Tanaka dominates, Yankees blast three home runs to take Game 1

Astros manage just three hits and are ready to turn the page


For just the fourth time in postseason history, the home team was shutout in the opening game in the American League Championship Series.

The other side of the coin, however, is that the previous three Game 1 losers have all won the series.

The visiting New York Yankees gave the ball to Masahiro Tanaka who provided a six-inning, one-hit, four-strikeout performance to keep the Houston Astros batters at bay while three of the visitors' hits left the park en route to a 7-0 final score.

The main message from the Astros' clubhouse was a tip of the cap to Tanaka and tomorrow's a new day.

"He's very good and we didn't do anything offensively, but it's just one game, lots more to go," said third baseman Alex Bregman who provided a stellar leaping jump to save an extra-base hit in the top of the third inning.

"Still a lot of baseball left to play, one doesn't mean anything so we gotta get back here tomorrow and get a win," shortstop Carlos Correa said.

"His splitter was good all night he really controlled the zone, you tip your cap and you move on," George Springer added.

"He was throwing the ball really well today, he was hitting his spots, good slider and fastball and mixed it up well, sometimes you gotta tip your cap," said second baseman Jose Altuve who collected one of three Houston hits on the night.

Lefty Kyle Tucker supplied a single through the shift down the left-field line to break up Tanaka's no-hit bid in the third inning to also serve as his first career postseason hit. Michael Brantley and Altuve provided back-to-back hits to start something with an out in the seventh inning but a double play erased the momentum and kept the Astros off the board to maintain a 5-0 Yankee advantage where 22-year-old Gleyber Torres drove in four of those runs. He ended with five RBIs which made him the youngest player to collect a quintet of RBIs in ALCS history.

"He didn't miss any pitches," Houston manager AJ Hinch said. "Just looked like he was locked in on pitches, whether he looked at the right location or the right spot."

Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela supplied the other runs via the long ball to round out the final score and set the Astros back, 1-0, in the series with Game 2 set for the following night where Justin Verlander and James Paxton will square off with a fresh slate.

"We've got JV on the mound and anytime that guy's on the mound you feel like you're going to win the game," Correa said. "We gotta go out there and put up some runs early and let him do his job."

"With Justin going tomorrow we've got all the confidence in the world, he's an unbelievable pitcher, said Bregman.

"We've been in this situation before, tomorrow we have Justin so we all know how confident we feel about him," Altuve noted. "It's just one game, it's a seven-game series so we still have a lot of baseball left to play ... We just beat one of the best teams in the league pitching-wise so the energy's up, the chemistry's up so we gotta go ahead and play."

"I think our guys are ultra-focused on the right things," Hinch said. "Certainly, you have to make sure they don't try to do too much and don't start chasing or don't start expanding the zone against these good pitchers.

Paxton is going to come in tomorrow with a high-end fastball and some pretty good secondary pitches," he continued. "We don't have time for frustration, they threw the first punch but we can punch right back tomorrow. I don't think they're going to be too comfortable tomorrow coming to the ballpark thinking they've got an easy game ahead of themselves."

Game 2 is set to start at 7:07 p.m. with the roof's openness to be determined by Sunday's weather.


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