Heartbreak in Houston: Astros squander five-run lead, fall to Phillies 6-5 in extras in World Series Game 1

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13522192ag) Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander walks to the dugout after the top of the first inning in Game 1 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies, in Houston World Series Phillies Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 28 Oct 2022

Heartbreak in Houston: Astros squander five-run lead, fall to Phillies 6-5 in extras in World Series Game 1

For the fourth time in the last six seasons, Minute Maid Park was host to a World Series game, with Game 1 of the 2022 Fall Classic at home for the Astros on Friday night. Houston, owners of a 100-win season and 7-0 record so far in the postseason, welcomed the Phillies, who overcame the odds to reach the Fall Classic as the final Wild Card team in the National League postseason bracket.

Houston jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a pair of Kyle Tucker home runs, but the Phillies would not go away, tying the game in the middle innings before both bullpens held things down to force extra innings. Philadelphia would get the winning hit in the bottom of the tenth, taking Game 1 of the World Series by a score of 6-5. 

Tucker takes over early in Game 1

Justin Verlander whipped a 95 mph fastball into the zone for a called strike against Kyle Schwarber to start the 2022 World Series and went on to set down the Phillies 1-2-3 in a 15-pitch first frame. Aaron Nola would match that goose egg in the bottom half, issuing a walk but keeping the game scoreless. 

Kyle Tucker put the first run on the board in the bottom of the second, blasting a leadoff solo home run to kickstart a big inning. After getting runners on first and third, Martin Maldonado added an RBI single, doubling the lead. Tucker returned to the plate the next inning, standing in with two runners on, and made it back-to-back at-bats with homers, this time a three-run blast to make it a 5-0 lead. 

Philly fights back

Philadelphia responded in the top of the fourth, getting their first baserunner of the game before an RBI single by Nick Castellanos and a two-RBI double by Alec Bohm trimmed the lead to two runs. Verlander would escape the 31-pitch frame without further damage. The Phillies continued to knock Verlander around in the top of the fifth, getting a leadoff double and a walk to set up a two-RBI double by J.T. Realmuto to tie the game 5-5.

Verlander would get through the fifth but no further as both clubs turned it over to their bullpens. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 90 P. Bryan Abreu took over in the sixth, getting a nine-pitch 1-2-3 inning to keep the game at 5-5 and then came back for the seventh to try and get through another frame, but would load the bases on a single and a pair of two-out walks leading Dusty Baker to bring in Hector Neris. Neris would get out of the jam, leaving all three inherited runners stranded with a huge strikeout.

Astros fall in extras

After the top of Houston’s order went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Rafael Montero was the Astros’ next reliever in the top of the eighth, and he did the same to the Phillies as things stayed knotted up at five apiece. Still tied in the top of the ninth, the Astros brought in closer Ryan Pressly to give themselves a chance to win it in the bottom half or be alive for extras. 

Pressly would get it done, getting through 9-1-2 in Philadelphia’s order to send things to the bottom of the ninth. Jose Altuve put the winning run in scoring position, getting a bloop two-out single before stealing second with Jeremy Peña at the plate, but Peña would fall victim to a great catch by Nick Castellanos to send things to extras. 

Luis Garcia came on for the top of the tenth but was met by Realmuto, who gave the Phillies their first lead of the game with a solo homer to go in front 6-5. Garcia would give up a single before getting two outs. Ryne Stanek would work around a walk before finishing the inning. Alex Bregman would get a one-out double to put the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the tenth, but the Phillies would hold on to win and take a 1-0 World Series lead. 

News and notes

Historic game for Tucker: With his home runs in the second and third innings of Game 1, Kyle Tucker became the first player in Astros franchise history with a multi-homer World Series game. 

Verlander still searching for a WS win: Entering Game 1 0-6 in his career in the Fall Classic, Verlander at one point looked like he might get his first win, but after allowing the Phillies to tie the game in the middle innings, he would get a no-decision. 

Game 2 on deck: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:03 p.m. start time on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA) will square off against Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA). 

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