Game 2 of the 2019 ALCS between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees is underway at Minute Maid Park, and the Astros, down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series, are on the board first. In the second inning, Alex Bregman led things off with a long single that looked like it may have been a home run off the bat. Then Yankees starter James Paxton issued a walk to Yordan Alvarez before inducing a line-out from Yuli Gurriel.
Bregman tagged up and advanced to third, but it turned out not to matter as Carlos Correa plated him with a double. Paxton avoided further damage with back-to-back strikeouts, but the Astros have the early 1-0 lead.
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Game preview: The Astros are turning to Verlander, their co-ace, to even the series Sunday night. Verlander will be on normal rest following his disastrous start on short rest in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Rays. He owns a 1.64 ERA in six games and 43 2/3 innings against the Yankees since 2017, postseason included.
As for the Yankees,. The former NL MVP suffered a quad strain in Game 1 and is day-to-day. Stanton is a candidate to pinch-hit in Game 2, if necessary, though it sounds like the team would like to use Monday’s off-day to give him a full 48 hours off between Games 1 and 3.
Paxton, a left-hander, will be on the mound for the Yankees in Game 2. In 10 starts against the Astros since 2017, he owns a 2.54 ERA in 56 2/3 innings. Paxton started his career in the AL West with the Mariners and faced Houston regularly as a division rival. New York’s bullpen is well-rested behind him.
Including the postseason, the Astros are an incredible 63-22 at home in 2019. That said, the Yankees shut them out in Minute Maid Park in Game 1, something that happened only three times during the regular season.