HOUSTON - If Nathan Eovaldi was intimidated pitching in front of an icon from his hometown Friday night, it didn't show.
Chris Young, playing in his hometown, also had those pressures -- and also did just fine.
Led by the pair of native Texans, the Yankees downed the Astros, 3-2, in front of 37,748 at Minute Maid Park.
Young, who was born in Houston and still resides here, swatted a game-turning three-run homer in the seventh off righty Will Harris, who entered the game as one of the best relievers in the sport, to give the Yankees (40-34) the lead.
Eovaldi, up and down all season, turned in one of his best performances, limiting the AL West-leading Astros (43-33) to two runs and five hits in six innings.
Watching from the first row behind the plate was Nolan Ryan, an Astros adviser and, like Eovaldi, a native of Alvin, Texas. The two are scheduled to meet for the first time Saturday afternoon.
Young, meanwhile, continued his hot hitting for the Yankees and a career-long trend of scorching work in this ballpark. The outfielder went 3-for-4, improving to 43-for-105 (.409) with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 25 games at Minute Maid Park.
That ninth homer -- also Young's season total -- was huge.
Astros rookie Vince Velasquez shut out the Yankees, who were blanked Thursday night, for six innings and took a 2-0 lead into the seventh. Consecutive one-out hits by Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones ended Velasquez's night as Houston manager A.J. Hinch went with righty Harris to face Young. Harris, who was ranked second among all MLB relievers in opponents' batting average (.097), grooved a 1-and-1 fastball that Young ripped over the big wall in left for a 3-2 lead.
Lefthander Chasen Shreve struck out the side in the seventh, giving him 33 strikeouts in 302/3 innings, and Justin Wilson retired the first two batters in the eighth before walking Luis Valbuena. Joe Girardi brought in Dellin Betances for a four-out save, and after pinch runner Marwin Gonzalez stole second, Betances struck out Evan Gattis, who flailed at a curveball. Betances pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
The Yankees got their first hit off Velasquez with two outs in the third when Brett Gardner doubled, extending his hot streak to 18-for-35.
No. 9 hitter Hank Conger ripped a 98-mph fastball into the gap in left-center for a one-out double in the third and scored with two outs when rookie Carlos Correa singled to center. Gardner had a shot at the plodding Conger, but his throw was to the first-base side of the plate, and Brian McCann made a diving tag attempt without having caught the ball.
Jose Altuve, coming off a game in which he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and two stolen bases, reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. He pipicked up his AL-leading 21st stolen base as Luis Valbuena struck out and scored when Evan Gattis blooped a single to center.
Notes & quotes: Jacoby Ellsbury, out since May 20 with a sprained right knee, rejoined the team Friday and will work out Saturday afternoon. Girardi said if the workout goes well, there's a chance Ellsbury will be deemed ready for rehab games. "We need for him to run 100 percent," Girardi said. "I don't know if it [rehab games] will be after [Saturday], but it could be really shortly after that." A return to the Yankees before the All-Star break, however, still seems a long shot . . . Andrew Miller (flexor strain) took Friday off after playing catch two straight days. He'll play catch again Saturday . . . With the Yankees scheduled to face lefty starters in three of the next four games, starting Saturday with Brett Oberholtzer, Alex Rodriguez did not start Friday night.