Behind a brilliant start from Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees took Game 5 of the ALCS over the Astros, 5-0, to pull ahead in the best-of-seven series. >> Box score
Tanaka kept the Astros off-balance from the get-go and dominated through seven innings of work. He allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out eight in the scoreless effort.
After a scoreless first inning, the Yankees got on the board in the second when Greg Bird drove in Starlin Castro with an RBI single. An inning later, the Yankees extended the lead with Aaron Judge's RBI double.
New York added two more in the fifth on run-scoring singles from Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. Sanchez added another crucial run with a solo homer in the seventh.
Tommy Kahnle threw two scoreless innings to seal the victory.
Three days ago the Yankees woke up in a 0-2 deficit in the American League Championship Series. After Tanaka's masterpiece, the Yankees head to Houston one win away from reaching their 41st World Series.
The Yankees had two goals today; figure out how to solve Keuchel or at the least drive his pitch count up so he was out by the sixth inning to get to a slumping bullpen and receiving a matching performance from Tanaka. The Yankees exceeded expectations in both aspects.
The Yankees not only solved Keuchel, they knocked him out of the game, scoring four runs off him in 4 2/3 innings after having scored just eight runs (seven earned) against him in the previous 57 2/3 innings they faced him including the postseason. The Yankees still struck out a fare number of times, but they made Keuchel pay for any mistakes he made.
Tanaka more than held up his end of the deal, pitching magnificently with seven innings of scoreless baseball. Tanaka has now allowed just two runs in 20 innings this postseason and has emerged as the Yankees best starter when it counts most.
The Yankees will have to figure out how to win a game on the road, something they have done just once in five tries this postseason. However, that win was the clincher which sent them to the ALCS. After three straight fantastic efforts by the Yankees, why doubt they can do the same to stamp their ticket to the World Series?
The Yankees will head to Houston and as they look to lock up a trip to the World Series on Friday night at 8 p.m. Luis Severino is scheduled to pitch against Justin Verlander.