Matt Holliday pads Cardinals’ lead with solo homer

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David Ross gave the Braves an early 2-0 lead with a two-run homer, but the Cardinals have scored four unanswered to go up 4-2 as we go into the top of the seventh.

Chipper Jones committed a throwing error in the top of the fourth inning which opened the door for the Cardinals to score three runs. Allen Craig delivered an RBI double while Yadier Molina had an RBI ground out and David Freese had a sacrifice fly.

The Braves had two runners on with one out in the bottom of the fourth after Freddie Freeman singled and David Ross reached on a bunt single, but Andrelton Simmons bunted and was called out for interference. Watch the play below.

On the TBS broadcast, the announcers said that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez called for a safety squeeze and that it was not the result of a missed sign by Simmons. It’s possible he was just covering for his rookie shortstop, but it’s still a bad play with the pitcher on deck. Kris Medlen struck out swinging and the rally was snuffed out.

The Cardinals stretched their lead to 4-2 with a solo home run by Matt Holliday in the top of the sixth. Kyle Lohse was pulled in the bottom of the inning with a runner on first and one out, but Lance Lynn was able to get David Ross to fly out to right center to end the threat. To the seventh we go.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).