Astros vs. Yankees ALCS 2022: Bregman's 3-run blast the difference maker in Houston's Game 2 win

Framber Valdez turned in seven quality innings of four-hit baseball, with nine strikeouts.

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An early Alex Bregman blast was the difference in a Game 2 that saw Framber Valdez do what he does best: pitch quality starts.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Just one swing of a bat was the difference in a one-run Houston Astros victory in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday night.

Here are the major highlights as the 'Stros defended homefield.

Breggy blasts bomb for early lead

Houston Astros Alex Bregman (2) hits a homer during the third inning in Game 2 of the ALCS on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Houston.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The first runs of the game came courtesy of Alex Bregman, who, with two outs and two runners on base in the third inning, crushed Luis Severino's four-seam fastball 360 feet to left.

Astros led 3-0.

Directly after that, in the top of the fourth inning, Framber Valdez's was charged with an error when, with Aaron Judge at first, he dropped a weak pop up from Giancarlo Stanton and overthrew to first, advancing the runners to second and third.

Valdez would then allow two RBIs, each on a sacrifice grounder and and an infield hit.

Astros' lead cut down, 3-2, which would be unchanged for the rest of the game.

King of quality starts turns one in

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) works from the mound during the first inning in Game 2 of the ALCS on Oct. 20, 2022, in Houston.
AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox

For a second straight postseason game, an Astros starting pitcher was able to outlast his Yankee counterpart.

Framber Valdez, whose 2022 was highlighted by his streak of 25 straight quality starts, pitched seven innings of four-hit baseball, allowing only two runs - both unearned - on 101 pitches.

After his fourth inning error, Valdez regained control, throwing five of his nine total strikeouts the rest of the way.

In contrast, Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino was pulled after five and one-third innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs, all of them scored from the Bregman homer.

Tuck robs Judge

The Yankees were indeed threatening the Astros' lead ever since Bregman's homer.

The closest such attempt at overtaking Houston came in the eighth inning with Aaron Judge at bat with one runner on base and Houston's Bryan Abreu pitching in relief.

Judge, who plays in right field, launched a first-pitch fly ball to deep right where his counterpart, Kyle Tucker, took just a light leap against the wall to grab the inning's second out.

Abreu would escape that inning with a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton.

Ryan Pressly entered in the ninth to shut the door on the Yankees. Houston has a 2-0 ALCS lead.

Both teams have a travel day on Friday before playing Game 3 in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon.

GAME 1 RECAP: Astros take ALCS Game 1 behind 3 solo home runs and JV's record night

Yes, the roof was open

And, no, the Minute Maid Park roof (the roof) wasn't on fire, but it certainly didn't need any water, even though the crowd was fired up all the same.

Not a cloud was above downtown Houston by the time the first pitch was thrown.

So why was the roof open? That's a Major League Baseball call. Typically, the Astros organization would get to make that call if the temperature and humidity goes down to a certain point. MLB takes over that decision in the postseason, though.

Game 2 marks just the sixth time in franchise postseason history that the roof was open. The Astros improved to 2-4 when playing outdoors at home in the playoffs.

Golden 'Stros: Houston well represented as finalists for top defensive award

Rookie Jeremy Peña's banner regular season - and postseason, really - could mean some honorary hardware by the time the season ends.

Ahead of Game 2, the Astros' shortstop was named among the three finalists at his position for the AL Gold Glove. The other finalists are Boston's Xander Bogaerts and Minnesota's Carlos Correa, whom Peña replaced at the position in Houston.

Outfielder Kyle Tucker joins Peña as the only other Astros representative to become a finalist. He got his second-straight nomination in right field.

Peña, Tucker, and Astros fans will find out the Gold Glove winners during a special edition of ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" on Nov. 1 at 4 p.m., which takes place prior to Game 4 of the upcoming World Series.

2022 AL Championship Series: Astros lead 2-0

  • Game 1: Astros 4, Yankees 2
  • Game 2: Astros 3, Yankees 2
  • Game 3: at New York Yankees, Saturday, 4:07 p.m.
  • Game 4: at New York Yankees, Sunday, Oct. 23, 6:07 p.m.
  • Game 5*: at New York Yankees, Monday, Oct. 24, 3:07 p.m. or 4:07 p.m.
  • Game 6*: at Houston, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 5:07 p.m. or 6:37 p.m.
  • Game 7*: at Houston, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6:37 p.m.

All times listed are CDT. Games 5-7 are if necessary*.

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