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Madison Bumgarner to make season debut next week

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Giants starter Madison Bumgarner will come off of the disabled list to make his season debut in a start against the Diamondbacks at home next Tuesday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Bumgarner will make one more rehab start for High-A San Jose on Thursday, throwing 70-75 pitches.

Bumgarner, 28, has been out all season after suffering a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand. He sustained the injury when he was hit by a comebacker in a start near the end of spring training.

It’s been a rough couple of years for Bumgarner. He made only 17 starts last season between mid-April and mid-July after suffering bruised ribs and a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder in a dirt bike accident on an off day. He finished the season strong, ultimately owning a 3.32 ERA with 101 strikeouts and 20 walks over 111 innings.

The Giants have been bitten by the injury bug through the season’s first two months. Starter Jeff Samardzija got a late start to the season due to a strained pectoral muscle. (Update: Samardzija left Tuesday’s start after just one inning.) Johnny Cueto isn’t expected back until early July at the earliest due to a sprained right elbow. And Bumgarner has missed two months.

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.