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Astros blast Yankees in series finale

Houston’s offense explodes as they defeat the Yanks 9-4.

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros beat down on the Yankees to avoid the sweep and salvage the final game of the four-game series. Houston rattled off nine runs, and they bullied J.A. Happ. The first batter he faced foreshadowed the rest of the game.

Jose Altuve led off the top of the first with a bomb into the left-field seats. It would give Houston an early 1-0 lead, and the ‘Stros would not look back.

Altuve would help spark the second run for his team, as well. He doubled in the bottom of the third and scored on an RBI-single by Michael Brantley. This would be the last inning the Yanks come within striking distance.

The very next frame, Yuli Gurriel, Robinson Chirinos, and Josh Reddick all singled to load the bases. This brought up Tyler White, who was 1-11 in the series to this point. He drove an outside fastball about five rows deep into right field for a grand slam. That gave Houston a 6-0 lead.

The Astros’ fire did not burn out after that. In just the 12th game of his career, Yordan Alverez blasted his sixth home run—and his third of the series! It was a two-run shot and landed in the upper-deck in right. The 21-year-old looks like he has a bright future ahead of him.

That would be all for Happ. He tied a bunch of career-highs, but not in a good way. It was a career-high in: runs (eight), homers (three), and hits (11). He is the first pitcher in Yankees history to surrender that many earned runs, hits, and runs while facing no more than 22 batters in a game. It was also his sixth game this year in which he allowed two or more dingers. Not good!

Luis Cessa would take over and immediately give up a shot to Gurriel. 9-0 Astros.

After being shutout for the first five innings, the Yanks put three runs on the scoreboard in the sixth. DJ LeMahieu smashed a franchise record-breaking homer. It was the Yankees’ 26th consecutive game with a long ball, snapping the 1941 team’s streak of 25 straight games. Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres have 14 combined bombs during the streak. The Bombers now only trail the 2002 Texas Rangers for the all-time record. They recorded homers in 27 consecutive games.

Besides the three-run home run, Justin Verlander was masterful. He went seven innings, giving up four hits and striking out nine. It was his 10th victory of the year.

New York would tack on one more run in the eighth. LeMahieu tripled off the center field wall and Aaron Judge grounded into a fielder’s choice to drive him in.

The Yankees would lose by the final of 9-4. Their eight-game winning streak came to an end, along with the Astros’ seven-game losing streak. Despite getting blown-out today, the Yanks have had a great homestand. They went 6-1 against the Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros. The Toronto Blue Jays will come to the Bronx for a three-game set starting tomorrow. It is the last time the Yankees will play at home before the All-Star break.