HOUSTON (AP)The Latest on Game 2 of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros (all times local):
Rookie Jose Siri sparked a team whose biggest stars took a while to shine, sending the Houston Astros over the Atlanta Braves 7-2 to even the World Series at one game apiece.
The career minor leaguer’s speed and aggressive play created havoc on the bases, leading to a four-run second inning and a lead Houston never relinquished.
Jose Altuve homered and doubled to help beat the suddenly sloppy Braves. Jose Urquidy gave the Astros five solid innings and Houston’s bullpen, already so important this postseason, did the rest. The series shifts to Atlanta for the first of three games starting Friday night.
Atlanta trails 7-2 heading into its final at-bat, with Houston reliver Kendall Graveman coming on to close out a Game 2 win that would even the World Series.
Ryan Pressly delivered a scoreless top of the eighth for the Astros, but not without some close calls. Jorge Soler hit a flyball that died on the warning track in left in front of the Crawford Boxes, allowing Michael Brantley to make the catch in the corner.
Plate umpire Ron Kulpa caught some heat in the inning for his strike zone from the Braves. Austin Riley went down looking on a slider near the letters that he thought was high, although he mostly hid his displeasure.
Joc Pederson wasn’t as subtle after going down looking on a low fastball to end the inning, ripping off his helmet and shouting at Kulpa.
Kyle Wright struck out the side in the bottom of the inning, getting Jose Siri swinging before Martin Maldonado and Jose Altuve went down looking. Wright was making his first big league appearance since June 23 and just his third of the season.
Jose Altuve homered leading off the bottom of the seventh inning and the Houston Astros took a 7-2 lead over Atlanta into the eighth, six outs from evening the World Series at one game apiece.
The 5-foot-6 second baseman curled the first pitch from reliever Drew Smyly inside the left-field foul pole for his 22nd career postseason home run, tying Bernie Williams for second in baseball history behind Manny Ramirez (29).
Altuve also hit a leadoff double in the first and scored to get the Astros going. He went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in Game 1 and began the night batting .178 this postseason.
Phil Maton retired Eddie Rosario and Freddie Freeman with a runner on to end the top of the seventh, keeping the score 6-2. Maton, acquired from Cleveland at the July 30 trade deadline, relieved Cristian Javier after Dansby Swanson walked.
Javier struck out two over 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Jose Urquidy.
Smyly, a candidate to start Game 4, fanned Yuli Gurriel with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
Altuve has four home runs this postseason, and 16 of his 22 career long balls over 75 postseason games have come at home.
The Houston Astros finally chased lefty starter Max Fried and extended their lead to 6-2 after six innings in their attempt to even the World Series at a game each before it switches to Atlanta.
Fried had retired 10 batters in a row before walking Yordan Alvarez to start the bottom of the sixth, and then allowing a single to Carlos Correa. Fellow left-hander Dylan Lee then took over on the mound, and a lot happened while he faced his minimum three batters.
Kyle Tucker reached on a fielder’s choice grounder before Yuli Gurriel hit a potential double-play grounder toward shortstop Dansby Swanson, who made a good throw to Ozzie Albies. But the All-Star second baseman dropped the ball and the runner was called safe – a ruling that stood after a replay challenge by Braves manager Brian Snitker. The Astros then had a double steal before rookie Jose Siri struck out, and right-hander Jess Chavez took over to get Martin Maldonado on an inning-ending popout.
Fried retired 10 in a row after giving up a four-run second inning.
Houston Astros reliever Cristian Javier threw another scoreless inning, pitching around a one-out double by Jorge Soler in the top of the sixth. Joc Pederson then flew out to center before Adam Duvall’s foul popout.
Javier, who threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his first three appearances this postseason, took over after starter Jose Urquidy struck out seven and allowed two runs over five innings.
The Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman singled in a run in the fifth inning, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2 on Wednesday as Houston tried to even the World Series at one game apiece.
Jose Urquidy was relieved by Cristian Javier to start the sixth. Urquidy struck out seven and walked none, allowing two runs and six hits. He threw 55 of 74 pitches for strikes.
Travis d’Arnaud had homered for the Braves in the first inning.
Atlanta’s Max Fried retired 10 in a row starting with the final out of Houston’s four-run second. Fried gave up five runs – four earned – and six hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
Save for Travis d’Arnaud’s solo homer in the second inning, Jose Urquidy is dominating the Braves. Houston’s starter struck out two in a perfect fourth and has six punchouts and no walks on 58 pitches.
It’s quite a turnaround for Urquidy, who gave up six runs over 1 2/3 innings in his previous start against Boston in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series. The 26-year-old right-hander is leaning hard on his fastball, even though the pitch has topped out at just 94.8 mph.
Braves left-hander Max Fried followed with a clean inning to keep Houston’s lead at 5-1. He got red-hot Yuli Gurriel to fly out to left before striking out Jose Siri and Martin Maldonado.
Jose Urquidy has four strikeouts in three innings and the Houston Astros lead the Atlanta Braves 5-1 going into the fourth.
After giving up Travis d’Arnaud’s home run in the second, Urquidy set down the side in order in the third against the 2-3-4 hitters in Atlanta’s lineup. He retired Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies on grounders before Austin Riley flied out.
Max Fried also worked a 1-2-3 third for the Braves, who are looking to take a 2-0 Series lead after winning the opener 6-2 in Houston.
It’s been an impressive outing for Urquidy, who had pitched only 1 2/3 innings over the past 24 days coming into this one.
Houston had consecutive singles from the bottom four batters in their lineup, and all of them went on to score, putting the Astros ahead 5-1 after two innings in Game 2.
Carlos Correa struck out to start the Astros second before Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel, rookie Jose Siri and Martin Maldonado all had singles. Siri drove in the first run with an infield hit and Maldonado got an RBI on his hit to left, with Siri then scoring the second run on that play after left fielder Eddie Rosario threw toward an unoccupied third base for an error.
Braves starter Max Fried also threw a wild pitch in the inning before Michael Brantley’s sharp RBI single.
The Braves had tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second when catcher Travis d’Arnaud hit his first homer of this postseason. He pulled a full-count pitch with two outs into the left-field seats.
After falling behind 0-2 in the count, d’Arnaud took three balls in a row before hitting a 93 mph fastball from Jose Urquidy that appeared to be above the strike zone.
No. 9 hitter Dansby Swanson then followed with a sharp single before Rosario lined out to end the inning.
Urquidy had four strikeouts through the first two innings. The right-hander allowed six runs on five hits while pitching only 1 2/3 innings in his start against Boston in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series.
Jose Altuve has helped give the Houston Astros their first lead of the World Series.
Bouncing back from the first three-strikeout game of his decorated postseason career, Altuve lined a leadoff double into the left field corner to begin the bottom of the first against Atlanta lefty Max Fried.
Altuve took third on a long fly by Michael Brantley and trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Alex Bregman.
A day after looking lackluster at the plate in a 6-2 loss, the Astros were up 1-0.
Jose Urquidy fanned three in the top of the first, working around a pair of two-out singles by Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley. A noted strike-thrower, Urquidy threw two balls to Jorge Soler, then got a visit on the mound from catcher Martin Maldonado and shortstop Carlos Correa.
Urquidy regained his rhythm to strike out Soler and escape.
The retractable roof of Minute Maid Park was closed during pregame but it was opened less than an hour before first pitch of Game 2 of the World Series on a beautiful 75 degree night in Houston. It’s the first time it has been open this postseason.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Giavanni Walker performed the National Anthem.
Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, who spent his entire 15-year career with the Astros, threw out the first pitch a day after his former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Craig Biggio did the honors.
Nelson Cruz, who just completed his 17th major league season, was presented with the Roberto Clemente Award given annually to a player for his humanitarian efforts. Biggio, who won the award in 2007, presented the award to Cruz.
Houston rapper Paul Wall, wearing a diamond-encrusted grill, wrapped up the pregame festivities by calling out: `Let’s play ball.’ The rapper is a lifelong Astros fan and grew up watching the team play in the upper deck of the Astrodome.
Braves pitcher Charlie Morton went to Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Wednesday to be examined by Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist.
Morton’s right fibula was broken by a 102 mph drive off the bat of Houston’s Yuli Gurriel in the World Series opener.
The 37-year-old Morton is expected to sidelined until spring training.
Eddie Rosario has been moved to the leadoff spot for the Atlanta Braves against Houston right-hander Jose Urquidy in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night. Jorge Soler was shifted to the fifth slot after homering off lefty Framber Valdez to lead off the opener.
Rosario, the MVP of the NL Championship Series, was in left field, followed by first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies, third baseman Austin Riley and Soler at designated hitter.
Right fielder Joc Pederson hit sixth, followed by center fielder Adam Duvall, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Max Fried was on the mound for the Braves, who won the opener 6-2.
The Houston Astros are starting Jose Siri in center field instead of Chas McCormick for Game 2 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.
This will be the third postseason start and fourth appearance for Siri. The 26-year-old rookie didn’t play in the division series, with McCormick and Jake Meyers splitting time in center field. But he got a chance to contribute in the ALCS and in the World Series with Meyers out with a shoulder injury.
Siri, who made his MLB debut on Sept. 3, will bat eighth.
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