Altuve punches Astros' ticket to the World Series

The Houston Astros will face the Washington Nationals for Game 1 starting Tuesday

Brayton Wilson
October 19, 2019 - 11:54 pm

Photo: Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

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Jose Altuve's ninth inning two-run home run has given the Houston Astros their second chance for a World Series title in three years.

The Astros clinched the American League championship on Saturday with a dramatic 6-4 win over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

It will be Houston's third appearance in the World Series in franchise history, with the Astros winning their most recent appearance in the "Fall Classic" in 2017 after an epic seven-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Astros got some run support early in this baseball game as Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run home run off of Yankees pitcher Chad Green in the bottom of the first. It was Gurriel's first home run of the postseason after a 31-home run campaign during the regular season.

The Yankees got on the board in the top of the second inning thanks to a Gary Sanchez single to center field that scored Didi Gregorius. That was followed up in the top of the fourth inning with a Gio Urshela solo home run to cut the deficit to 3-2. 

Houston added to their lead in the sixth inning thanks to a fielder's choice from third baseman Alex Bregman that scored Altuve to make it 4-2.

That score held up for the Astros all the way into the ninth inning, as they needed just three outs to punch their ticket to the World Series.

However, the Yankees would not go so easy as first baseman D.J. LeMahieu, with one runner on, tied the game with a home run to right field with just one out in the top of the ninth. For LeMahieu, it was his third home run of the postseason, which came off of closer Roberto Osuna, who was trying to earn the save for the Astros.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees turned to their closer Aroldis Chapman to try and force the game into extra innings in Game 6. After striking out catcher Martin Maldonado to start the inning, Chapman then got outfielder Josh Reddick to pop out to third base for the second out.

After a walk George Springer, that brought Altuve to the plate for a chance to walk things off for the Astros. With a 2-1 count, Altuve was able to turn on a high pitch in the zone to left-center field that cleared the yellow home run line to send the Astros back to the World Series.

Altuve's home run was his fifth of the postseason, and second of the ALCS against the Yankees.

The Astros got here by starting off the postseason with a nail-biting series with the Tampa Bay Rays, where they almost blew a 2-0 series lead. However, Houston came up big in Game 5 of the ALDS at home with a 6-1 win to advance to the ALCS. After losing Game 1 of the series at home to the Yankees, the Astros went on to take command of the series with three straight wins, including a walk-off 3-2 win in Game 2 thanks to a solo home run from second baseman Carlos Correa in the 11th inning. The Yankees ended up surviving Game 5 with a win at home, but the Astros ended up taking the series in front of the home fans in Game 6.

As for the Yankees, the team failed to reach the World Series during the decade between 2010 and 2019. The last time the Yankees went a decade without a World Series appearance was the decade between 1910 and 1919.

Now the Astros will get ready to face the Washington Nationals in the 2019 World Series. Washington punched its ticket to the World Series back on Tuesday after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in four games of the National League Championship Series.

Game 1 of the World Series is set for Tuesday, October 22 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m.

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