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Playing for one last win to reach the Fall Classic and continue their undefeated postseason streak, the Houston Astros traveled to Yankee Stadium on Sunday to face a sheepish Yankees team stuck in a do-or-die position.
Even as the visiting team, Houston carried more swagger to not just take the AL pennant but dig themselves out of an early hole to show they can unlock resiliency in any series.
Houston Astros’ Dominant Run Stays Alive
Houston returns to the World Series for the fourth time in the past six years to face off against the Philadelphia Phillies, who took the NL pennant over the San Diego Padres Sunday afternoon. The Astros and Phillies last met in the postseason in the 1980 NLCS, back when Houston was part of the National League.
The Astros dominated the ALCS — putting an end to a historic season for the Bombers, resting on the bat of Aaron Judge.
New York took an early 3-0 lead to momentarily put the Astros on their heels — an anomaly along their perfect postseason run, which includes an impressive sweep over the Mariners.
A four-run third inning — engineered by a three-run homer from rookie Jeremy Peña and an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel— pulled Houston ahead after a strong Yankees start.
A solo homer in the bottom of the sixth by New York’s Harrison Bader gave the Yankees a 5-4 advantage.
The twitchy Yanks surrendered that lead after a Yankees error by Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the seventh inning helped fill the bases (succeeded by a Yordan Alvarez base hit) and set up Alex Bregman for an RBI single off Clay Holmes to take the 6-5 lead. Houston held on.
Peña was named the ALCS MVP.
Now five years removed from their scandalous World Series win, the Astros look to erase the stigma behind the franchise’s only championship with a brand new one.
Judge’s 62 regular-season home runs, paired with an ALCS sweep, perfectly summed up the rollercoaster ride that Yankees fans endured in 2022.
The Astros appeared highly motivated to win a World Series for manager Dusty Baker.
Houston will host the Phillies for Game 1 of the World Series on Friday, Oct. 28.