The New York Yankees scored four runs as part of a ninth-inning rally on Thursday night to defeat the Houston Astros, 7-6, (box score) in the opener of this highly anticipated four-game series between American League titans. The walk-off victory extended the Yanks' home winning streak to 15, the longest since 1961.
Only three times in the franchise's history has the team had home win streaks longer than 15 games, and none in 80 years.
|May 3-June 6, 1942|
|June 9-July 17, 1938|
|June 22-July 27, 1941|
|May 24, 2022-present|
|April 23-May 18, 1932|
|August 16-September 26, 1961|
These teams entered Thursday with the top two records in the American League, suggesting this could be a preview of October's League Championship Series. That would be a notable matchup given the animosity that still seems to exist between the sides stemming from the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. (The Yankees, of course, have had their own, less explosive sign-stealing scandal that resurfaced earlier this year.)
The Astros jumped ahead early, with second baseman Alex Bregman uncorking a three-run shot in the top of the first. The Yankees answered with a three-run homer of their own in their half of the frame, courtesy of designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton. The teams would trade another pair of three-run homers later in the game -- Yordan Alvarez put the Astros up 6-3 in the third, and Aaron Hicks then delivered the equalizer in the ninth inning.
But with the game knotted at 6, the Yankees apparently weren't content with the proposition of extra innings. Shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Jose Trevino both singled (Kiner-Falefa was caught stealing), and DJ LeMahieu then drew a one-out walk to put runners on first and second with two outs for Aaron Judge. Judge, who will have an arbitration hearing on Friday to determine his 2022 compensation, delivered the game-winning run by singling to left on a 3-0 pitch from Ryne Stanek:
The Yankees are now 52-18 on the season with a plus-146 run differential, the best in the majors. The Astros, for their part, are 43-26 with a plus-60 run differential, by far the second-best in the AL.