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Aaron Judge homer puts Yankees ahead of Astros in ALCS Game 2

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The Astros rallied for a run in the bottom of the second inning of ALCS Game 2 in Houston on Sunday night, taking their first lead of the series. Alex Bregman led off by ripping a line drive single that clanked high off of the wall in left field. In most other parks, it’s a double, but the combination of the 106.7 MPH hit, the short distance to the fence, and the height of the fence combined to keep Bregman at first.

Yordan Álvarez followed up with a walk, putting runners on first and second with no outs. After James Paxton got Yuli Gurriel to line out to right field, Carlos Correa doubled down the left field line, past a diving Gio Urshela, bringing home the first run of the game. Paxton recovered by striking out Robinson Chirinos and Jake Marisnick consecutively to end the inning.

Justin Verlander looks much improved after serving up four runs in 3 2/3 innings in his ALDS Game 4 start against the Rays. He has thus far tossed three perfect innings with four strikeouts.

Update: That didn’t last long. After DJ LeMahieu led off with a walk, Aaron Judge put the Yankees ahead with a two-run home run to center field in the top of the fourth.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.