LeMahieu hit a two-run home run off closer Roberto Osuna and the Yankees have tied the game in the ninth. Gio Urshela singled to lead off the inning and then after Brett Gardner struck out, LeMahieu lifted a deep fly ball on a mile-per-hour fastball — the 10th pitch of the at-bat — that was directly over the plate.
George Springer jumped at the wall, but the ball barely eluded his glove and fell into the stands, and he slumped at the base of the wall as the Yankees dugout erupted and LeMahieu rounded the bases.
Osuna got out of the rest of the inning, but the game is even, heading to the bottom of the ninth. Didi Gregorius was on first with one out when Gary Sanchez hit a slow line drive toward second base.
The ball was clearly going to bounce before Jose Altuve could catch it, but Gregorius misread it and hesitated on his way to second. Altuve threw to Carlos Correa, who swept across the bag and unloaded as hard as he could to first base, making a perfect throw to Yuli Gurriel to end the top of the inning.
The Astros loaded the bases against Zack Britton in the eighth, but did not score. But the focus of the fans here was on Roberto Osuna, who is on for the ninth inning to try and save the game.
Aaron Hicks followed and worked the count full against Will Harris before he lifted a shallow fly ball to left. Alex Bregman, the third baseman, ran out but it was clear he was not going to get it as Judge charged toward second base. But Michael Brantley, the left fielder, sprinted in and made the scoop catch as he dove forward, just snagged the ball and slid forward on his chest.
He then jumped up and fired a strike on a bounce to Gurriel at first base. Gurriel caught the ball and stepped on the bag ahead of Judge for the final out of the frame. In a bit of good news for Yankees fans, Adam Ottavino had a inning.
He even got George Springer out. Yankees Manager Aaron Boone had opted to use Tommy Kahnle in the sixth, and he issued a leadoff walk to Altuve, who went to third on a single by Michael Brantley. Altuve scored when Bregman hit a slow bouncer to short with the infield at double-play depth.
Altuve, one of the best base runners in the sport, broke on contact, and Didi Gregorius had no chance to get him.
But Gregorius peeked at Altuve before making the throw to second, and the slight hesitation may have allowed Bregman to reach first safely on a close play. But it did not matter, because Bregman was stranded at third when Kahnle struck out Yordan Alvarez to end the threat. The Yankees had a great opportunity to even the score in the top of the frame after Gary Sanchez walked and Gio Urshela singled off Jose Urquidy.
If Reddick did not snare it and the ball got behind him, at least one Yankee would have scored, maybe two. With D. LeMahieu coming up and runners at first and second and two outs, A.
Hinch went to Will Harris, one of his top relievers. Harris threw a first-pitch breaking ball to LeMahieu, who bounced it slowly to Carlos Correa at short.
Correa scooped it on a tricky bounce and made the off-balance throw to first to end the half-inning, to the delight of the crowd. Going to Harris was a big move for Hinch. Harris has pitched most often in the seventh and eighth innings this year.
Gleyber Torres bounced out to Alex Bregman at third and then Aaron Hicks and Edwin Encarnacion struck out, the latter for the second time in the game and the 10th time in the series.
Funny thing about Urquidy: Right handers hit. A big reason for that is his changeup, which falls away from lefties.
Cessa pitched out of a tiny bit of trouble in the bottom of the inning after Martin Maldonado reached on a perfect bunt. Cessa got Josh Reddick to hit a harmless fly ball to center and then George Springer ripped a ball down the third base line. It was his second home run of the A.
He also homered in Game 1. Brett Gardner followed with an opposite-field single for a base hit, and Astros Manager A. Hinch was getting nervous again.
But Urquidy escaped when he got D. LeMahieu to pop out to center, and then he struck out Aaron Judge. Urquidy only pitched in nine games for the Astros this year seven of them starts but he could have a big role tonight.
Hinch would probably like him to eat up some outs in the middle of this game to save his back-end relievers for later in the game. Luis Cessa got the bottom of the fourth for the Yankees, and Urshela showed off his good glove and arm work, corralling an awkward high bouncer from Yuli Gurriel and then making a terrific off-balance throw across the diamond.
The Astros made only weak contact against Cessa. The Astros also announced that Peacock left the game with right knee discomfort, so perhaps that was the reason he lost his command, instead of fatigue. Hinch will have to be alert and nimble in this game with all the pitching decisions they will make.
One of the keys is not waiting too long to make a change, because some of the relievers they will rely on in this game are not programmed to throw a lot of pitches, or to sit down between innings and come back out again, or to face left and right-handed batters in succession.
He might have stayed a little too long with Brad Peacock, and he was practically begging for Josh James to escape a jam in the third. But James could not, as he walked Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases. Hinch went to Pressly, who got Didi Gregorius out on a weak ground ball but appeared to be injured on the play as he limped to the dugout.
The Astros have used three pitchers through three innings so far. Peacock recorded five outs, but he started to lose command when his pitch count rose. Relatively speaking, of course. He only threw 27 total, but he is not a starter. With two outs, Didi Gregorius doubled to right field.
Peacock statistically has greater success against right-handed batters, who only hit. He clearly began to tire and walked Gio Urshela, so A. Hinch made the first of what should be many pitching changes in this game, asking Josh James to face Brett Gardner.
James got out of the jam when he caught Gardner looking a dubious strike three call.
The pitch looked outside and maybe high. The Yankees turned to the former Astros lefty J. Happ in the bottom of the second, and he had a nice, quiet inning.
It was just what the Yankees needed. This game is going to get more fascinating as it progresses with all the matchups and decisions.
James is still in for Houston. Green struck out George Springer to start the inning, but he labored after that, giving up a double to Jose Altuve and then one out later he walked Alex Bregman.
Gurriel connected on the first pitch — with Altuve breaking for third base — and lined it over the wall in left field as the crowd erupted. The Astros were borrowing from the script the Yankees provided in Game 5, when they scored four runs in the first inning on home runs by D.
LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks. For the Astros, Brad Peacock picked up where he left off last night, setting down the Yankees in order on 7 pitches he needed 8 to get through the 8th inning of Game 5 on Friday.