(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights from Major League Baseball’s playoff games on Wednesday:
Yankees 5, Astros 0
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 on Friday in Houston.
Tanaka (1-1) posted his second 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.
Cubs 3, Dodgers 2
Javier Baez hit two home runs, and Chicago staved off elimination with a victory over Los Angeles in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
Willson Contreras also hit a solo home run for the Cubs, who trimmed their series deficit to 3-1. Jake Arrieta (1-0) allowed one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings in what may have been the soon-to-be free agent’s final appearance with Chicago.
Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner each hit solo home runs for the Dodgers. The loss snapped a six-game postseason win streak for Los Angeles, which remains one victory shy of reaching the World Series for the first time since 1988.
The Dodgers’ Alex Wood (0-1) allowed three solo home runs and a single in 4 2/3 innings in his first career postseason start.