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Jose Altuve blast Astros 3-2 ALCS lead Rangers

Jose Altuve hits go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning to give Houston Astros a 5-4 win over Texas Rangers.

In a stunning display of composure and skill, Jose Altuve delivered a game-changing home run in the ninth inning of a highly dramatic postseason matchup between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. This pivotal moment propelled the Astros to a 5-4 victory in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, giving them a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Altuve's homer, his 26th career postseason home run, solidified his place in major league history as the second-most prolific postseason home run hitter of all time, trailing only Manny Ramirez.

The game took a chaotic turn in the eighth inning when a benches-clearing incident resulted in the ejections of Astros pitcher Bryan Abreu, Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia, and Astros manager Dusty Baker. The incident was sparked by Garcia's showboating after hitting a three-run homer that initially gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead. In the ensuing tension, Garcia was hit by a pitch from Abreu, leading to the confrontation and ejections.

Altuve's go-ahead homer in the ninth inning not only showcased his remarkable ability to perform under pressure but also served as a redemption for the Astros after the earlier altercation. Altuve expressed his elation with the victory and the significance of his home run, stating that it ranked as his top postseason favorite due to its timeliness and the team's determination to avoid falling behind in the series.

While Garcia's showboating may have added fuel to the fire, Astros pitcher Justin Verlander acknowledged that it was a natural reaction to an important moment in Garcia's career. However, he also noted that Garcia's quick response after being hit by a pitch indicated that he anticipated some form of retaliation.

Despite the intensity of the game and the emotions running high, both teams recognized the importance of maintaining sportsmanship and respect for the game. Rangers manager Bruce Bochy expressed frustration with the lengthy delay caused by the ejections and its potential impact on pitcher Jose Leclerc, who had been performing exceptionally well leading up to this game. Bochy criticized the situation, calling it "a bunch of crap."

The Astros' closer, Ryan Pressly, successfully navigated through a tense bottom of the ninth inning, stranding two Rangers runners and securing the victory for Houston. The Rangers had their opportunities to score but were unable to capitalize, leaving Bochy disappointed with their inability to tack on runs.

Overall, the game showcased the resilience and determination of both teams. The Astros, as defending World Series champions, demonstrated their ability to rise to the occasion when faced with adversity. The Rangers, despite the setback, remained confident in their ability to bounce back, drawing on their experiences throughout the season. As the series heads to Game 6 in Houston, the stakes are higher than ever, and both teams are prepared to give their all in pursuit of a spot in the World Series.

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