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Verlander gem helps Astros force Game 7

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) Justin Verlander remained perfect with the Houston Astros when they couldn't afford anything else.

The ace right-hander pitched seven shutout innings and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs during a 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night that extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped for and more," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said about Verlander. "He chose to come here for games like this and beyond."

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Baker won't return as Nationals manager

WASHINGTON (AP) Dusty Baker is done as manager of the Washington Nationals after two seasons, two NL East titles and zero playoff series victories.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he told Baker the news via telephone Friday morning. Baker's two-year deal with the club is expiring.

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Dodgers expect SS Seager to play in WS

CHICAGO (AP) Corey Seager is expected to be in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup for the opener of the World Series after missing the NL Championship Series because of back pain.

Seager, an All-Star shortstop, watched from home as the Dodgers eliminated the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs in Game 5 on Thursday night.

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Tigers name ex-rival Gardenhire manager

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers were certainly familiar with Ron Gardenhire's managerial resume.

Some of his most significant accomplishments came at their expense.

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Yankees have backs to wall once again

HOUSTON (AP) The New York Yankees will have to win one more elimination game to get to their first World Series since 2009.

This time, the Baby Bombers will play a Game 7 after missing a chance to close out the AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros.

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Dodgers use teamwork to reach Series

LOS ANGELES (AP) After third baseman Justin Turner and closer Kenley Jansen propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to their most recent home playoff victory a few days ago, they took off their uniforms and pulled on T-shirts supporting a teammate.

Jansen's shirt urged fans to send Turner to the All-Star Game, albeit three months late. The red-bearded Turner's shirt simply bore Yasiel Puig's No. 66 in big blue numerals.

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Tigers won't pick up option on P Sanchez

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers are declining their $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

General manager Al Avila confirmed that Friday following the team's news conference to introduce new manager Ron Gardenhire. The move comes as no surprise after Sanchez slipped badly over the past three seasons. He went 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017.

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Giants tab Bell as player development VP

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Former infielder David Bell is coming back to the San Francisco Giants as vice president of player development.

Bell will work under the direction of general manager Bobby Evans, the team said Friday.

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Young Cubs likely not fading after NLCS

CHICAGO (AP) As the players said their "goodbyes" there was something else that stood out to Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.

He couldn't help but notice that "tinge of disappointment" in the clubhouse. To Epstein, it showed just how far the organization has come.

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