Thursday afternoon, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros wrapped up their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The first two games were eventful and filled with boos and expletives as Yankees fans wore out the Astros during their first visit to the Bronx since the sign-stealing scandal became public last offseason.
New York was going for a sweep Thursday with their ace, Gerrit Cole, on the mound. Cole held Houston to two Yordan Alvarez solo home runs in seven innings, and Giancarlo Stanton (solo) and Clint Frazier (two-run) gave him offensive support. The Yankees took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning and that's when Jose Altuve, the No. 1 target for the crowd the last few days, got his revenge.
Amid another chorus of boos and "cheater!" chants, Altuve slugged a go-ahead three-run home run against Chad Green to turn that 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead. The pitch was basically at his eyes. Look at this:
That's one way to silence the crowd, eh? That was a birthday homer for Altuve too. He turned 31 on Thursday, and the Yankee Stadium crowd serenaded him with "[expletive] your birthday!" chants throughout the game. In the end, Altuve got the last laugh.
While Altuve's game-winning homer was the jaw-dropping moment of Thursday's game, the wildest moment came a half-inning later, when Gleyber Torres scored from first base on an infield single. The Astros had no one covering third base as part of the shift, so Torres kept going, then he simply kept going and beat catcher Martin Maldonado to home plate. Check it out:
Bad fundies there. Maldonado has to stay at home and cover the plate. Also, pitcher Ryan Pressly has to do something more than stand on the mound and watch the play unfold. He got caught spectating.
Ultimately, Torres' play didn't matter. Kyle Higashioka followed play with an inning-ending double play, and Maldonado added two insurance runs with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth. The Astros held on for a 7-4 win (box score) and avoided the sweep. Good end to an otherwise rough series for Altuve and Houston.
The loss was New York's first when leading after seven innings this season. They'd been 13-0 when leading after seven inning this year and 37-1 in such games dating back to last year.