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LeMahieu, Hicks lift Yanks over Astros, close to 3-2 in ALCS

DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks stunned Justin Verlander with first-inning home runs, James Paxton made the early lead stand up and the New York Yankees beat Houston 4-1 Friday night, cutting the Astros' lead in the AL Championship Series to 3-2.

After the Astros scored on a wild pitch, LeMahieu homered on Verlander's second pitch and Hicks homered off the right-field foul pole, his first long ball since July after a lengthy injury layoff.

Paxton pitched six innings, and the Yankees' bullpen followed with shutdown relief.

New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting a three-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoFrank Franklin II)

Now the teams head back to Texas, where the series resumes Saturday night without a day off.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks watches his three-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) motions as the ball, hit by New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks bounces off the foul pole for a three-run home run during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoFrank Franklin II)

New York Yankees'DJ LeMahieu (26) celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoFrank Franklin II)

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton reacts after walking Houston Astros' Michael Brantley during the first inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

New York Yankees'DJ LeMahieu (26) celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoFrank Franklin II)

New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu connects for a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoSeth Wenig)

Houston Astros' George Springer, right, scores a on a wild pitch past New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton during the first inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

A wild pitch bounces away from New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez as Houston Astros' Michael Brantley looks on during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. George Springer scored on the play. (AP PhotoSeth Wenig)