Associated Press

Vlad Guerrero Jr. hits walk-off HR to lift Jays in Montreal


The Toronto Blue Jays have been playing their final game in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium for several years now. Last night’s game was a bit more special than the others.

The game was won when top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Jays a walkoff 1-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0.

It was special because, obviously, it was the same stadium where his father, soon-to-be inducted Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, played much of his career with the Montreal Expos. It was special because the last walkoff home run at Olympic Stadium was hit by his father on May 7, 2003 off of Jaret Wright of the Padres. It was special because the 25,816 on hand had a reason in an otherwise meaningless game to roar, and roar loudly, for the man who may one day lead their favorite team to glory and who happens to be the son of the man who led he team most of them used to cheer for in that very building.

Exhibition games aren’t supposed to matter, but the crowd went into a frenzy with the blast and Guerrero – wearing his dad’s No. 27 – threw his helmet in the air before leaping into a circle of celebrating teammates at home plate.

Here was dad’s view from the dugout:

And here it is from a more conventional angle:

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.