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Zach Britton exits ALDS Game 3 with apparent ankle injury

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Yankees reliever Zach Britton exited Game 3 of the ALDS in Minnesota with an apparent ankle injury, according to Ken Rosenthal on the FS1 television broadcast. Britton entered the game with a runner on first base and no outs in the seventh inning, and escaped the inning with no further damage. He had to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side and may have suffered the injury on that play.

Britton remained in the game to start the eighth inning and served up a solo home run to Eddie Rosario, finally putting the Twins on the board at a 3-1 deficit. Britton got Mitch Garver to ground out before being tended to by the team trainer. The lefty exited the game not long after.

Aroldis Chapman took over for Britton, tasked with getting a five-out save. He navigated past Luis Arraez and Miguel Sanó to send the game into the ninth.

With the Yankees poised to polish off a sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, they are looking ahead to Saturday, when the ALCS will begin. That’s four days of rest, and four days to determine Britton’s availability. The club should provide a preliminary idea of Britton’s status on Tuesday.

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.