Back on track: Astros rebound with resounding 5-2 win over Phillies in Game 2 to even World Series 1-1

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13554306bq) Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman celebrates his two-run homerun with Yordan Alvarez during the fifth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies, in Houston World Series Phillies Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 29 Oct 2022

Back on track: Astros rebound with resounding 5-2 win over Phillies in Game 2 to even World Series 1-1

Houston got their biggest dose of adversity so far this postseason in Game 1 of the World Series, watching a five-run lead dissipate before Philadelphia would eventually get the sixth and decisive run in extra innings to grab a stunning 1-0 series lead. They had a chance to quickly turn the page, with Game 2 less than 24 hours later giving them the opportunity to even the series. 

The Astros would once again get their fair share of runs, and this time their pitching was able to hold down Philadelphia’s offense, winning Game 2 by a score of 5-2. 

Astros grab five-run lead again as Valdez deals

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Framber Valdez, where he stranded a one-out walk, Houston’s offense ambushed Zack Wheeler by coming out aggressive early in their at-bats. They strung together three-straight doubles on four pitches, starting with Jose Altuve, who scored on Jeremy Peña’s RBI double, then Peña scoring on Yordan Alvarez’s. Later in the inning, Alvarez would tag up and move to third on a flyout, allowing him to score on an error, making it a 3-0 Houston lead before the frame was over. 

Things settled in from there, with both pitchers recording scoreless innings in the early going. Valdez did not allow a hit until a one-out single in the top of the third but would erase that for a scoreless inning, which he did again after a leadoff single in the fifth. Alex Bregman extended Houston’s lead in the bottom half, launching a two-out, two-run homer to put the Astros in front 5-0 for the second straight night. 

Valdez would keep going in the sixth, facing his most significant threat of the night after a leadoff walk followed by a single had runners on first and second with no outs. He escaped, getting a strikeout and a huge inning-ending double play. Valdez returned in the top of the seventh, facing two more batters, getting an out, and allowing a double to finish his night. His final line after his runner would score later in the inning: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 104 P. 

Astros even the series

Rafael Montero is who Dusty Baker called on to finish the seventh, and he would limit the damage to one run after the inherited runner on third would score on a sac fly before Montero finished off the inning. He stayed on in the top of the eighth, dealing with a lengthy inning after a twelve-pitch walk to start things off, but would eventually get the three outs needed to keep the four-run lead intact. 

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth for Houston’s offense, closer Ryan Pressly entered to try and get the final three outs in the top of the ninth. He’d get the job done, despite allowing a one-out double and Philadelphia scoring a run on an error, finishing the victory to tie the series 1-1.

News and notes

Historic first inning: With their three-straight doubles to start their night, the Astros became the first team in World Series history to begin a game with three extra-base hits in a row. 

Shifting to Philly: With the first two games in Houston in the books, the World Series will move to Philadelphia for the next three, starting with Game 3 on Monday, October 31st, at 7:03 PM Central. The pitching matchup isn’t official but is expected to be Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Ranger Suarez. 

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