Javier and Astros suffocate Yankees; take 3-0 lead

Cristian Javier led another suffocating performance from Houston pitchers, Chas McCormick hit a two-run homer off a fly ball that the Yankees dropped into the outfield and the Astros beat Gerrit Cole and New York 5-0 on Saturday to take a lead. 3-0 in the American League Championship Series.

In his first start in a postseason game, Javier allowed one hit while going 5 1/3 innings. Five relievers were responsible for completing the shutout.

Annoyed by the ineffectiveness of their hitters, several Yankees fans booed slugger Aaron Judge after receiving a pair of strikeouts.

Houston, trying to win its second straight league title and advance to its fourth World Series in six years, is 6-0 this postseason.

The Astros will try to sentence the series this Sunday night, when Lance McCullers Jr. will start against Néstor Cortés

Only one team in major league history has turned around a 3-0 deficit in a postseason series. That was the Boston Red Sox against the Yankees in the 2004 AL Championship Series.

Christian Vazquez added a two-run RBI single and Trey Mancini had a sixth-inning sacrifice fly as the Astros hauled Cole off the mound to open a five-run lead.

Javier pitched seven innings when the Astros combined for a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium on June 25, and he looked just as dominant in this one.

He didn’t let a ball go out of the infield until Giancarlo Stanton doubled off him in the fourth — the Yankees’ only hit of the game.

Héctor Neris, Ryan Stanek, Hunter Brown, Rafael Montero and Bryan Abreu completed the task. The Yankees had a pair of hits with two outs in the ninth.

The game took shape in the second inning when Harrison Bader dropped a fly ball from Vazquez with two outs. Bader was about to catch the ball when right fielder Judge crossed in front of his teammate. Vázquez sensed that he was out and was beginning to take steps to go to his dugout, but he had to hurry back to first base.

McCormick, batting ninth, sent a fastball traveling 335 feet down the opposite field, depositing it in right field. It was his second home run of the series, a shot that would not have come out of any other ballpark in the majors, according to Statcast.

The Yankees struck out 11 times and have 41 in the entire series.

José Altuve ended the worst offensive slump of his career by doubled in the fifth inning, his first hit in 26 trips to the plate this postseason. Going 0-for-25 left him with the longest hitless streak at the start of a postseason in history. He broke a record set by Dal Maxvill of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 22-0 win over Detroit in the 1968 World Series.

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Javier and Astros suffocate Yankees; take 3-0 lead