Yankees vs. Astros score: Gerrit Cole silences New York sluggers, gives Houston ALCS edge with Game 3 win

The Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees, 4-1, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Houston takes a 2-1 series lead, which bodes well moving forward. The team taking a 2-1 lead in series that split the first two games has gone 61-32 historically. 

The Yankees will host Game 4 on Wednesday night with a chance to tie the series, though there is a chance the game could get pushed back due to inclement weather.   

Here's what you need to know:

Why the Astros won

Gerrit Cole didn't have his best stuff in Tuesday's Game 3 win, but the right-hander still managed to quiet the Bronx Bombers with seven scoreless innings while striking out seven and walking five. He wasn't able to continue his streak of consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts, ending at 11 games. The previous MLB record was eight games. Cole led the league in strikeouts this season with 326. Teammate Justin Verlander ranked second with 300 strikeouts this season.

Cole's five walks was just the second time he recorded that many in his career, in both regular and postseason games. The only other time he walked five was on June 18, 2018 against the Rays. He was shaky to start the game, allowing back-to-back singles to DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge. Before that, he entered Tuesday having allowed just one first-inning hit in the 2019 postseason.

But Cole's gritty start still helped lead Houston to a big road win. He is now unbeaten in 25 starts, and his last loss came on May 22. He's 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in his three postseason outings this year.

On the offensive side of things, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He homered in the first inning off Luis Severino, and finished 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs.

Why the Yankees lost

The Yankees were handed their first home loss of the postseason. The second straight loss to Houston again represented missed opportunities for New York.

With Severino on the mound, the Yankees were able to stay close in the game, but could never break through against Cole. Severino, who has only worked 16 innings since returning from near season-long injuries (shoulder rotator cuff inflammation, lat strain), threw four scoreless innings against the Twins in New York's clinching Game 3 win in the ALDS. Against Houston, he labored through 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (first-inning homers) on five hits. He struck out six and walked three.

Gleyber Torres broke up the shutout with a solo homer off Astros reliever Joe Smith in the eighth inning. It would end up being New York's lone run in the loss, and it was the first run scored since Aaron Judge homered off Justin Verlander in the fourth inning of Game 2 in the ALCS. With Torres' home run, he is now the only player 22 or younger in American League history with three home runs in a single postseason. He also homered in Game 3 of the ALDS off Jake Odorizzi and in Game 1 of the ALCS off Zack Greinke.

Turning point

The Astros tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning to pad their shutout lead.

After Adam Ottavino walked George Springer to start the inning, Altuve singled to put runners on first and third base, with no outs. Springer was thrown out on a fielder's choice in the following at-bat, and Altuve advanced to third. A wild pitch from Zack Britton got away from Gary Sanchez and the Astros scored a run. A sacrifice fly from Yuli Gurriel -- his first RBI of the season -- scored a second run.

Quotable

Yankees manager Aaron Boone after the loss: "It's obviously a little frustrating we weren't able to break through with [Gerrit Cole]. We gave ourselves a chance, [but] he made big pitches when he had to. We weren't able to break through. We weren't able to get that hit tonight to really allow us to be in that game or even grab a lead at some point."

What's next

Game 4 in the best-of-seven playoff is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8:08 p.m. ET -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free). Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday in the New York area, which could result in a delay or a rainout. A postponement would likely alter pitching plans for both teams. But, for right now, if the game happens, the Yankees will send out Chad Green for a bullpen start while the Astros will turn to right-hander Jose Urquidy. The full postseason schedule can be found here.


CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, highlights and analysis from the game. If you are unable to view the live updates below, please click here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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