The Houston Astros moved on to the ALCS Saturday night after a historically long game, as a Jeremy Pena home run in the 18th inning gave the visitors the decisive run to take the series.

The game was the first home playoff game that the Mariners had hosted in 21 years, and while their fans did not get to see a run, they did see a game with as many innings as only three postseason contests ever before.

Pena’s home run occurred with Penn Murfee on the mound, one of 10 pitchers that Seattle used on the night. And the Houston shortstop was able to take the ball 415 feet to center field to give them a lead they would not relinquish.

Including that decisive play, the teams combined for just 18 hits in the marathon game. The Astros win Saturday night meant that they swept the series, after they won Games 1 and 2 at home. Houston will wait to see who wins the Yankees-Guardians series to get their next opponent. 

The Astros entered the postseason as one of the World Series favorites after winning 106 games – the most in the American League – in the regular season. They lost to the Braves in the World Series last year.  While the loss was a deflating end to the Mariners’ season, it shouldn’t overshadow what was an encouraging year for the franchise.

Seattle returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2001, and managed to advance out of their Wild Card series vs. the Blue Jays. Their 90 regular season wins were also the joint-most since they won 93 in 2003. 

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