereas it didn’t seem any punches had been thrown because the groups grabbed maintain of one another close to house plate, the sport was delayed virtually 12 minutes. García, Abreu and Baker had been all ejected.

After the sport, umpire crew chief James Hoye informed a pool reporter Abreu was ejected for throwing with intent, and García was tossed for being the aggressor.

“The man hits a three-run homer; the subsequent time up he will get smoked,” Texas supervisor Bruce Bochy stated. “I’d be upset, too, if I used to be Doli. However like I stated, it simply took too lengthy to get issues again so as, that’s what was irritating me.”

Rangers nearer José Leclerc gave up a single to pinch-hitter Yainer Diaz to open the Houston ninth and walked pinch-hitter Jon Singleton on the backside of the lineup. The 5-foot-6 Altuve, enjoying in his one hundred and first postseason recreation for Houston, then pulled an 0-1 changeup over the left-field fence, simply past the glove of a leaping Evan Carter.

“Feelings are excessive within the postseason. You’ve received two of the very best groups on the planet competing towards one another. Everyone’s making an attempt to win. I really feel like that’s simply him,” stated Alex Bregman, who additionally homered for the Astros. “He has a gradual heartbeat. He’s calm below strain. He’s assured in his skill. He at all times is simply targeted.”

The visiting group has gained each recreation within the first postseason matchup between the Lone Star State rivals after the Astros gained three in a row in Arlington. Sport 6 within the best-of-seven sequence is Sunday night time in Houston.

“We’ve finished it so many instances. We by no means surrender till the final out,” Altuve stated.

García linked off three-time Cy Younger Award winner Justin Verlander, who took a 2-1 lead into the underside of the sixth earlier than Corey Seager doubled, Carter singled and García homered in a span of three pitches to make it 4-2.

Nathaniel Lowe additionally went deep for the wild-card Rangers, tying it 1-all within the fifth.

Ryan Pressly pitched two scoreless innings for the win after changing Abreu following his ejection. Pressly gave up consecutive singles to begin the underside of the ninth earlier than retiring the highest three batters in Texas’ lineup. Marcus Semien lined out to shortstop, Seager flied out to deep heart and Carter struck out to finish it.

Houston is in its seventh straight ALCS and is making an attempt to get to its fifth World Sequence throughout that span.

The AL West champion Astros are 40-45 this 12 months at Minute Maid Park, together with 1-3 within the postseason. However they’re 5-0 on the street and have gained 19 of their previous 22 video games away from house general.

Houston went 9-1 at Globe Life Discipline this season, profitable its final eight whereas outscoring Texas 79-36.

García, the Cuban slugger often known as El Bombi, took a few gradual steps out of the batter’s field after connecting off Verlander and was about midway down the baseline when the ball landed within the first row of seats a couple of ft past the left-center wall. It was his fourth homer this postseason.

That go-ahead shot within the forty second inning of this sequence was the primary time the house group took the lead at any level by way of the primary 5 video games.

Houston took a 2-1 lead within the sixth when José Abreu reached out to hit a 79 mph curveball from starter Jordan Montgomery and the sharply hit ball took a troublesome hop off Seager at shortstop for an RBI single.

Josh Sborz entered with the bases loaded and one out however prevented additional harm with the assistance of a diving play by Semien at second base.

Verlander retired 13 of his first 15 batters in his twenty first postseason begin for Houston till Lowe went the alternative method for a 380-foot homer to left subject. The 40-year-old right-hander allowed 4 runs and 6 hits over 5 2/3 innings.


A day after the retractable roof at Globe Life Park was open throughout a recreation for the primary time since Could 21, it was closed once more on a sunny afternoon. The temperature exterior at first pitch was 91 levels. It was 74 inside.


All-Star pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Framber Valdez will begin Sport 6, the identical matchup as Sport 2 when the Rangers gained 5-4. Eovaldi struck out 9 and allowed three runs in six innings to win Monday. Valdez had six strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings, however allowed 5 runs (4 earned).