HOUSTON -- Carlos Correa delivered a walk-off double against Aroldis Chapman, salvaging an incredible effort from Justin Verlander and giving the Houston Astros a 2-1 win over the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
With Jose Altuve on first base following a one-out single, Correa lined a 3-2 fastball from Chapman (0-1) into the right-center field gap. Altuve rounded the bases and scored when Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge made his relay toss toward the middle of the infield. The subsequent throw home short-hopped catcher Gary Sanchez, allowing Altuve to score.
Altuve and Correa both recorded two hits, with Correa scoring once and driving in two runs. The Astros will take a 2-0 series lead to New York for Game 3 at Yankee Stadium on Monday.
Verlander (1-0) delivered an otherworldly performance, working nine innings while allowing one run on five hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts. He threw a whopping 124 pitches, 93 for strikes, holding off the Yankees for as long as he could to give his offense a chance to rally.
Unusual plays helped net the first run for both teams, with the Astros striking first off New York right-hander Luis Severino with one out in the fourth inning.
Correa turned around a 99 mph fastball from Severino for an opposite-field home run to right field, just sneaking the ball over the outstretched glove of Judge. A young fan in the first row of the outfield seats deflected the ball into the stands, leading to a review of the play to determine if fan interference aided the Correa home run.
The call was upheld and the Astros secured a 1-0 lead, an advantage that was short-lived.
With two outs in the fifth, after striking out Greg Bird and Starlin Castro to open the frame, Verlander surrendered consecutive doubles to Aaron Hicks and Todd Frazier, the second of which lodged between the padding and chain-linked fence fronting the visiting bullpen in left-center field.
Hicks scored on the Frazier ground-rule double but Verlander rallied to induce a Chase Headley fly ball to center to preserve the tie and set the stage for his epic performance.
NOTES: Astros LF Marwin Gonzalez and his wife, Noel, welcomed their third child, a boy, early Saturday morning. Gonzalez dropped off his wife at the hospital prior to Game 1 and returned immediately after fulfilling media obligations following the Astros' 2-1 win. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi celebrated his 53rd birthday on Saturday. In five previous postseason appearances as Yankees manager, Girardi managed on his birthday only once: a 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the 2012 ALCS. ... At 23 years, 236 days old, RHP Luis Severino became the second-youngest Yankees pitcher to start an ALCS game. Dave Righetti was 22 years, 321 days old when he started Game 3 of the 1981 ALCS vs. Oakland. ... The Astros completed their Aug. 31 trade with the Detroit Tigers for RHP Justin Verlander by receiving OF Juan Ramirez as the player to be named later. Ramirez spent 2017 with the Gulf Coast League Tigers West.