Jose Altuve’s three-run shot gives Astros 3-2 series lead over Rangers

Oct 20, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a three-run home run during the sixth inning of game five in the ALCS against the Houston Astros for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Altuve hit the go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning to cap a wild final three innings and lift the visiting Houston Astros to a 5-4 win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday.

The defending World Series champion Astros won all three games in Arlington, Texas to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday night in Houston.

The Astros are trying to become the fourth team in the wild card era to overcome a two games to none deficit in a best-of-seven series as they bid to return to the World Series for the third straight season and the fifth time since 2017.

Houston is 9-1 in Arlington in 2023 and has scored 86 runs in the 10 games.

Adolis Garcia hit a three-run homer in the sixth to put the Rangers ahead 4-2 — the first lead held in the series by the home team. Garcia, who admired the homer and spiked his bat upon beginning his trot, was hit on the upper arm by Bryan Abreu’s 1-0 pitch with a runner on in the ninth.

Garcia immediately turned and yelled at Astros catcher Martin Maldonado as the benches and bullpens emptied. Following a lengthy delay, Abreu, Garcia and Astros manager Dusty Baker were ejected. The homer was Garcia’s fourth of the postseason.

Ryan Pressly (1-0) got the next three outs before the Astros rallied against Jose Leclerc (0-1) in the ninth. Yainer Diaz led off with a single and pinch-hitter Jon Singleton worked a walk before Altuve hit an 0-1 pitch 382 feet to left for his 26th career postseason homer and his record third go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later of a playoff game. Altuve has three blasts this postseason.

The Rangers threatened against Pressly in the ninth, when Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim opened with singles. But Marcus Semien lined out to a leaping Grae Kessinger — in the game at short after pinch-running for Singleton — and Corey Seager flew out to the track in left-center before Pressly struck out Evan Carter.

Alex Bregman homered in the first for his third blast of the postseason for the Astros. Nathaniel Lowe tied the game with a solo shot in the fifth, his second of the postseason.

Astros starter Justin Verlander gave up the four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three over 5 2/3 innings. Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three over 5 1/3 innings.

–Field Level Media

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