The Astros celebrate their win over the Mariners. Oct 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Mariners in eighteen innings during game three of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros advanced to the American League Championship Series on Saturday, completing a 3-0 sweep of the Seattle Mariners. To do that, Houston had to win a pitcher’s duel. In fact, the Astros essentially had to win two pitcher’s duels.

For the fourth time in the history of the postseason, a game went 18 innings. But unlike those other three games, this game was scoreless for the first 17 innings. But just like Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS between the Astros and Atlanta Braves, Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS and Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, the 18th-inning tie was broken with a home run. On Saturday night, it was Houston shortstop Jeremy Peña, who led the 18th inning off with a home run.

That was all the run support the Astros needed. Houston’s Luis García retired Seattle in order in the bottom of the 18th inning, getting Julio Rodríguez for the final out of the game and series.

The baseball world had a lot to say about the marathon game in Seattle.

While the Astros swept the series, it was anything but easy. Houston overcame a poor outing by Justin Verlander in Game 1 when Yordan Álvarez belted a walk-off three-run home run. Álvarez played the hero again in Game 2, leading the Astros to another come-from-behind win with a home run.

Houston will have some time to rest up. The ALCS will not begin until Wednesday, Oct. 19. The Astros will have home field advantage.

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