Verlander to pitch Astros in Game Six » Manila Bulletin Sports

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Houston eyes 1st-ever crown

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By AP

Los Angeles — At this rate, Justin Verlander might very well hit his first home run for real.

A classically poor-hitting pitcher, the Houston ace knocked one over the wall last week at Dodger Stadium in batting practice. Maybe that bolstered his belief that this batch of baseballs is slick and juiced.

On Tuesday night, Verlander aims to lead the Astros to their first championship when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of a power-packed World Series that’s already set the mark for home runs.

Justin Verlander (AP)

Justin Verlander (AP)

“We’re just making memories right now,” Astros catcher Brian McCann said, a day after he homered.

A total of 22 homers so far, more than 1½ miles of dingers.

These nightly episodes of home run derby are connecting with fans, too — in much of the country, they stayed up well past midnight to watch Houston outlast the Dodgers 13-12 in 10 innings at Minute Maid Park, TV numbers showed.

With each swing, perhaps this Series really is becoming more riveting.

George Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and McCann launched longballs in the Astros’ back-and-forth thriller. Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig homered for the Dodgers — seven different players on each side have homered.

“This is not going to be finished Tuesday. It’s going to be Game 7,” Puig said.

Springer has hit three in the Series. His assessment of Game 5: “Bedlam.”

“This is the craziest atmosphere I’ve ever played in, the craziest results, just big hit after big hit, big play after big play,” the Houston leadoff man said.

Major League Baseball set a record this year for most home runs in a season and, fittingly, Minnesota leadoff man Brian Dozier began the playoffs with a homer.

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