(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights from Major League Baseball’s playoff game on Friday:
Astros 2, Yankees 1
Dallas Keuchel continued his mastery of the New York Yankees, twirling seven shutout innings to pace the Houston Astros to a 2-1 victory in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Keuchel (1-0) surrendered only four hits and issued just one walk while recording 10 strikeouts. After tossing 97 pitches through six innings, Keuchel returned for the seventh and set the Yankees down in order.
He retired the final six batters he faced and improved to 6-2 with a 1.09 ERA against the Yankees, including a pair of post-season victories.
The Astros mustered all the offense they would need in the fourth inning.
Jose Altuve produced the first hit of the game off Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (0-1) with a one-out infield single before adding a stolen base that put him in scoring position for Carlos Correa.
Correa followed with a sharp single to left field that scored Altuve and, two batters later, Correa came home with Yuli Gurriel single to center field with two outs, doubling the lead.
Tanaka worked six strong innings, allowing four hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
Altuve produced the only multi-hit game of the opener, finishing 3-for-4.
Astros closer Ken Giles tallied a five-out save, stranding a pair of baserunners with a strikeout of Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius in the eighth inning before surrendering a two-out home run to Yankees first baseman Greg Bird.
After Bird’s homer, he struck out pinch hitter Jacoby Ellsbury to end it.
Keuchel stranded three runners through his first four innings but none had reached scoring position.
An Altuve fielding error changed that in the fifth and, with two outs and runners on first and second, Keuchel engaged in a tense battle with Aaron Judge.
Judge hit a 3-2 pitch to left field and Bird, who opened the frame with a single, rounded third base and headed home. But Astros left fielder and utility man extraordinaire Marwin Gonzalez, made with an accurate throw to home plate.
Astros catcher Brian McCann fielded the ball and applied the tag on Bird to end the threat. Yankees manager Joe Girardi requested a review but the call was upheld, and Houston kept its 2-0 lead.