Yankees Outlast Astros, Force Game 6 in Houston

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton. Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock (10414035d)

For only the second time this postseason, a Yankees starter has gone 6 innings or more. James Paxton let up 1 run in 6 innings of hard-earned work, throwing 112 pitches, the most by any Yankees starter all season.

After the Astros took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a passed ball and a wild pitch silencing the Yankee Stadium crowd, New York responded with 4 runs in the bottom half off of Verlander. He struggled to keep his fastball down in the zone, and the Yankees took advantage by hitting 2 home runs, including a leadoff shot by DJ LeMaiheu.

Verlander settled down after the 4 run first, throwing 7 innings and striking out 9, but the damage was done, and the final score stayed 4-1. The Astros only used one reliever, so their bullpen will be well rested for what will probably be a battle of the bullpens in Game 6.

Tommy Kahnle, Zach Britton, and Aroldis Chapman combined for three shutout innings after taking over for Paxton in the 7th, a big turnaround from the bullpen meltdown in Game 4.