José Altuve homers, Luis Severino throws 36 pitches in long first inning in ALCS Game 3

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Game 3 of the ALCS wasn’t even five minutes old when José Altuve gave the Astros the lead against Yankees starter Luis Severino. After George Springer grounded out, Altuve swung at a first-pitch slider from Severino, drilling it 420 feet into the bullpen in left-center field at Yankee Stadium.

After Altuve’s homer, Michael Brantley walked on eight pitches and Alex Bregman struck out on 11 pitches. Yuli Gurriel kept the inning alive with an infield single, then Yordan Álvarez walked. At long last, the inning ended when Carlos Correa swung and missed at a fastball for strike three — Severino’s 36th pitch.

With the way Gerrit Cole has been pitching, one run might be enough. Cole has allowed just one run on six hits and three walks with 25 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings across two starts in the postseason thus far. The AL Cy Young Award contender led the league in ERA at 2.50 during the regular season.

Barring some incredible efficiency from Severino going forward, he doesn’t appear long for Tuesday’s start.

Update: Josh Reddick smacked a solo homer of his own, leading off the second inning against Severino. 2-0 ‘stros.