SEATTLE, Washington (KTRK) -- The Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners were engaged in a pitchers' duel Saturday at T-Mobile Park.
American League Division Series Game 3, which was the first MLB postseason game played in the Pacific Northwest in 21 years, saw no runs plated through the first 17 innings until Houston's rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña sent a solo shot to left center to put up the first run scored by either team. Houston held on to win, 1-0.
The 18-inning game, which stretched six hours and 22 minutes, matches the longest postseason contest in MLB history.
Houston had trouble converting runs earlier with runners in scoring position, including a fourth inning with bases loaded, a ninth inning with a runner on third base and one out, and a 16th inning that nearly put the 'Stros on the scoreboard. Yuli Gurriel's fly ball with runners on first and second was caught by Julio Rodriguez, who had to run from centerfield to deep right center for the out.
The Astros clinch their sixth straight AL Championship Series berth, which is a league record.
Houston will host Game 1 of the ALCS on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, hosting either the Yankees or the Guardians.
Check out the key highlights of the series clincher.
Scoreless in Seattle through 17 innings
It was Houston's Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Seattle's George Kirby in a matchup between the experienced hurler and the up-and-coming rookie.
Neither gave up an inch. McCullers' six innings saw only two hits and two walks given up, with seven strikeouts.
Kirby didn't blink either, mostly quieting Houston bats but allowing six hits.
Both pitchers gave up only shallow or blooper singles. Kirby, though, faced an Astros' bases loaded situation in the fourth inning, when he hit two batters and gave up a hit to Kyle Tucker. The 'Stros stranded all three runners.
Relievers on both sides kept zeroes on the board in a battle of pitching staffs. Seattle's Penn Murfee gave up the Peña home run.
Luis Garcia clutch in extra-inning relief
It remained to be known whether Dusty Baker would have used pitcher Luis Garcia as a starter if the ALDS reached Games 4 and 5.
So inserting the starting pitcher to complete the 13th through 18th innings was a big gamble that paid off.
Garcia danced on the mound for 64 pitches, striking out six batters and, most crucially, never allowing any Mariner to reach third base.
No. 77 got the winning decision. In all, Garcia and six other Astros relief pitchers were used. None of them pitched a partial inning.
Alvarez held hitless in eight at-bats
Yordan Alvarez imposed his will on the Mariners in the first two games of the series, but with a hungry Seattle crowd making as much noise as the Boeing jets made nearby, No. 44 went without a hit through his eight at-bats, one of which was a hit-by-pitch.
The other at-bats were a foul out, four flyouts, and two strikeouts.
Tune into Eyewitness News. ABC13's Adam Winkler is in Seattle on Houston's road to a deep postseason run.
MORE ASTROS POSTSEASON COVERAGE:
- Astros pitchers Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia rock hair extensions for MLB postseason hairdos
- Astros' star Yordan Alvarez family sees him play in postseason for the first time
- Rally nuns return to Minute Maid Park to cheer on Houston Astros