The All-Star break is officially gone, with Major League Baseball returning to the field on Thursday with a slate of six games. Two of those saw the Houston Astros welcome the New York Yankees to town in a doubleheader that could be a preview of an ALCS showdown, and if that is the case, then the Yankees clearly have their ‘Kryptonite.’ The Astros took both games on Thursday, winning 3-2 in the opener and 7-5 in the night cap to make it 5-2 in the season series. In the first of the twin bill, the Astros led 2-0 early only to see the Bronx Bombers battle back late before getting a walk-off single from rookie JJ Matijevic in the bottom of the ninth.
In the second game, the Astros got a solo shot from Yordan Alvarez as he racked up three RBI’s on the evening to help his team run out to a 5-0 lead through two frames. They would give up some runs later on, but that proved to be all they needed to sweep the doubleheader and move closer to their visitors for the league’s best record. At present, they are just 2.5 behind, so they very much can catch- and possibly surpass- them. Elsewhere, Mookie Betts was putting on a show for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they downed San Francisco 9-6. Betts came to the plate with two on base in the bottom of the eighth and with the score knotted at six and hit the go-ahead homer, and he then followed that up with a spectacular diving catch to seal the victory and deny a rally from the Giants in the top of the ninth. That makes five consecutive wins for LA and also ended a three-game losing streak to their visitors.