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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Astros rip Braves to even World Series at a game apiece

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HOUSTON — Dusty Baker knows his team.

After dropping Game 1 of the World Series to Atlanta on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, the Houston manager said he had no doubt his team would bounce back.

And after taking a lead in the first inning and scoring four in the second, the Astros went on to a 7-2 victory on Wednesday to even the series at 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Friday in Atlanta.

“This team is excellent at forgetting yesterday if you have negative events like we did [Tuesday],’’ Baker said following Game 1. “I mean, you go in our clubhouse, I’ve never seen these guys worry. They know they can play, and they know they’re going to rebound.’’

A leadoff double by Jose Altuve and a sacrifice fly by Alex Bregman put Houston up 1-0 in the first, and they used four consecutive one-out singles off left-hander Max Fried to help them score four runs in the second.

Jose Urquidy was solid for Houston and Altuve iced the game with a home run in the seventh.

Jose Altuve is congratulated by Jose Siri after belting a solo homer in the Astros' 7-2 win over the Braves in Game 2 of the World Series.
Jose Altuve is congratulated by Jose Siri after belting a solo homer in the Astros’ 7-2 win over the Braves in Game 2 of the World Series.
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The Braves had a chance to take an early lead for a second consecutive night, but stranded a pair of runners.

Urquidy struck out Eddie Rosario and Freddie Freeman to start the game, but Ozzie Albies reached on a dribbler down the third-base line that stayed fair and Austin Riley followed with a single to right.

Jorge Soler, whose leadoff homer gave the Braves for good on Tuesday, whiffed to end the threat.

Altuve opened the bottom of the inning with a double down the left-field line. Michael Brantley followed with a shot to left-center that was tracked down by Adam Duvall, but Altuve was able to advance to third.

Bregman, who has struggled for most of the second half and postseason, put the Astros ahead with a sacrifice fly to center.

Ex-Met Travis d’Arnaud tied the game with a two-out solo shot to left in the second.

One-out singles by Kyle Tucker and Yuli Guerriel put runners on the corners and Jose Siri put the Astros up again with an infield hit to second.

Martin Maldonado singled to left to drive in Gurriel.

Rosario threw to third to try to get Siri, but no one was covering the base and the throw went to no one, which allowed Siri to score on the error to make it 4-1.

A two-out single by Brantley added another run, as the Astros took a four-run lead.

Urquidy went on to retire seven straight following Dansby Swanson’s single in the second, as d’Arnaud led off the fifth with a single.

He moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Rosario groundout. Freeman’s two-out hit knocked d’Arnaud in to cut Atlanta’s deficit to three runs.

Fried also settled in — retiring 10 in a row — but it was too late. He walked Yordan Alvarez to lead off the bottom of the sixth and Carlos Correa singled to force Fried’s exit.

Dylan Lee entered and got a ground ball from Tucker, but it was too slow for a double play. Gurriel then grounded to short, but Albies dropped Swanson’s throw to second, Alvarez scored and there was still just one out.

Tucker and Gurriel then pulled off a double steal, but Siri whiffed and Jesse Chavez got Martin Maldonado to pop out.

Cristian Javier replaced Urquidy to start the sixth and pitched around a one-out double by Riley.

Houston, which got just two-plus innings out of Framber Valdez in his Game 1 start but mostly strong work from the bullpen on Tuesday, got a combined four shutout innings in relief from Javier, Phil Maton, Ryan Pressly and Kendall Graveman.

It put Atlanta in a precarious spot. They’d lost eight straight World Series games before Tuesday’s win — tied for the longest streak ever — and lost Charlie Morton to a broken leg in the process.

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