Astros' Altuve hits 3 homers, Yankees lose

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"I couldn't believe any of my homers", said Altuve, who went 3 for 22 - all singles - when the Astros lost a division series two years ago. Babe Ruth did it twice. He gave up seven runs on nine hits, including three home runs, and exited without recording an out in the sixth inning of a game Boston went on to lose 8-2. During the regular season, the Astros finished under.500 against lefties, going 21-23. He seemed as surprised as anyone else that he was now in a category with the Sultan of Swat, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.

"To have the opportunity to once again be in the playoffs I could say I don't take it for granted any more", Verlander said Wednesday.

And his thoughts after the third? "I don't think now would be the time to start doing that". And as he tipped his hat to the crowd, one fan near the dugout held a sign that proclaimed in blue block letters: "That Kid Can Hit". Houston's Verlander was the prize late-season acquisition, with the Astros completing the trade for Verlander right before the trade deadline at the end of August. We can't be sure exactly what happened, but isn't it possible that he wasn't falling apart mentally on the mound due to it being his first career playoff start and instead was simply the same pitcher he's been for the past six weeks?

"First off, how good is Jose Altuve?". Nunez grounded the first pitch he saw to third base then collapsed in pain on the baseline after reaggravating his injury.

Quite a comeback from his only previous postseason - in 2015, he batted just.154 (4 for 26) without an extra-base hit. If Game 4 is necessary, he will have his choice from who's left or also look at whether Sale could come back on three days' rest. The Red Sox closer had a vintage year in 2017, and if you can get a bridge from the starters to him, you'll win. In three career appearances (two starts) against the Red Sox, Keuchel is 0-1 with a 9.88 ERA.

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The crowd of 43,402, which included Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, waved bright orange towels as Altuve trotted around the bases. Sale didn't pitch against the Astros this season while Pomeranz gave up a run in each of his two outings as Boston won each. They scored 785 runs this year, good for 10 overall in all of baseball (the Astros were No. 1 with 896 runs).

Despite injuries to perennial All-Stars such as Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley, Cleveland's offense managed to score 815 runs, which was fifth-best in the entire league.

When manager John Farrell was asked about his second baseman's health, he said Pedroia was healthy enough, which is not that confident of a diagnosis.

It'll be a different pitching game on Friday. Yes, it is understandable to be angry as for the second straight year our ace has imploded in the postseason, but Sale is most definitely not Price and I would personally bank on him bouncing back strong. "This is a new season for me". "It was a awful time for this to happen ... just made bad mistakes". While his fastball, especially his two-seam fastball, had a really nice tail to it last season, it has been flat in 2017. He came back for one game on September 25, leaving after two at-bats because of renewed pain in that knee.

The best hitter on the night for the Red Sox was probably Hanley Ramirez, which is ironic because he wasn't in the starting lineup.

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