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2019 All-Star Game: Odorizzi, Pence, La Stella out; Berríos, Lowe, Bogaerts in

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Major League Baseball announced a trio of replacements ahead of next week’s All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Jake Odorizzi, Hunter Pence, and Tommy La Stella are out due to injuries. Their replacements, respectively, are José Berríos, Brandon Lowe, and Xander Bogaerts.

Here’s a rundown of their stats:

  • Jake Odorizzi (Twins)
    • 10-4, 3.15 ERA, 96/30 K/BB in 88 2/3 IP
  • José Berríos (Twins)
    • 8-4, 2.89 ERA, 102/20 K/BB in 112 IP
  • Hunter Pence (Rangers)
    • .294/.353/.608, 15 HR, 48 RBI, 44 R in 215 PA
  • Brandon Lowe (Rays)
    • .276/.339/.523, 16 HR, 49 RBI, 40 R in 307 PA
  • Tommy La Stella (Angels)
    • .300/.353/.495, 16 HR, 44 RBI, 49 R in 312 PA
  • Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
    • .301/.392/.541, 16 HR, 58 RBI, 64 R in 370 PA

Odorizzi is dealing with a blister on his right middle finger suffered during Tuesday’s start against the Athletics. Pence injured his groin chasing a fly ball on June 16. La Stella suffered a fractured right tibia when he fouled a ball off of his right shin in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Rangers.

Odorizzi, Lowe, and La Stella are all first-time All-Stars. Berríos is back at the midsummer classic for a second time, as is Bogaerts. Pence is a four-time All-Star, making the team for the first time since 2014.

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.