Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and made a pair of sparkling catches and CC Sabathia pitched six scoreless innings to help the host New York Yankees rout Houston in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series. The Astros lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
NEW YORK – Back in the Bronx, the big men delivered.
Greeted by an array of “All Rise” signs in a ballpark that fits their style, Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and made a pair of sparkling catches, leading pitcher CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over Houston 8-1 Monday night and cutting their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.
Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer into the short porch in right field in the second inning against Astros starter Charlie Morton.
The 6-foot-7 Judge entered in a 4-for-31 (.129) postseason slump that included one home run, four RBI and 19 strikeouts. The slugger capped a five-run fourth with a laser of a drive to left field off Will Harris and also robbed Yuri Gurriel and Cameron Maybin of extra-base hits.
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Sabathia, 6-6 and 300 pounds, allowed three hits over six scoreless innings for his first postseason win in five years. The Yankees stopped a seven-game ALCS losing streak dating to Sabathia’s victory over Texas in 2010.
After a couple of 2-1 losses in Houston, the Yankees led 8-0 after four innings. The Yankees are 4-0 at home this postseason.
“Just the energy, the fans,” Sabathia said. “They’ve been bringing it every night in the playoffs and you can feed off of that.”
Houston scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before postseason star Jose Altuve grounded into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Sonny Gray starts Game 4 for New York on 11 days’ rest Tuesday against Lance McCullers Jr.
Frazier got the Yankees rolling, taking an awkward hack at a low, outside fastball and slicing it into the seats.