Four-run first inning lifts Yankees over Astros to stay alive in ALCS

DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks' first-inning homers were all the Yankees needed in Game 5.

Aaron Hicks watches his three-run home run against the Astros during the first inning in Game 5 of the ALCS.
Aaron Hicks watches his three-run home run against the Astros during the first inning in Game 5 of the ALCS. –The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks stunned Justin Verlander with first-inning home runs, James Paxton made the early lead stand up and the New York Yankees beat Houston 4-1 Friday night, cutting the Astros’ lead in the AL Championship Series to 3-2.

After the Astros scored on a wild pitch, LeMahieu homered on Verlander’s second pitch and Hicks homered off the right-field foul pole, his first long ball since July after a lengthy injury layoff.

Paxton pitched six innings, and the Yankees’ bullpen followed with shutdown relief.

Now the teams head back to Texas, where the series resumes Saturday night without a day off.

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