Verlander leads Astros into 2-0 lead, Dodgers win
Justin Verlander was in fine form as the Houston Astros overcame the New York Yankees once more in the MLB play-offs.
The Houston Astros moved into a 2-0 series lead over the New York Yankees thanks to Justin Verlander, while the Los Angeles Dodgers were also winners.
The Astros won game two of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) 2-1 in Houston in walk-off fashion on Saturday.
Verlander spun a complete game to set the Astros hitters up with a chance to win. Carlos Correa took advantage of the situation with a huge ninth-inning double.
The series will now head to New York with the Astros protecting a 2-0 ALCS lead.
The Dodgers took the opening game of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the Chicago Cubs 5-2.
ASTROS' VERLANDER DECISION A GOOD ONE
The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline passed and Verlander was still a member of the Detroit Tigers. But the Astros had the good sense to complete a trade before the August 31 trade deadline, adding another ace to their rotation. The Astros gambled on Verlander's hefty contract, and the six-time All-Star has paid them back by pitching like an MVP candidate since joining them.
Verlander struck out 13 Yankees Saturday, while allowing just one run in nine innings. Verlander threw 93Â of his 124Â pitches for strikes, making the Yankees hitters guess at every turn. He has now allowed just eight earned runs in 51.2 innings since joining Houston.
CORREA'S MONSTER GAME
Not only did Correa hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating the game's first run, he also hit a walk-off double to deep right-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
Correa, who hit .315 with 24 home runs during the regular season, went two-for-three with a run scored and two RBIs Saturday to give the Astros a huge ALCS advantage. The combination of Correa and Jose Altuve in the heart of Houston's lineup helped pave the way for Saturday's win.
NO SEAGER, NO PROBLEMS FOR DODGERS
Corey Seager's back injury kept him off the NLCS roster, but the Dodgers got clutch hits from Yasiel Puig and Seager's replacement in the starting lineup,Â Charlie Culberson.
Puig doubled to deep center field in the fifth inning, scoring a run. He then hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to give LA a two-run lead. Culberson, who had limited MLB experience entering the game, went one-for-two with a sac fly. The Dodgers will likely miss Seager at some point this series, but not Saturday.
CORREA, TAYLOR DELIVER
There was ruled to be no interference on a Correa home run.
Chris Taylor hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning for the Dodgers.
CUBS AT DODGERS
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to face Jon Lester and the Cubs on Sunday. Hill has made just one start this postseason, allowing two runs (one earned) in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lester has allowed just two runs in 9.2 innings this postseason.