The Houston Astros have claimed their second-ever World Series title with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez's monster three-run blast in the sixth inning flipped the game after Kyle Schwarber's solo blast had put the Phillies ahead at the top of the same inning.

The triumph may offer some vindication for the Astros, who's lone 2017 World Series title was tarnished in the eyes of many by the sign stealing scandal.

Astros manager Dusty Baker secured his first-ever World Series title in his third appearance, having won 2,093 MLB games, nine divisional titles and three pennants.

Starting pitcher Framber Valdez was outstanding with nine strikeouts across six innings, allowing only two hits and one earned run.

Schwarber's solo shot over right field was his sixth homer of the postseason. It came after Valdez had given up only one home run all regular season to left-handers.

But the Astros rallied immediately with Phillies starter Zack Wheeler, who was brilliant with five strikeouts, pulled after Jose Altuve and World Series MVP Jeremy Pena got on base. Alvarez hit reliever Jose Alvarado's fourth pitch beyond the hitter's backdrop over center-field for a 450-foot three-run blast.

Alvarado struggled to regain his composure, with designated hitter Christian Vazquez driving in Alex Bregman for a fourth run.

The Astros' sixth-inning rally seemed to suck the life out of the Phillies who had led the World Series 2-1.

Astros closer Ryan Pressly finished the job, getting the outs of Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos, who was caught at right-field by Kyle Tucker for the win.

The Houston Astros levelled up the World Series with Saturday's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, but Jose Altuve's breakout performance may be the joker in the pack they need.

Altuve had a three-hit game, starting with a lead-off double as the Astros piled on three first-inning runs at Minute Maid Park to square the series after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 on Friday, losing 6-5.

The second baseman is second on all-time postseason home runs list (23), but has struggled this postseason, averaging .171 with only seven hits from 41 at-bats, no RBIs and no home runs.

Altuve had been mired in a none-for-25 slump earlier in the postseason but has simplified his approach with Astros manager Dusty Baker sticking with him.

"If I say it every day, he's gotta have one of these days," Baker told reporters. "It's just how I feel about Altuve.

"His track record speaks for itself. He swung the bat great today. It's a good feeling to get him to lead off like he's been doing all year in the first inning. Boy it was great to see."

Alex Bregman added a two-run home run in the fifth inning to open up a 5-0 lead, but he praised Altuve for setting the tone.

"It was awesome," Bregman said. "I feel like that one swing of the bat to start off the game got the crowd into it, got our dugout into it, got our offense going."

"Early in the playoffs, I was swinging at everything and then getting slowly better at swinging at my pitch," Altuve said. "Yeah, I got a hit on a pitch almost above my head today. But it's a hit, so it's good."

The Phillies produced a sensational rally to win Game 1 after trailing 5-0 so Baker was rapt to square up the World Series at 1-1 before it heads to Philadelphia for Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.

"It was almost a mathematical must [to win]," Baker said. "It's tough when you lose the first two games at home. But I've been on the other side of the things.

"It's good for the city, good for our fans that they went home happy after last night."

The Houston Astros responded to blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 with a fast start to set up their 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies to square the World Series on Saturday.

The Astros raced to a 3-0 first-inning lead, scoring two runs from the first four pitches from Phillies starter Zach Wheeler, before Alex Bregman's fifth-inning two-run blast shored up a 5-0 lead at Minute Maid Park.

The Phillies had rallied from that deficit on Friday but could not replicate that, despite plating runs in the seventh and ninth innings. Kyle Schwarber thought he had pulled it back to 5-3 with an eighth-inning two-run blast but that was called a foul after a replay review.

Framber Valdez was heroic, sending down 104 pitches before being retired in the seventh inning with nine strikeouts having allowed only four hits, three walks and one earned run.

Jose Altuve's lead-off double from the first pitch was followed by Jeremy Pena's left-field line drive from the second pitch to score the second baseman. Altuve put aside his postseason struggles with three hits for the game.

Two pitches later Pena scored when Yordan Alvarez's left-field shot sailed over Schwarber's head. Alvarez added the third in the inning from an error by shortstop Edmundo Sosa.

Wheeler corrected his early issues, allowing only two singles from 14 batters until Bregman's fifth-inning blast, his third of the postseason.

Nick Castellanos scored from Jean Segura's seventh-inning sacrifice fly, before Schwarber came close to halving the deficit twice, with his two-run blast overturned, followed by a right-field shot that was caught inches short by Kyle Tucker.

Astros first baseman's Yuli Gurriel error allowed Alec Bohm to score in the ninth but Ryan Pressly closed it out to square the World Series at 1-1.

The Houston Astros advanced to their fourth World Series in six years after completing an ALCS sweep of the New York Yankees with a 6-5 victory at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

Alex Bregman delivered the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning before Ryan Pressly closed it out for the Astros, who improved to 7-0 this postseason having already swept the Seattle Mariners.

Houston are only the third team to have swept both the Divisional and Championship Series in MLB history, following the Colorado Rockies (2007) and Kansas City Royals (2014) whom both lost in the World Series. The Astros will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, after they completed a 4-1 NLCS triumph earlier on Sunday.

The Astros rallied from a 3-0 deficit after two innings, with Jeremy Pena's three-run blast over left field leading their four-run third-inning rally.

The Yankees regained their lead with Harrison Bader's two-out solo homer in the sixth inning - his fifth blast of the postseason - only for Houston to rally again with a two-run seventh from Yordan Alvarez's RBI single followed by Bregman's go-ahead RBI, with a shot into right-center field to drive in Pena.

It marked the fourth time the Yankees, who had a 99-win regular season, have been swept in a best-of-seven series in franchise history.

The Astros' pitching staff were pivotal again, as they have been all postseason, with starter Lance McCullers Jr having six strikeouts across five innings, while the bullpen was stingy.

Second baseman Jose Altuve, who had not had a postseason hit until Game 3, re-discovered some touch with two hits and a walk, scoring two runs.

Astros manager Dusty Baker has the chance to end his record of most games managed without winning the World Series.

Alex Bregman and Framber Valdez played the lead roles as the Houston Astros opened up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven ALCS with a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

Bregman's three-run homer over left field opened up a 3-0 third-inning lead, with the Astros pitchers putting on a show to keep the Yankees at bay.

Valdez pitched across seven innings, with nine strikeouts, allowing only four hits, although his fielding error led to both of the Yankees' runs in the fourth inning.

Bryan Abreu ended the eighth inning with back-to-back 99mph fastballs to strike out Giancarlo Stanton after a 3-1 count.

Ryan Pressly got the save in the ninth, his third of this postseason, despite walking Josh Donaldson, striking out three batters including Matt Carpenter for the win as he tried to check his swing.

The Astros were great on defense, with third baseman Bregman knocking down a Gleyber Torres grounder straight to shortstop Jeremy Pena, who threw to first base to close the sixth inning.

In the eighth, outfielder Kyle Tucker plucked a great catch on the wall from Aaron Judge's right-field shot which fell inches short of a go-ahead home run with a runner on first.

Judge and Stanton had plated in the fourth, after Valdez fumbled the latter's grounder back to the mound before throwing wildly to first base, allowing both to third and second base respectively. Anthony Rizzo and Torres got the RBIs.

The third-inning blast from Bregman, who went two-for-four, means he has the most postseason home runs for a third baseman ever in the majors.

Yordan Alvarez was the hero again for the Houston Astros with a go-ahead two-run homer in a 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners which opened up a 2-0 ALDS lead on Thursday.

Alvarez, who delivered a walk-off three-run homer in the Astros' 8-7 Game 1 victory, took center stage in the sixth inning with his side down 2-1 with a runner on, when he blasted Luis Castillo deep over left-field.

The Astros slugger, who hit 37 homers in the regular season, became the first player in major league postseason history to hit multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was trailing.

The Mariners opted to walk Alvarez in the eighth inning, shuffling Jeremy Pena to second base, enabling Alex Bregman to pad the lead with an RBL single from reliever Andres Munoz. Pena beat right-fielder Mitch Haniger's arm to home plate on Bregman's shot.

Kyle Tucker had launched a second-inning roof-scraping solo homer to have the Astros up 1-0 early, but Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo gave up little, retiring after seven innings with seven strikeouts, allowing five hits and three runs.

After second baseman Jose Altuve's brilliance in the field with a leaping throw to close the third inning, Seattle claimed the lead with two runs in the fourth, with Carlos Santana driving in Eugenio Suarez who got home when pitcher Framber Valdez threw it away at home plate.

Dylan Moore's first-up line drive to right drove in Mitch Haniger to put the Mariners up 2-1, before Alvarez intervened with his two-run shot in the sixth.

The Astros issued seven walks but still won, with Ryan Pressly striking out Ty France for the save. Starting pitcher Valdez had six K's in five-and-two-third innings, allowing four hits.

The Mariners will host their first postseason game in 21 years when the series resumes on Saturday, although they will be facing elimination.

Yankees-Guardians postponed

MLB confirmed that Game 2 of the New York Yankees-Cleveland Guardians' ALDS would be postponed due to the forecast of sustained inclement weather.

The game will instead be played at Yankee Stadium on Friday, with the hosts looking to open up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Game 3 remains scheduled for Saturday in Cleveland.

Albert Pujols produced a career-first as he blasted his 690th home run with a pinch-hit grand slam in the St Louis Cardinals' 13-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

The 42-year-old slugger, who will retire at the end of this season, came off the bench to deliver the slam at the bottom of the third inning to extend the Cards lead to 10-0.

The 374-foot blast was Pujols' 11th home run of the season and his 16th career grand slam, tying him with Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Dave Kingman at 10th overall, but it was his first ever as a pinch-hitter.

Pujols drove in five for the game, with two hits from three at-bats, as the Cards flexed their muscle with their fourth win in a row and 12th from their past 13 games.

The victory improved the Cards' record to 66-51, to lead the Milwaukee Brewers (63-54) by three games in the National League Central division.

Right-hander Adam Wainwright helped shut out the Rockies on the mound with seven strikeouts across seven innings, allowing only three hits.

Bregman career-high in Astros barrage

Alex Bregman led the way as the Houston Astros made an emphatic statement with a 21-5 barrage over the Chicago White Sox.

Bregman had a 12-total base day, going four-for-six at-bats with two home runs and two doubles, with a career-high six RBIs.

Houston scored in seven of the nine innings and tied a franchise record with 25 hits, while the 21 runs was joint second-most in Astros history.

Springer and Vlad lead Jays past Yankees

George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr starred to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-2 win over the slumping New York Yankees in a key victory for their American League Wild Card hopes.

Springer went five-for-five with two runs and one RBI, while Guerrero blasted a three-run homer in a five-run second inning as the Jays improved to 63-54.

Jose Berrios impressed on the mound with nine strikeouts across six-and-two-third innings, allowing two runs as the Yankees lost for the 13th time in their past 17 games.

Aaron Judge homered for the 46th time this season to bring up his 100th RBI, but the New York Yankees lost again, beaten 3-2 by the Boston Red Sox in extras on Friday.

Judge cleared the green monster at the top of the third inning with a 429-foot blast to put the Yankees up 2-0.

The home run was 46th for the season, meaning he is equal with Babe Ruth (1921) for homers in the first 113 team games in MLB history. Barry Bonds is the only player to better both, with 48 in 2001.

J.D. Martinez brought in Alex Verdugo to make it 2-1 in the fourth inning, before Martinez sent the game to extras with a ninth-inning RBI with Xander Bogaerts scoring.

In extras, Tommy Pham was the hero for the Red Sox at the bottom of the 10th inning with a shot down the third-base line allowing Christian Arroyo to score.

The result means the Yankees' recent woes continue, sitting 71-42 at the top of the American League (AL) East, with the Red Sox last in that division with a 56-58 record.

 

Soto returns to D.C. to rousing reception

Juan Soto returned to the capital for the first time since his trade from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres earlier this month, receiving a heroes' welcome.

Soto registered his first hit against his former team in the fifth inning, before the Padres piled on seven runs in the frame to open up an 8-0 lead.

Jefferson Profar and Soto scored from Manny Machado's two-run RBI. Soto, who went 2-6, drove in an RBI in the fifth as the Padres ran away 10-5 winners.

 

Mets' winning run halted by walk-off Phillies

The presence of Max Scherzer was not enough to prevent the Philadelphia Phillies from snapping the New York Mets' six-game win streak in a 2-1 walk-off defeat.

Scherzer pitched across seven innings with six strikeouts and nine hits, his second most this season. The Mets right-hander did not walk anyone and only allowed one earned run.

The game went to extras, before Bryson Stott got home from Alec Bohm's sacrifice fly to right fielder Starling Marte, who thundered in a throw but catcher Tomas Nido could not complete the out on the hop.

Framber Valdez threw seven shutout innings as the Houston Astros moved a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees in the race for top seed in the American League (AL) with a 7-3 win over the Texas Rangers.

Martin Maldonado and Alex Bregman both homered for the Astros as manager Dusty Baker returned to the dugout after missing five games due to COVID-19.

Valdez had eight strikeouts across seven innings, allowing only four singles and a walk, earning his third win.

The result improved the Astros to 72-41, sitting ahead of the slumping Yankees who did not play on Thursday and possess a 71-41 record.

"It was outstanding to be back, especially when you come back with the win and come back with Framber throwing the game that he threw," Baker said.

"He pitched an outstanding game. He's very serious about his work and was very composed."

Surging Orioles slip in Wild Card race

The in-form Baltimore Orioles missed a chance to surge into the AL Wild Card spots after going down 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox.

The O's were off to a 7-1 start in August and looked to preserve that with a three-run sixth-inning to square up the game, before Eric Hosmer's decisive go-ahead RBI double.

With the win, the Red Sox snap a four-game losing streak, while it leaves the O's at 58-53, behind the Tampa Bay Rays (58-52) for the third AL Wild Card spot.

Goldschmidt and Arenado fire but Cards beaten

The battle for top spot in the National League (NL) Central division rages on after the St Louis Cardinals were toppled 8-6 by the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies piled on six runs in the seventh inning, headlined by back-to-back home runs from Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon, while Paul Goldschmidt had three hits including his 27th home run of the season.

Nolan Arenado also homered for the Cards, who hold a 61-50 record, marginally ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers at 60-50 in the NL Central. The Cards have won eight of their past 10.

The Houston Astros started their second half of the MLB season in positive fashion, claiming a double-header sweep over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

The two best records in the American League (AL) faced off and the Astros bested the Yankees once again, moving to a 5-2 head-to-head record for the season with respective 3-2 and 7-5 wins at Minute Maid Park.

After splitting a four-game series in the Bronx in June, Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman both homered and combined for five RBIs to hand the Astros the third win at home this season over the AL leaders.

In the earlier game, Bregman, Korey Lee and rookie JJ Matijevic combined for RBIs while Cristian Javier struck out three but only gave up two hits over 99 pitches in five innings.

With the sweep coming out of the All-Star Game, the Astros suddenly moved to within three games of the AL-leading Yankees, who have now lost seven of their past 10 games.

Gray gets Rangers rolling

Jon Gray led the way for the Texas Rangers as they commenced an 11-game road trip, shutting the Miami Marlins out for an 8-0 win.

Gray struck out five and conceded only four hits over 94 pitches in six innings, while Adolis Garcia homered and drove in three runs.

The Marlins slipped further away from the National League's wild card race with the defeat, now six games back with a fourth consecutive defeat and extending their scoreless streak to 34 innings.

Betts denies Giants comeback

Mookie Betts saved the day for the Los Angeles Dodgers after they almost squandered a big lead, eventually claiming a 9-6 win over their rivals in the San Francisco Giants.

Things were looking good early for the Dodgers, taking a 5-0 lead after the opening three innings off star Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon, with Freddie Freeman scoring a solo home run in the first inning with two out.

The Giants fought back in the seventh through Evan Longoria and Darin Ruf, though, with the two scoring home runs to set up a five-run inning.

A Trayce Thompson triple drove Gavin Lux home to tie after Thair Estrada was walked in the eighth, before a three-run shot from Betts off Jarlin Garcia gave the Dodgers the eventual win.

Betts confirmed the win with a great defensive play in the following inning, making a spectacular sliding catch deep in right-field to retire Joc Pederson.

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