Phillies

Instant Replay: Nationals 3, Phillies 2 (10 innings)

Instant Replay: Nationals 3, Phillies 2 (10 innings)

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WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals rallied for a run against Jeanmar Gomez in the bottom of the 10th inning and beat the Phillies, 3-2, on Friday.

Daniel Murphy doubled home the game-winning run after Bryce Harper led off the frame with a single.

Gomez, who lost the Phillies' closer job last week, found himself in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth after manager Pete Mackanin had already used relievers Pat Neshek, Edubray Ramos and Hector Neris.

Gomez got through the ninth, but did not get an out in the 10th.

The beleaguered right-hander has pitched 5 1/3 innings this season and given up seven runs.

Starting pitching report
Aaron Nola gave up six hits and a run over five innings. He struck out six. Though he did not walk a batter, he worked a lot of deep counts and his final pitch count was 90.

Nola has pitched 11 innings in his first two starts and allowed 13 hits and four runs. He has walked two and struck out 13.

Washington's Stephen Strasburg gave up just five hits and two runs in seven innings. He walked two and struck out eight.

Bullpen report
Ramos issued a one-out walk in the seventh and gave up a two-out double as the Nats tied the game at 2-2.

At the plate
Tommy Joseph belted his first homer of the season with two outs in the second inning. He hit a 95-mph fastball from Strasburg over the center-field wall.

The Phillies took a 2-1 lead on a two-out single by Cesar Hernandez in the fifth. He drove home Cameron Rupp, who had led off the inning with a double.

Washington tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on a base hit by Matt Wieters. The Nats had three hits against Nola in the inning. The Nats tied it again in the bottom of the seventh as pinch-hitter Chris Heisey walked and scored on a two-out double by Anthony Rendon.

In the field
Third baseman Maikel Franco laid out to take away extra bases from Rendon for the final out of the ninth inning.

Rotation ruminations
Off days in the schedule would allow the Phillies to get through the next week with four starting pitchers. However, Mackanin indicated that probably would not happen. That means the Phils would have to add a starting pitcher for Tuesday night's game against the Mets in New York. Right-hander Zach Eflin, who would be on turn that day, is the best bet to make the start.

Busted
Minor-league pitching prospect Elniery Garcia, 22, was suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug (see story). Garcia, a promising lefty, had a 2.68 ERA in 117 2/3 innings at Clearwater last season and was placed on the 40-man roster in the fall. He had most recently been in Clearwater rehabbing an injury.

Up next
Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.90) faces right-hander Tanner Roark (2-0, 4.09) on Saturday afternoon.

Astros reach World Series, shut out Yankees in ALCS Game 7

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Astros reach World Series, shut out Yankees in ALCS Game 7

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HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve embraced Justin Verlander as confetti rained down. An improbable thought just a few years ago, the Houston Astros are headed to the World Series.

Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Astros reached the World Series for only the second time by blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Verlander, the ALCS MVP, and fellow Houston ace Dallas Keuchel will have plenty of rest before the World Series begins at sweltering Dodger Stadium.

"I love our personality," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We have the right amount of fun, the right amount of seriousness, the right amount of perspective when we need it. This is a very, very unique group. To win 100 games and still be hungry is pretty remarkable."

The Astros will try for their first World Series title, thanks in large part to Altuve, the diminutive second baseman who swings a potent bat, and Verlander, who switched teams for the first time in his career to chase a ring.

Four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees on consecutive nights after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first crown, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

"This city, they deserve this," McCullers said.

Clutch defensive plays by third baseman Alex Bregman and center fielder George Springer helped Houston improve to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and become the fifth team in major league history to capture a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four. A noted curveballer, McCullers finished up with 24 straight breaking pitches to earn his first major league save.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

"I know people are going to talk about how we didn't win many games on the road. There were some other teams that haven't won many games on the road, either. We just happened to run into a very good team that just beat us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The Astros also eliminated New York in the 2015 postseason, with Keuchel winning the AL wild-card game at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia entered 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double. He snapped an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night in a 7-1 win.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York went 1-6 on the road this postseason.

After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis.

Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of "MVP" rained down on him.

Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.

Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann's two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.

It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who lost to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS exactly 13 years earlier.

Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.

Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston's lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird's cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.

A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.

Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh.

With McCullers in charge, the Astros soon closed it out.

"It's not easy to get here. And I don't take any of this for granted. And this is what we play for," Verlander said. "These are the experiences that you remember at the end of your career when you look back, winning these games, just playing the World Series. Hopefully winning the World Series."

MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

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MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

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HOUSTON — Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.