Astros ad­vance to WS

Al­tuve hits walk-off HR in 9th in­ning

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUS­TON — Jose Al­tuve home­red off Aroldis Chap­man with two outs in the ninth in­ning and the Hous­ton Astros out­lasted the New York Yan­kees 6-4 Satur­day night to ad­vance to the World Se­ries for the sec­ond time in three years.

In a bullpen game with a back-and-forth fin­ish, DJ LeMahieu hit a ty­ing, two-run shot off Astros closer Roberto Osuna in the top of the ninth. Al­tuve an­swered with a tworun drive to left-cen­ter, set­ting off a wild cel­e­bra­tion at Minute Maid Park and earn­ing him­self AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries MVP.

“Beau­ti­ful game,” Al­tuve said.

Astros ace Ger­rit Cole was wait­ing to pitch a po­ten­tial Game 7 on Sun­day. In­stead, the post­sea­son star — un­de­feated since May 22 — could be lined up for Game 1 at home against the NL cham­pion Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als on Tuesday night.

Yuli Gur­riel hit a three-run homer in the first in­ning, and flashy out­field de­fense helped Hous­ton’s re­liev­ers de­feat the Yan­kees and their vaunted bullpen.

It al­most fell apart in the ninth. Gio Ur­shela sin­gled off Osuna lead­ing off for his third hit of the game, and LeMahieu put a ball into the first row of seats in right field — inches over the glove of leap­ing Ge­orge Springer — to tie it at 4.

Al­tuve, a 5-foot-6 spark­plug touted as Hous­ton’s heart and soul, didn’t let this one get away.

“I get asked to de­scribe Jose Al­tuve all the time,” man­ager AJ Hinch said. “I think MVP is what he is.”

The teams com­bined to use 14 pitch­ers in a game that lasted 4 hours, 9 min­utes.

Hous­ton’s bullpen got a lift

As­so­ci­ated Press

WALK OFF — Hous­ton Astros’ Jose Al­tuve, right, and start­ing pitcher Justin Ver­lan­der cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning Game 6 of the Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries against the New York Yan­kees Satur­day in Hous­ton.

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