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José Altuve Crushes Clutch Home Run to Lift Houston Astros Over Texas Rangers

The Houston Astros went from being down 2-0 to up 3-2 in the ALCS thanks to José Altuve's three-run home run in the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers.

The Houston Astros, down to their last at-bats, were without their manager and trailing by a run.

The Texas Rangers led 4-2 late in Game 5 of the ALCS thanks to a home run and animated celebration by right fielder Adolis García in the sixth. A benches-clearing scuffle in the eighth brought even more drama, as well as ejections for García, reliever Bryan Abreu and manager Dusty Baker.

Amid all the tension, second baseman José Altuve was due up third in the do-or-die final frame.

Altuve already ranked second all-time in postseason home runs coming into the night, and he added to that total with another signature clutch bomb in Game 5.

Rangers closer José Leclerc had to wait through the long eighth inning, and he gave up a single and walk to bring Altuve up to the plate. The 5-foot-6 infielder crushed a changeup from Leclerc, sending the ball deep to left field.

Rookie Evan Carter backpedaled all the way to the wall, but his attempt at keeping Altuve's shot inside the park was ultimately fruitless.

All of a sudden, the Astros were up 5-4. After Ryan Pressly worked around back-to-back singles in the bottom of the ninth to close out the win, Houston officially went up 3-2 in the series.

The Astros won all three games in Arlington, and now they need to win just one of the possible two games back in Houston to advance to the World Series. No team has ever come back to win a League Championship Series after losing the first two games at home, but the Astros are on the verge of doing so this week.

The defending champions can close things out in Game 6 on Sunday, which is set to get going at 8:03 p.m. ET. Nathan Eovaldi and Framber Valdez are expected to be the starting pitchers.

A potential winner-take-all Game 7 would take place Monday night at the same time.

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