Ken Giles worked through a few bumps to deal through the ninth inning and earn the five-out save. New York made him earn it though: Houston's closer was summoned early, emerging from the bullpen with one out in the eighth inning to relieve Chris Devenski, who issued a one-out walk to Brett Gardner in a two-run game. Enter Yanks slugger Aaron Judge, who worked the count full against Giles, even inducing a wild pitch that sent Gardner to second, before grounding out. Giles proceeded to walk Gary Sanchez but struck out Didi Gregorius for the dramatic inning-ending out.
Giles struck out the first two Yankees he faced in the ninth before Greg Bird smashed a tape-measure homer to spoil the shutout. It was all Giles would bend, though: the righty rebounded to strike out Jacoby Ellsbury and end the game.
10:38 p.m. ET: Fear the beard
With timely hitting and some solid moves on D, the Astros were feeling pretty good at the seventh-inning stretch.
It certainly didn't hurt to have Dallas Keuchel on the mound, either. Keuchel held the Yankees scoreless on four hits and a walk through his seven innings. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out 10, the most by an Astros pitcher in the postseason since Nolan Ryan fanned 12 in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS, and the most ever by an Astros lefty in the playoffs. More >
Keuchel also threw six scoreless against the Yanks in the 2015 AL Wild Card Game, extending his streak to 13 consecutive scoreless frames against New York in the postseason. With his performance tonight, Keuchel also became the first pitcher to record two scoreless starts with at least seven strikeouts against the Bronx Bombers in the postseason.
9:53 p.m. ET: Not on my watch, part two
Perhaps inspired by teammate Jose Altuve's flashy defense, Marwin Gonzalez saved a run in the fifth with his arm, throwing out Bird at the plate with a laser from left field. The throw home came in at 97.4 mph per Statcast™, and marked Gonzalez's second outfield assist in as many games. With two outs and two runners on, Judge ripped a hard liner to left but Gonzalez's grab-and-throw ended the inning and brought the crowd to its feet at Minute Maid Park. More >
The Yankees challenged the play, but it was confirmed after a review and Bird was out trying to advance from second. Gonzalez's Game 4 assist in the AL Division Series presented by Doosan was clocked at 93.6 mph.
Aaron Hicks nearly got the Yankees on the board with a deep drive to center field with two outs in the fourth, but George Springer tracked it down to end the inning. It had a hit probability of 89 percent, per Statcast™, leaving the bat at 103.7 mph with a launch angle of 27 degrees. Historically, Hicks had a nearly 90 percent chance of claiming a hit. Not Friday.
Both starters are handling their business on the hill through four innings but the defense deserves some love, too: Astros second baseman Altuve robbed Gregorius of a one-out hit in the fourth with a leaping dive to snag the screaming grounder.
Altuve wasn't done: The speedster connected for a one-out single in the bottom of the frame, stole second, then scored on a Carlos Correa single for the game's first run. More >
Gonzalez's ensuing groundout placed Correa on second, setting up Yuli Gurriel's two-out RBI single for a 2-0 advantage. Gurriel is 10-for-18 this postseason.
8:46 p.m. ET: Dueling zeros
Keuchel and Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka swapped zeros during the first two innings, neither allowing a hit. Both pitchers worked around a walk in the first inning, marking the first time this postseason the Astros didn't score in the opening frame. Houston hit .421 in the first inning through its first four playoff games.
For Keuchel, it's business as usual:
Coming into tonight, Dallas Keuchel's 1.24 ERA is the best ever vs. the #Yankees (min. 50 IP, including postseason).
5:02 p.m. ET: Sweet ride, bro
Because we know you're wondering how Orbit gets around town.
Clue: Rhymes with "Bledsoe" and is employed as a universal rallying cry Answer: "Let's go!" Ever notice MLB players shout the phrase any time they make a big play? The Astros and Yankees are as guilty as anyone.
4:11 p.m. ET: Houston, we have a lineup
Keuchel, who fired six scoreless innings vs. the Yankees in the 2015 AL Wild Card Game, will be on the hill. The Astros' lineup is as follows: