Facing elimination, the New York Yankees got to Justin Verlander early and kept the Houston Astros in check for a 4-1 victory in Game 5 of the ALCS on Friday night.
All five of the game's runs were scored in the first inning as both pitching staffs settled down after a rocky start.
George Springer, who had reached on an infield single, scored on a wild pitch by James Paxton with one out. The Astros managed just four hits over the remaining eight innings.
D.J. LeMahieu homered to right to lead off the bottom of the inning for the Yankees to briefly tie the game. New York continued to tee off on Verlander, with Aaron Judge singling and Gleyber Torres doubling to left. After Giancarlo Stanton struck out, Aaron Hicks homered to set the game's final score.
New York held on for the win despite recording just one more hit in the game.
Houston started a rally in the seventh when Springer singled and Jose Altuve walked with one out. However, Aaron Boone called on Zack Britton, who quickly got out of the inning.
Verlander's final line looked better than it began. He went seven innings, striking out nine and walking none.
James Paxton lasted six innings for the Yankees, striking out nine and walking four.
The clubs will play Game 6 back in Texas on Saturday night because of Game 4's postponement earlier this week. Both teams are expected to use a bullpen approach with Gerrit Cole looming for the Astros in a potential Game 7.