Astros walk off 13-12 after a 10-inning, knock-down, drag-out war with Dodgers

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The Astros and Dodgers combined for 25 runs, 28 hits, and 11 walks in Game 5 of the World Series. It was a knock-down, drag-out war of a game that took five hours and 17 minutes to complete from its 8:21 PM ET start. And it was the Astros who finally emerged victorious in the bottom of the 10th inning thanks to Alex Bregman.

The Dodgers got on the board quickly, loading the bases with one out against Astros starter Dallas Keuchel in the top of the first inning. After Cody Bellinger struck out, Logan Forsythe knocked in a pair of runs with a single to left field. With Yasiel Puig batting, Keuchel made a pickoff throw to first base and Forsythe was a dead duck. He hurried to second base and first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a wide throw. Forsythe was able to sneak his foot onto the bag ahead of Jose Altuve‘s tag, a call that was upheld upon replay review. Another run scored in the process, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Austin Barnes tacked on another run for the Dodgers with an RBI single. In the bottom half, the Astros finally responded against Clayton Kershaw. George Springer drew a walk to start the inning and Jose Altuve singled with one out. Carlos Correa then doubled to left field, plating Springer. That brought up Gurriel, who had been a net negative on the field for the Astros since his dugout incident. He turned that narrative around, swatting a first-pitch slider from Kershaw over the Crawford Boxes for a game-tying three-run home run.

Bellinger answered the Dodgers’ rally with a three-run home run off of Collin McHugh in the top of the fifth, putting the Dodgers ahead 7-4. Altuve answered in the bottom half with a three-run homer of his own off of Kenta Maeda, tying the game again, this time at seven apiece.

Neither starter fared well. Keuchel’s final line: 3 2/3 innings, four runs (three earned), five hits, two walks, four strikeouts on 86 pitches. Kershaw’s: 4 2/3 innings, six runs (all earned), four hits, three walks, two strikeouts on 94 pitches.

The Dodgers re-took the lead in the top of the seventh. Justin Turner led off with a double, but was erased attempting to advance to third base on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Enrique Hernandez. Cody Bellinger then lifted a sinking liner to center field that George Springer dove for and could not catch. Hernandez came around to score all the way from first base and Bellinger wound up at third base with a triple.

Springer re-tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh, sending a first-pitch fastball from a clearly gassed Brandon Morrow — pitching for a third consecutive day — towards the train tracks in left field, making it an 8-8 game. That certainly makes up for the defensive misplay. Altuve gave the Astros their first lead. After Bregman singled, Altuve doubled to left-center, allowing Bregman to score from first. Correa kept the pain train rolling, sneaking a rainmaker of a home run into the first couple rows of the Crawford Boxes, upping the Astros’ lead to 11-8.

In the top of the eighth, the Dodgers fought back for a run against Brad Peacock and Will Harris. Joc Pederson doubled and Peacock hit Chris Taylor with a pitch, which prompted manager A.J. Hinch to bring Will Harris into the game. Corey Seager ripped a first-pitch double into left field, bringing Pederson home. Harris was able to escape the inning without further damage. Brian McCann got the run back for the Astros in the bottom half, lacing a solo home run to right field off of lefty Tony Cingrani to make it 12-9.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Devenski came on in a save situation, as Hinch avoided using the struggling Ken Giles. Devenski issued a leadoff walk to Bellinger, then served up a two-run home run to Yasiel Puig, whose line drive had just enough height to clear the wall in left field. That closed the deficit to 12-11. Puig’s homer also set a new World Series record as the Astros and Dodgers have combined for 22 home runs through five games in the World Series. The 2002 World Series saw the Angels and Giants combine for 21 home runs in a seven-game series. Barnes followed up by hustling for a double on a line drive hit to center field. Devenski was able to get Pederson to ground out but Taylor somehow found a way to reach for an outside pitch and single to center field, bringing Barnes home to tie the game at 12-all.

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning for the Dodgers to send the game into extra innings. Joe Musgrove worked a scoreless top of the 10th for the Astros. In the bottom half of the 10th, Jansen returned to the mound for a second inning of work. After getting two quick outs, Jansen hit McCann with a pitch, then walked Springer to push the winning run to second base. Derek Fisher pinch-ran for McCann, which would prove to be pivotal as Bregman lined a single into left field. Andre Ethier‘s throw came in late as Fisher scored the winning run, giving the Astros a 13-12 walk-off victory over the Dodgers.

It was an absolutely entertaining game to watch from start to finish, unless you’re a fan of either team in which case the game probably caused heart issues. It was reminiscent of Game 4 of the 1993 World Series in which the Phillies and Blue Jays combined for 29 runs.

The Astros, now holding a 3-2 series lead, will attempt to win their first ever championship on Tuesday as the two clubs meet for Game 6 of the World Series. Justin Verlander will square off against Rich Hill at Dodger Stadium.

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.