Astros jump on Braves early, even World Series 1-1
HOUSTON (AP) — José Siri launched himself headfirst into home plate, popped up with arms flexed and screamed with all his might.
Welcome to the World Series, rook.
The career minor leaguer sparked a team whose biggest stars took a while to shine, sending the Houston Astros to a 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night that evened the Fall Classic at one game apiece.
Jose Altuve doubled early, homered late and scored twice to break out at the plate. Siri’s speed and aggressive play created havoc on the bases, leading to a four-run second inning that helped the Astros snap a five-game skid at home in the World Series.
It’s the first time they’ve won a World Series game in Houston since a 13-12 victory over the Dodgers in 10 innings in Game 5 on Oct. 29, 2017.
Altuve hit a leadoff double and scored in the first inning before adding a solo homer in the seventh as the Astros rolled past the suddenly sloppy Braves.
José Urquidy gave the Astros five solid inning and Houston’s bullpen, already so important this postseason, did the rest.
The series shifts to Atlanta for the first of three games Friday night.
The Astros jumped on Atlanta starter Max Fried for seven hits and six runs — five earned — in five innings.
The game was tied at 1 when Kyle Tucker got things going in the second with a one-out single before advancing to third on a single by Yuli Gurriel. The speedy Siri, who debuted Sept. 3, then beat out an infield single to score Tucker and put the Astros on top.
That made Siri the first player to make his debut in September or later and drive in a run in that year’s World Series.
Martín Maldonado grounded a single to left fielder Eddie Rosario that scored Gurriel.
The usually fundamentally sound Braves then misplayed things all around. Rosario threw to an unoccupied third base and the ball rolled into foul territory, allowing Siri to dash home on the error.
The crowd, so quiet a night before, roared as Siri bounded toward the dugout. A fan in the lower deck displayed a sign that read: “Don’t Poke The Bear” as the Astros rediscovered their potent offense after Tuesday night’s dud of a 6-2 loss.
The Braves had a visit at the mound to try and regroup after that fiasco of a play but Fried threw a wild pitch soon after it ended to send Maldonado to third. There were two outs in the inning when Michael Brantley singled to right field, pumping his fist as he left the batter’s box to send another run home to make it 5-1.
Their five hits in that inning tied the most they’ve ever had in an inning in the World Series. It matched their output from the second inning of Game 3 of the 2017 World Series.
Urquidy permitted six hits and two runs while striking out seven in five innings to rebound after a clunker in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series when he allowed five runs while getting just five outs against Boston.
Houston rookie Luis García opposes Ian Anderson in Game 3 on Friday.
García pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning in his last start in Game 6 of the ALCS to lead the Astros to the win.
Anderson allowed one run in four innings of a start in Game 6 of the NLCS.