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Astros end it, Yankees force game five

The longest playoff game in MLB history ended today with Chris Burke's 18th inning home run, sending the Astros back to the NLCS for a rematch with NL Central division rivals St. Louis.

Houston's win was pretty remarkable. After Brandon Backe had a rough start (4.1 IP, 5 ER), the Astros burned through Mike Gallo, Russ Springer, Wandy Rodriguez, Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge and Dan Wheeler before Roger Clemens bailed the staff out with three dominant relief innings. Tim Hudson got the job done for Atlanta (7 IP, 3 ER), but Kyle Farnsworth blew the Atlanta lead by allowing a grand slam to Lance Berkman in the 8th, and a solo shot to Brad Ausmus in the 9th.

Burke's homer in the 18th came off of Joey Devine. Adam LaRoche also hit a grand slam for Atlanta.

As for the Yankees, they've pushed their series to a fifth and deciding game tomorrow in Anaheim. Mike Mussina takes the hill against Bartolo Colon, and the winner will head to Chicago right after the game to take on the White Sox in game one of the ALCS on Tuesday. Ozzie Guillen announced the White Sox ALCS rotation, which will be Contreras in game one followed by Buehrle, Garland and Garcia.