The Yankees, Judge Aaron rallied in the opener between the AL Powerhouses with four runs in the ninth-ranked Astros.

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The New York Yankees scored four runs as part of a ninth-innings rally on Thursday night to start the much-anticipated four-game series between the American League Titans by beating the Houston Astros 7-6 (box score). The walk-off victory extended the Yanks’ home winning streak to 15, the longest since 1961.

Only three times in the franchise’s history have the team won home games in more than 15 games, and none in 80 years.

1

May 3 to June 6, 1942

18

t-2

June 9 to July 17, 1938

16

t-2

June 22 to July 27, 1941

16

t-4

May 24, 2022 – So far

15

t-4

April 23 to May 18, 1932

15

t-4

August 16 to September 26, 1961

15

The teams entered the American League on Thursday with the top two records, suggesting it could be a preview of the October League Championship series. This would be a significant match-up in the face of hostility that seems to still exist between the parties to the Astros signing scandal. (Of course, the Yankees had their own, less explosive mark theft scandal that reappeared earlier this year.)

Astros moved quickly, second baseman Alex Bragman opened the scoring with a three-run shot in the upper half. The Yankees responded with a three-run homer in their half-frame, courtesy of hitter Gian Carlo Stanton. The teams will later trade another pair of three-run homers in the game – Jordan Alvarez led the Astros 6-3 in the third, and then Aaron Hicks equalized in the ninth inning.

But with the game falling to 6, the Yankees did not seem to be satisfied with the suggestion of extra innings. Short stop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Jose Trevino both singled, and DJ LeMahieu then drew a one-out walk to load the base for Aaron Judge. The judge, who will hold an arbitration hearing on Friday to determine his 2022 compensation, led Ryan Stannick to a 3-0 pitch to the left-hand side in the game-winning race:

The Yankees are now 52-18 with a plus of 146 runs this season, which is the best among the majors. The Astros, for their part, are 43-26 plus 60, second in the AL.

The series continues on Friday with the Astros expecting Justin Verlander to face the Yankees’ Luis Severino.