Astros outlast Mariners in 18-inning marathon, advance to ALCS originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners went where few postseason teams have ever gone. And now the Astros are headed back to familiar territory.
Jeremy Pena hit a solo home run in the top of the 18th inning to lift the Astros a 1-0 win over the Mariners and complete a three-game sweep in the American League Division Series.
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The Astros advance to their sixth straight American League Championship Series.
The 18-inning affair was among MLB’s longest postseason games, matching the Astros and Braves in the 2005 NLDS, the Giants and Nationals in the 2014 NLDS and the Dodgers and Red Sox in the 2018 World Series.
It was also the longest scoreless game in playoff history, topping last week’s marathon in the AL Wild Card Series where the Cleveland Guardians defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 in 15 innings.
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Astros starter Lance McCullers allowed two hits over six scoreless innings, striking out seven and walking two.
The Houston bullpen then combined for 12 scoreless innings, with usual starting pitcher Luis Garcia tossing the last five innings and allowing two hits and no walks while striking out six to earn the win.
The two teams combined to set a record for strikeouts in a postseason game with 42.