NEW YORK -- For the second straight week, the New York Yankees are returning home facing a 2-0 deficit against an opponent who won at least 100 games in the regular season.
After rallying against the 102-win Cleveland Indians, the question is can New York do it again in the American League Championship Series against the 101-win Houston Astros?
The Yankees get their first opportunity to climb out of their deficit Monday night when they host Houston in Game 3.
The Yankees are down 2-0 in a best-of-seven for the ninth time and second straight time in the ALCS. In 2012, they were swept by the Detroit Tigers after beating the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth game of the ALDS.
After a pair of 2-1 losses in Houston when the Yankees did little offensively against Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander, they are looking to win their fifth best-of-seven series when losing the first two games. The Yankees won the World Series in 1996, 1978, 1958 and 1956 after dropping the first two games.
New York enters Game 3 hitting .159 (10-for-63) with 27 strikeouts, four walks and 16 total bases. New York entered Game 3 against the Indians hitting .179 (14-for-78) with 26 strikeouts and 25 total bases.
"We have a whole lot of baseball left to play with a seven-game series," Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said.. "We're going back home. We've played really well at home all year, especially recently. We haven't lost a playoff game there yet. Hopefully we can keep that streak going."
The Yankees will hope to include Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in their home success.
Judge is 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in this series, and 2-for-27 with 19 strikeouts since getting two hits in the wild-card game against the Minnesota Twins. Sanchez is 0-for-7 in this series, 4-for-30 since the wild-card game and hitless in his last 12 at-bats since homering in the sixth inning of Game 4 against Cleveland last Monday.
"I think they're seeing a lot of good pitching," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "They're making good pitches on those kids."
Said Judge: "Everyone wants to hit 1,000. I think you can ask everyone in this room. I think they're not satisfied with their stats."
The Astros are hitting .190 in the series after batting .333 in the ALDS against Boston.
Jose Altuve is 5-for-8 in this series after going 8-for-15 in the ALDS while Carlos Correa is 3-for-7 with three RBI, including a homer and the game-winning double that scored Altuve from first base Saturday.
Houston's dynamic middle infield has put the Astros up 2-0 in a best-of-seven series for the first time in team history. Since the format expanded to best of seven, teams with a 2-0 lead in the LCS have won 25 of 28 series.
"They're going to be loud," said Astros catcher Brian McCann, who played the previous three seasons in New York. "We took care of business at home, and now we need to go on the road and continue to play good baseball. The Yankees are a team that has been here before, so we need to continue to play good baseball and show up and expect to win."
Houston would also like to get some more offense from others beyond Altuve and Correa. Houston's other hitters are a combined 3-for-43 against New York, which has posted a 2.20 ERA.
During the regular season, the Astros led the majors in runs and scored 24 runs on 18 extra-base hits in the ALDS
"We have just been able to stay present in the moment and win the games the way that they needed to be won," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "We can't ask their pitching to sit it out there over the plate and give up the home run ball that we're pretty good at. We just continue to put up good at-bats and see if we can manufacture some runs."
CC Sabathia, who pitched 4 1/3 innings in the series clincher in Cleveland will start Game 3. He is 3-3 with a 5.85 ERA in seven career starts in the ALCS with five of those starts for the Yankees.
Sabathia did not face the Astros during the regular season and is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three starts against them.
Houston's pitching has posted a 1.00 ERA and Charlie Morton has a tough act to follow when he starts Monday. He will be pitching two days after Verlander struck out 13 in a 124-pitch five-hitter on Saturday.
Morton started Game 4 of ALDS last Monday in Boston and did not get a decision after allowing two runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings during an 83-pitch outing. During the regular-season, Morton was 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA with a 51.8 percent ground ball rate.
Morton is 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two starts against the Yankees. He struck out 10 in a 10-7 win at New York on May 14 when he allowed four runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.