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Yankees light up Justin Verlander in disastrous first inning for Astros

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 10/18/2019 Mark Townsend
a close up of a man in a baseball game: Yankees scored four first-inning runs against Justin Verlander in ALCS Game 5. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) © Provided by Oath Inc. Yankees scored four first-inning runs against Justin Verlander in ALCS Game 5. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros figured they were in good hands with Justin Verlander going into Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. The New York Yankees had other ideas.

With their back against the wall, the Yankees slumping offense came to life against the American League Cy Young candidate by scoring four runs within the first five batters of the game.

DJ LeMahieu greeted Verlander with a rocket home run to the short porch in right field.

That was followed by a hard-hit single from Aaron Judge and a ringing double by Gleyber Torres. After Verlander rebounded to strike out the returning Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks put a stamp on the rally by lining a three-run home run off the right-field foul pole.

In his previous 28 postseason starts, Verlander has allowed more than four runs only twice. He’s already on the verge of making it three.

It was a much-needed breakthrough for New York after the first inning started similarly to the way Thursday’s disappointing Game 4 loss ended. Sloppy defense contributed to Houston scoring the first run on a sacrifice fly by Alex Bregman. Yankees’ starter James Paxton limited the damage to just that one run, which allowed them to take a 4-1 lead.

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