Morton's 10 strikeouts lead Astros to win vs. Yankees

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The rematch: Astros and Yankees face off for first time since epic ALCS (KTRK)

The last two American League teams standing in the 2017 season opened a four-game rematch series Monday night at Minute Maid Park, with the Houston Astros taking the first game, 2-1.

Charlie Morton turned in a stellar 7-and-two-thirds innings of work, fanning 10 New York Yankees batters for strikeouts. He allowed only two hits, two walks, and an earned run to improve to 4-0 for the season.

Morton pitched a no-hitter through 5-and-two-thirds innings, broken up by an Austin Romine single to right. His other hit was a deep double to left by Gleyber Torres.

Morton's appearance was followed up by a one-out relief appearance by Chris Devenski and a 1-2-3 ninth-inning save by Ken Giles.

For the Astros on offense, Houston got runs from George Springer in the first inning and Jose Altuve off of a Yuli Gurriel RBI in the fourth. Despite just the two runs, Houston roughed up Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray for four hits and two earned runs.

The opening game of the series matched the same punch-counterpunch that both teams gave each other in last October's American League Championship Series. The Astros and the New York Yankees went down to the final possible game, with the eventual World Series champions facing elimination twice.

Since their elimination, the Baby Bronx Bombers reloaded their arms, adding reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton via trade and hiring October legend Aaron Boone as manager. If that isn't enough, the Yankees still have the services of Aaron Judge and a possible MVP candidacy from Didi Gregorious.

And, so far, so good for New York in 2018. The Yankees entered the Astros series 18-9. With the loss, though, the Yankees snapped a nine-game win streak.

But while the Yanks look strong early in 2018, the Astros have been equally impressive. After Monday's game, they improved to 20-10.

And if there's any more reason that this week's series will have the same entertainment that the playoff series had, it will be in the starting pitching from both sides.

Morton will be followed by ALCS MVP Justin Verlander on Tuesday, Dallas Keuchel on Wednesday, and Lance McCullers on Thursday.

The Yankees will counter in order with Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, and Masahiro Tanaka.

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sportsHouston AstrosNew York YankeesMLBHouston
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