The Philadelphia Phillies needed extra innings to complete a comeback victory in a thrilling opening game of the World Series, defeating the Houston Astros 6-5 after J.T. Realmuto's 10th-inning home run.

Despite the close finish, the Astros looked like they were going to run away with Game 1 early, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after Kyle Tucker hit a solo home run in the second inning, and then followed it with a three-run homer an inning later.

The Phillies had to respond, and they did so quickly, rallying with two outs in the fourth inning to string together three consecutive hits off Astros ace Justin Verlander, with a two-run double from Alec Bohm trimming the margin to 5-3.

With two runners on base in the fifth inning, Realmuto tied things up with a two-run double of his own to left-center, and from that point, the bullpens would take over.

Both starting pitchers had rough outings, and they posted nearly identical stat-lines. Verlander made it through five innings, giving up five runs from six hits and two walks, while Aaron Nola also gave up five runs from six hits and two walks, but could only survive four-and-a-third innings. Both starters also finished with five strikeouts.

Neither team scored in the final four innings of regulation, and after Phillies closer Seranthony Dominguez successfully navigated the ninth inning, Realmuto led off the 10th with a 346-foot line-drive home run.

Realmuto and two-time MVP Bryce Harper were the only two Phillies to register multiple hits, both finishing two-for-four with a walk.

David Robertson was tasked with closing the show for the Phillies, and he after his sharp curveball delivered two quick strikeouts, a double to Alex Bregman was followed by a walk and a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third.

But pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz was unable to be the hero for the Astros, grounding out to third base after he was denied a free pass to first earlier in the at-bat when the umpire ruled he leaned too far into a pitch that grazed his elbow.

Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson confirmed Aaron Nola will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros on Friday ahead of Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler had started Game 1 of the NLCS victory over the San Diego Padres, along with the series-clinching Game 5 on Sunday.

Nola, who had an 11-13 record on 3.25 ERA across the regular season, has not started since being roughed up in Game 2 against the Padres.

Thomson revealed that Wheeler, who has a 3.64 ERA in 10 starts this season when he pitches on four days' rest, will start in Game 2 on Saturday.

"I think the numbers speak to the fact that both him and Nola on an extra day's rest, their numbers are a lot better," Thomson told reporters. "Any time we can give those guys an extra day, we’ll do it."

Wheeler is 1-1 this postseason with a 1.78 ERA and 25 strikeouts, although his fastball velocity dipped on Sunday, yet Thomson endorsed his max-effort strategy.

"I think that's the way to pitch," Thomson said. "You're going to see the top of the lineup in the first two innings, and you better get those guys out or you're going to be in a hole."

The Astros are expected to start Cy Young Award favourite Justin Verlander and left-hander Framber Valdez in Games 1 and 2 respectively.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone says being subjected to a clean sweep by the Houston Astros "stings" after they suffered an "awful ending" to their season.

The Astros will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series after beating the Yankees 6-5 to win the American League on Sunday.

Houston remain unbeaten in the MLB postseason, having seen off the Yankees 4-0 to pile the pressure on Boone.

The Yankees were missing DJ LeMahieu due to a toe injury and Andrew Benintendi, who is recovering from wrist surgery.

Boone reflected on a painful conclusion to the campaign and was left to rue the absence of key men.

"It's an awful day, just an awful ending. It stings. It hurts," Boone said. "Obviously we had some key contributors missing that I think would have been difference-makers for us potentially."

Aaron Judge may have played his last game for the Yankees, having turned down a seven-year contract to stay eligible for free agency.

Judge failed to deliver in the postseason, but Boone defended the outfielder.

He said: "It's baseball, man. I mean, it happens all the time where the greatest of greats go through a struggle. It's a game of failure. You’re going to have some ups and downs."

The Astros and the Phillies start the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Friday.

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.

The Philadelphia Phillies are one win away from the World Series after tying a franchise record for their largest comeback in postseason history with a 10-6 Game 4 win over the San Diego Padres in the NLCS on Saturday.

The Padres raced ahead 4-0 in the first inning, but the Phillies responded to square the game by the fourth inning, before pulling away thanks to four home runs at Citizens Bank Park to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Rhys Hoskins played a key role in the comeback, blasting two two-run homers, the second tying the game up at 6-6 in the fifth inning, before a go-ahead single from Bryce Harper, who went two-for-four with two RBIs.

Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto both launched solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings to add insurance.

The Padres were two out in the first inning before Manny Machado led their early charge with a solo blast followed by Brandon Drury's two-run double and Kim Ha-seong's RBI.

Hoskins commenced an immediate response with his third home run of the postseason, before Harper's RBI cut the margin to one after the first inning.

Phillies shortstop Bryson Stott's base hit to left squared it up at 4-4 in the fourth inning before Juan Soto launched his first postseason homer, a two-run shot, to open up a 6-4 Padres' lead.

Hoskins blasted Sean Manaea over left-center field to tie it up, before Harper drove Realmuto home to take the lead.

The Phillies host the Padres again on Sunday, knowing only 14 of 91 teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit in a League Championship Series or a World Series to win.

Astros open up 3-0 lead with Yankees domination

The Houston Astros are also on the brink of clinching their fourth World Series berth in six seasons after a dominant 5-0 victory over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

The Astros' pitching staff did the damage, with starter Cristian Javier allowing only one hit with five strikeouts across five-and-one-third innings. Javier had led the Astros' combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium earlier this season in June.

The victory improved the Astros' postseason record to 6-0, having swept the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS, while it was their second shutout of the postseason too.

Chas McCormick blasted a two-run homer in the second inning after Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge's outfield mix-up allowed Christian Vazquez on base from a sky-high pop-out with two out.

The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth inning, leading to Gerrit Cole's removal despite seven K's, before Trey Mancini's sacrifice fly and Vazquez's two-run single from reliever Lou Trivino to capitalise.

Astros catcher Vazquez's brilliant game included a spectacular throw to second base to out Bader when trying to steal with the game poised at 2-0 at the top of the fifth inning.

Gerrit Cole was surprised by manager Aaron Boone's decision to pull him out of Game 3 in the sixth inning before the New York Yankees lost 5-0 to the Houston Astros to trail 3-0 in the best-of-seven ALCS.

The Astros maintained their unbeaten postseason record, moving within one victory of the World Series with Saturday's triumph at Yankee Stadium.

Cole, who has been outstanding all postseason and had seven strikeouts on Saturday, was abruptly retired from the game by Boone, who entered the field twice in the sixth inning, forcing the starting pitcher's removal under MLB rules.

The Yankees had held a mound visit after Cole walked Kyle Tucker, before Boone walked out again after Yuli Gurriel's subsequent single had put runners at every base.

Cole, who had given up a two-run homer to Chas McCormick in the second inning after a fielding error from Harrison Bader that should have closed that inning, had got the Yankees into the jam but did not look pleased with Boone's decision.

Reliever Lou Trivino could not rescue the situation either, giving up two hits and three runs in the inning with a Trey Mancini sacrifice fly followed by Christian Vazquez's two-run single which blew out the margin.

"I feel like as a pitcher like myself, I'm probably mostly surprised," Cole told reporters. "I always want to keep going. I was not ready to come out but to my knowledge, the second trip is what it is."

Boone admitted he felt Cole had pitched well when he moved to explain the early decision.

"Part of the deliberation was because I thought Gerrit threw the ball so well today, but I decided I wanted to go to Trivi," Boone said. "We were down a couple and can't really let any more. Just hoping for some weak contact or a ball on the ground."

The defeat leaves the Yankees staring down an ALCS sweep, with the Astros claiming their second shutout of the postseason, underlining their dominance.

The Yankees' offense struggled again, only managing one hit until two belated ninth-inning base hits from Matt Carpenter and Bader.

Across 27 innings in the ALCS, Boone's side have had 12 hits, four runs with only two earned and 41 strikeouts. Aaron Judge, who homered an AL record 62 times in the regular season, went none-for-four on Saturday.

"We need to get something from him, but that said, to win these games you need a little something from everyone," Boone said.

"They're really good. Obviously, it starts with their pitching. Their starters are able to run out there coupled with a couple of really good arms out of the bullpen. If you're not executing at a high level, these things can happen when you're up against a great pitching staff."

The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the only team in MLB history to come back and win a series from a 3-0 deficit.

Astros manager Dusty Baker added: "I don’t know if dominant is the word. All of them were close, except tonight… The Yankees are always dangerous, especially here in New York, so we've got an opportunity to close it out and win tomorrow, so we've got to take every opportunity to try and do that."

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone claims the roof being open at Minute Maid Park cost his side in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Aaron Judge missed out marginally on a go-ahead home run when his right-field shot was caught on the fence by a leaping Kyle Tucker in the eighth inning.

Statcast showed that shot would have landed in the stands at Yankee Stadium, but Boone said the wind from the open air at Minute Maid Park hindered Judge's chances.

"I think the roof open kind of killed us," Boone later reporters. "I think it's a 390 [foot] ball. I think it was like 106 [exit velocity] or whatever.

"I think Judge is a homer all the time. The wind was blowing across like that. I didn't think like he smoked it like no-doubter, but it felt like his homers to right."

The Yankees only managed four hits for the game and had 13 batters strike out with the Astros victory giving them a 2-0 series lead.

Boone, who is under some pressure, remained bullish his side could get back into the ALCS ahead of three home games, as they bid to make the World Series for the first time since 2009.

"We've just got to go home and get one," he said. "It starts with that."

The Yankees, who lost 4-2 in Game 1 in Houston, have managed only nine hits across the two games, while having 30 batters struck out.

"Both these games we were in," Boone said. "We've just got to find a way to do a little bit more offensively.

"We feel we can go out there and limit them enough, a very good offense and give us a chance.

"Certainly feel there's no one better than Gerrit [Cole] to hand the ball to, to get us right back in this."

The Astros, who are aiming to reach the World Series for the fourth time in six seasons, have a 5-0 postseason record after sweeping the Seattle Mariners. Three of the Astros' postseason wins have been by one run, while the other two have been by two runs.

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.

The San Diego Padres produced a stunning comeback on the road to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 in Game 2 of the NLCS on Wednesday.

San Diego were staring down the barrel of a two-game deficit when Alec Bohm, Matt Vierling, Edmundo Sosa and Kyle Schwarber drove home a run each to jump ahead 4-0 in the second inning.

The Padres would get two runs back in the bottom of the second, courtesy of solo home runs to Brandon Drury and Josh Bell, and to manager Bob Melvin's credit, he stuck with starting pitcher Blake Snell despite his rough start, and he was able to pitch three scoreless innings to set up the comeback.

Trailing 4-2 in the fifth inning, the Padres rattled off five runs, with Bell and Drury again delivering, as well as young star Juan Soto and catcher Austin Nola, who got his hit off his brother, Aaron Nola, who started on the mound for the Phillies.

Manny Machado put on the finishing touches with a 424-foot bomb in the seventh inning, before closer Josh Hader came in to put the Phillies away.

By striking out all three batters he faced – after doing the same in his last outing, and striking out his last two batters the time before that – he became the first pitcher in MLB history to strike out eight consecutive batters in the postseason.

Game 3 and Game 4 will both be played in San Diego, before heading back to Philadelphia for Game 5 in the best-of-seven series.

Verlander dices up the Yankees in Game 1

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander showed why he is the heavy favourite to take home the American League Cy Young Award, pitching six dominant innings in his side's 4-2 win against the New York Yankees in Game 1.

Verlander struck out 11 batters while only allowing one run from three hits and a walk, with that one run coming from a Harrison Bader solo homer in the second inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Bader did not hit a home run for the Yankees in the regular season after being acquired at the deadline, but now has four in his past six playoff games.

Their lead was short-lived as Martin Maldonado tied things up with an RBI double later in the second inning, before the Astros hit three solo home runs to jump out to a commanding lead.

Lourdes Gurriel and Chas McCormick went deep in the sixth inning, before rookie Jeremy Pena hit his fourth homer of the postseason to extend the lead to 4-1 in the seventh.

Anthony Rizzo would connect on a consolation home run in the eight inning, but Astros closer Ryan Pressly was up for the task, coming in to collect a four-out save with three strikeouts.

Game 2 will remain in Houston, before the series heads to New York for Game 3 and Game 4.

The San Diego Padres delivered an unbelievable five-run seventh-inning rally to progress to the NLCS for the first time in 24 years and end the Los Angeles Dodgers' record-breaking season prematurely.

The Padres had lost Game 1 of the NLDS and trailed 3-0 halfway through the seventh inning in Game 4 against the Dodgers, who have dominated them for the past decade and had notched a franchise-best 111-51 regular season.

But San Diego found a way in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history, booking their maiden NLCS appearance since 1998, where they will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, after they beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 on Saturday.

Jake Cronenworth delivered a go-ahead two-run single as the Padres rallied with five hits and five runs in the seventh inning after managing only four hits in six innings prior to that.

Freddie Freeman lined a two-run double in the third inning before Will Smith's seventh-inning sacrifice fly for Mookie Betts had put the Dodgers 3-0 up, the latter marking the first run the Padres bullpen had conceded all series.

San Diego responded in a crazy inning, with Austin Nola bouncing to the right side to plate Jurickson Profar, before Kim Ha-seong's left-field line drive drove in Trent Grisham to make it 3-2.

Juan Soto tied the game up with a shot into right field, before Jake Cronenworth's go-ahead two-run double turned the crowd raucous.

Closer Josh Hader struck out Freeman to clinch the win and slay the dragon from down the road at long last.

The defeat ended the campaign for the Dodgers, whose 111 regular-season wins were the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

Yankees facing elimination after Gonzalez walkoff

Oscar Gonzalez stole the show and the win for the Cleveland Guardians with a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning to earn a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 ALDS lead.

Gonzalez hit the walk-off shot when he lined a 1-2 pitch from Clarke Schmidt through the middle to bring home Stevan Kwan and Amed Rosario.

That came after the Yankees had rallied from an early 2-0 deficit as Aaron Judge snapped his postseason skid with a two-run home run. New York had carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning.

The Yankees bullpen flopped, meaning they are facing an early exit when the ALDS resumes on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Astros advance after Pena ends epic

Jeremy Pena blasted an 18th-inning solo shot to advance the Houston Astros to the ALCS for the sixth straight season, ending an epic 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners and completing the sweep.

Luis Garcia closed out six hours and 22 minutes of prolonged postseason action, after Pena sent Penn Murfee into the seats over left-center field with a 415-foot blast.

Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby had been brilliant with five strikeouts across seven innings, but Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr overcame illness to send down seven K's across six innings, while Houston's bullpen only allowed five hits and struck out 15.

The game was only the fourth to last 18 innings in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. 

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker hailed his side for never panicking as they edged an 18-inning epic after Jeremy Pena's homer to sweep the ALCS with a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The game was only the fourth 18-inning game in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. It officially lasted six hours and 22 minutes.

The Astros made their own history with the series-sweeping victory, becoming the first team in the MLB to win a playoff series in six straight seasons. Houston also reached the ALCS for a record sixth consecutive time.

That would not have been possible if not for 25-year-old shortstop Pena's 18th-inning solo shot over deep left-center field off a Penn Murfee 3-2 fastball, before Luis Garcia closed it out earning praise from Baker.

"This is some team," Baker told reporters. "These guys they grind and grind and grind. And sooner or later we broke through.

"These guys, they know not to panic. They don't get too excited. They don't get too down. It means a lot."

The Astros have endured plenty over the past few years in light of the sign stealing scandal, before a period of success under Baker since taking over in January 2020.

Houston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS in 2020, before losing the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in 2021. Baker said their sustained success was all about "excellence".

"Once you've been through it and go through it again and again and again, you expect excellence," he said. "That's what this team expects out of itself."

"We didn’t know who the hero was going to be tonight. We were hoping we'd have somebody and we had somebody in Pena. This whole series it's been different guys. Our pitching staff and our bullpen did a heck of a job during this whole series."

The defeat ended a wild ride for the Mariners, who reached the postseason for the first time in 21 years, and were cheered by their fans at T-Mobile Park after the game despite the defeat.

"We were right there," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "You look at the whole series it really comes down to three swings of the bat.

"I thought our pitching was just off the chart, starting with George Kirby. To fire him out in a must-win game and get seven shutout innings from a rookie, you can't ask for anymore. Great experience.

"The number of young players that played huge roles for us in this series is going to benefit us immensely going forward."

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker hailed his side for never panicking as they edged an 18-inning epic after Jeremy Pena's homer to sweep the ALCS with a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The game was only the fourth 18-inning game in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. It officially lasted six hours and 22 minutes.

The Astros made their own history with the series-sweeping victory, becoming the first team in the MLB to win a playoff series in six straight seasons. Houston also reached the ALCS for a record sixth consecutive time.

That would not have been possible if not for 25-year-old shortstop Pena's 18th-inning solo shot over deep left-center field off a Penn Murfee 3-2 fastball, before Luis Garcia closed it out earning praise from Baker.

"This is some team," Baker told reporters. "These guys they grind and grind and grind. And sooner or later we broke through.

"These guys, they know not to panic. They don't get too excited. They don't get too down. It means a lot."

The Astros have endured plenty over the past few years in light of the sign stealing scandal, before a period of success under Baker since taking over in January 2020.

Houston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS in 2020, before losing the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in 2021. Baker said their sustained success was all about "excellence".

"Once you've been through it and go through it again and again and again, you expect excellence," he said. "That's what this team expects out of itself."

"We didn’t know who the hero was going to be tonight. We were hoping we'd have somebody and we had somebody in Pena. This whole series it's been different guys. Our pitching staff and our bullpen did a heck of a job during this whole series."

The defeat ended a wild ride for the Mariners, who reached the postseason for the first time in 21 years, and were cheered by their fans at T-Mobile Park after the game despite the defeat.

"We were right there," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "You look at the whole series it really comes down to three swings of the bat.

"I thought our pitching was just off the chart, starting with George Kirby. To fire him out in a must-win game and get seven shutout innings from a rookie, you can't ask for anymore. Great experience.

"The number of young players that played huge roles for us in this series is going to benefit us immensely going forward."

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker compared Yordan Alvarez to Barry Bonds following his latest game-winning heroics in their 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners in Game 2 of the ALDS on Thursday.

Alvarez blasted a two-run go-ahead homer in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park, coming after his walk-off blast in Tuesday's 8-7 rally to beat the Mariners.

The slugger's heroics have helped the Astros to a 2-0 lead in the ALDS, having gone four-for-eight with two homers and seven RBIs this series. Alvarez became the first player in postseason history with multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was behind.

Baker, who coached Bonds for a decade at the San Francisco Giants, compared Alvarez to the seven-time National League MVP.

"You don’t go to the bathroom [when he is at bat]," Baker told reporters. "You wait. You hold it until after he hits. It was the same way with Barry Bonds. You don’t talk to anybody. You just pay attention. We've got the same anticipation."

The Mariners understandably opted to walk Alvarez in the eighth inning when trailing 3-2, but that allowed Jordan Pena to shuffle to second base. Alex Bregman proceeded to line to right-field, with Pena adding a fourth run on Mitch Haniger's arm.

"That was some Barry Bonds-type stuff there," Baker added. "I mean, that's the ultimate respect. I've seen that a bunch of times, but not in a long time since Barry Bonds.

"Bregman rises to the occasion, too. That's why I have Bregman hitting behind Yordan, because all you need in that situation is a base hit."

Mariners manager Scott Servais' decision to intentionally walk Alvarez came down to his form in this series.

"Obviously, he has done some damage against us in this series," Servais said. "He's hot right now. You've got to recognize that.

"I think you kind of game plan in how you want to go through their lineup and the guys you want to be careful with."

Thursday's loss marks the second time the Mariners, making their first postseason appearance in 21 years, have let a lead slip in the ALDS.

"You've got to finish it out, no question," Servais said. "It's difficult to do that on the road in the playoffs. You've got to make the pitches, you've got to make the plays. You've got to give the other team credit if they're able to come back."

The Astros have a 6-1 franchise series record when taking a 2-0 lead in the postseason, with their lone loss coming in 1981 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Houston will secure their sixth straight AL Championship Series berth with victory in Seattle in Game 3 on Saturday.

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.

Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez became the first player in MLB postseason history to hit a walk-off home run while his team trailed by multiple runs as he electrified his home fans in Tuesday's 8-7 win against the Seattle Mariners.

Alvarez, 25, established himself as arguably the best left-handed hitter in the sport this season as he hit 37 home runs while slashing .306/406/613, and with one swing of the bat on Tuesday he wrote his name into the MLB history books.

The Astros were trailing 7-3 after Eugenio Suarez hit the Mariners' second home run of the game in the seventh inning, with J.P Crawford also going deep in the fourth frame. It followed an early-inning onslaught from Seattle, who rode RBI hits from Julio Rodriguez, Cal Raleigh and Ty France to a 4-0 lead through two innings.

In the eighth, Alex Bregman's two-run homer cut the margin to 7-5, and they were able to get two men on base in the ninth inning to bring Alvarez to the plate with two outs and the game on his bat.

After fouling off a dead-center fastball with the first pitch, Alvarez made no mistake on the second, connecting on a game-winning, 438-foot no-doubter into the second deck at right-field after the Mariners unsuccessfully brought in ace starting pitcher Robbie Ray to get the final out.

Alvarez finished the game three-for-five at the plate with five RBIs, after also hitting a two-run double in the third inning.

The series will remain in Houston for Game 2, before heading to Seattle for Game 3 and Game 4 in the best-of-five battle.

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