Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7 in ALCS

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Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7 in ALCS
Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7 in ALCS

HOUSTON (AP) – Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the second inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve hits a home run during the eighth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez hits a ground ball back to Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander during the fourth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the first inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
The Houston Astros dugout reacts after a home run hit by Jose Altuve during the eighth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino leaves the game after giving up a two-run scoring single to Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve during the fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino leaves the game during the fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
New York Yankees’ Todd Frazier and Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander react after George Springer catches Frazier’s long fly ball at the wall during the seventh inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros’ George Springer catches a long fly ball hit by New York Yankees’ Todd Frazier during the seventh inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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