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Jose Bautista: Rangers lack leadership “when it comes to playing baseball the right way.”

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Jose Bautista had a lot to say after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Rangers, which included two benches-clearing incidents. Bautista, who was hit by a Matt Bush fastball, slid late into second baseman Rougned Odor in an attempt to break up a double play. Odor swung at Bautista, landing one punch clean on the outfielder’s jaw.

After the game, Bautista said to the media, which included MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm:

No matter how dirty his slide was — and it appeared to be plenty dirty — Bautista shouldn’t have been punched, because that’s not the way grown adults handle disputes. That being said, Bautista dropping a “play the right way” is hilarious. It’s the “play the game the right way” crowd (which includes Hall of Famer Goose Gossage) that loathes Bautista for his ALDS bat flip last year. Gossage, in March, said Bautista is, “a f—ing disgrace to the game.”

Furthermore, Bautista acting like the good guy for not actually injuring Odor is terrible. You don’t get a trophy for doing the bare minimum for being a decent human being. Bautista’s motivation for not injuring Odor should be that competitors in a children’s game want to prioritize each other’s safety above all else. At the end of the day, these grown men should remember they’re wearing pajamas chasing baseballs around in the grass, not warriors battling to the death in the coliseum.

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).