BRONX, NY (Sportsradio 610) – The New York Yankees are one win away from their 41st American League Pennant as their pitchers held the Houston Astro bats to just four hits in a 5-0 win in Game five of the ALCS Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 with the series heading back to Houston for game six.
Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka had another brilliant start for the Yankees allowing only three hits while striking out eight in his seven innings of work.
The Astros had only one runner reach third base the entire game. Yankee pitchers retired 12 Astros in a row between the the fifth and ninth innings.
“Getting pull happy against Tanaka hurt us,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. As the game went on you could feel the sort of game shortening and as they separated it made it difficult for us to comeback.
They Yankees scored their first run of the series off Keuchel in the second as Starlin Castro doubled to the gap with two outs to begin the threat. Greg Bird then slapped a single on a 2-0 count to score Castro to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
In the third Aaron Judge slapped a ball down the right field line for an RBI double that scored Brett Gardner from third base for the Yankees second run.
Keuchel would exit in the fifth after giving up two more runs on RBI hits by Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
Keuchel who had been dominant against the Yankees in his career last just 4.2 innings giving up the four earned runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts. Keuchel was good, but with the Astros bats silenced, Hinch elected to pull his starter and conserve him for a possible relief outing in a game seven.
“Any time you’re able to score off a starter early, especially someone you haven’t scored off at all, I think it does feel bigger,” said Yankees skipper Joe Girardi. “You get two hits in a row, a double by Castro and then a big hit by Bird and the next big hit came from Judge and we just kept putting them up.”
The series shifts to Minute Maid Park for Game Six on Friday night. Justin Verlander will take the ball for Houston and 14 game winner Luis Severino will start for the Yankees. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm central time.
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