Dallas Keuchel pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits while striking out 10, as the Astros defeated the Yankees 2-1 in the first game of the American League Championship Series Friday in Houston. >> Box score
Astros sparkplug Jose Altuve was 3-for-4 and had a hit and scored in Houston's two-run fourth, when Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel had RBI singles off Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees starter allowed four hits and struck out three in six innings.
New York was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Didi Gregorius struck out with runners and first and second to end the eighth against Astros reliever Ken Giles.
Earlier, Greg Bird was thrown out the plate by Marwin Gonzalez to preserve the Astros 2-0 lead.
Bird hit a long homer two-out to right off Giles in the ninth. Giles recovered to get the save.
The Yankees - maybe unsurprisingly considering the opposing pitcher - begin their second straight playoff series with a loss.
Keuchel did exactly what many felt he would against the Yankees. He carved up New York's lineup, keeping the ball low in the zone and benefitting from a favorable strike zone in that area. When Keuchel got into a bit of trouble, his defense picked him up, specifically throwing out a runner at home plate.
Tanaka mostly held up his end of the equation tonight, ironically allowing some loud outs and soft base hits. Tanaka worked through the sixth inning, so he also didn't tax the bullpen, which could bode well for Game 2.
The Yankees offense had its opportunities, but failed to capitalize. The Yanks struck out 14 times, went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring and stranded seven base runners. Had it not been for Bird's ninth inning home run, the Yankees would have been hung with a shutout.
The Yankees will face another tough pitcher for Game 2 in Justin Verlander, but they have had more success against him than Keuchel. The Yankees will have the right pitcher opposite Verlander in Luis Severino, but the offense will have to bounce back just as they did in Game 2 of the ALDS after being shutout in Game 1 in Cleveland.
The Yankees will take on the Astros in Houston on Satuday at 4 p.m. in Game 2 of the ALCS. Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) faces Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36).