BRONX, NY (SPORTSRADIO 610) – A strong performance by veteran left-hander CC Sabathia and an early wind-aided three-run homerun off the bat of Todd Frazier was all the New York Yankees needed in an 8-1 victory over the Houston Astros Monday Night in Game Three of the American League Championship Series.
The Astros lead the best of seven series 2-1 going into Tuesday’s fourth game.
Charlie Morton (L, 0-1) took the loss for Houston as he was roughed up for seven earned runs on six hits in just 3.2 innings.
Morton, allowed to Yankee runners to reach with two outs in the second when Frazier reached for and hit a ball just a foot off the plate and outside and got some help with the wind to launch it into the seats to put the Yankees up 3-0 in the second.
“Charlie had a lot of bad luck tonight. That infield single to start, a soft single to centerfield by Hicks, and then Frazier. I’m not even sure that was a strike,” Astros skipper AJ Hinch said after the game about the Frazier homer. “It was an awkward swing. He did that in Houston with the one-arm swing that went up in the left centerfield wall in our place. Obviously a strong man, right place in the ballpark. The ball popped off his bat. I was surprised that ball went out, only because of his swing type.”
As for Sabathia (W, 1-0), he cruised through the Astros line-up with six strong innings allowing just three hits and striking out five. The only inning Sabathia was nearly touched was in the second when he walked Jose Altuve to load the bases after a walk to George Springer and a single given up to Alex Bregman. Sabathia would then get Carlos Correa to pop out to shortstop to end the Astros threat.
Houston would get a single run in the ninth off of Yankee reliever Dellin Betances when he walked Bregman with the bases loaded to score Marwin Gonzalez.
Hinch announced after the game that 2017 All-Star Lance McCullers would start game four on Tuesday against the Yankees. It will be McCullers first postseason outing since game four of the 2015 ALDS. McCullers will square off against the Yankees midseason acquisition and former Astros AL West foe from Oakland Sonny Gray.
McCullers, who has dealt with a lot of arm trouble since the All-Star break said on Monday he felt on his game in his relief outing against the Red Sox in the ALDS
“I’ve been feeling like myself a lot more lately, just preparation and the way my body has been feeling. Pretty excited to be probably the best I’ve been and get the ball,” McCullers said.
First pitch of Tuesday’s Game 5 will be 4:05 Central Time on FS1
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio