The Houston Astros are heading back to the World Series for the second time in three seasons.
Houston defeated the New York Yankees by a score of 6-4 in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday to advance to the Fall Classic.
After a dramatic comeback saw the Yankees tie it in the top of the ninth, the Astros walked it off when Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer off New York closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom half. Altuve is the fifth player in MLB history to end an LCS with a walk-off homer. Only two have done it in the World Series.
''That's one of the best moments of postseason history,'' Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said, according to The Associated Press.
It was a roller-coaster finish. Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu hit a game-tying blast off Astros closer Roberto Osuna just out of a leaping George Springer's reach, but the celebration was short-lived for the visiting squad. Altuve, the series MVP, sent the fans home happy with his playoff-leading fifth long ball.
''I get asked to describe Jose Altuve all the time,'' manager AJ Hinch said. ''I think MVP is what he is.''
The Yankees have not won an AL pennant since 2009, which makes the 2010s the first decade in which the Bronx Bombers have failed to reach the World Series since the 1910s.
Both teams relied on their bullpens from the first pitch, and neither opener lasted very long. Yankees right-hander Chad Green served up a three-run homer to Yuli Gurriel in the first inning, while Astros vet Brad Peacock was lifted in the second with a pair of runners on base.
It was the seventh game in playoff history during which neither starter completed at least two innings, and the first since Game 4 of the 1999 ALDS between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
Fourteen total pitchers were used in the contest, seven from each team.
The Astros will face the Washington Nationals with Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.