All even: Astros toss combined no-no, take Game 4 over Phillies 5-0 to tie World Series at 2-2

Mandatory Credit: Photo by JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13606110aa) Houston Astros Kyle Tucker (L) follows through with a double off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola as Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (C) and home plate umpire Tripp Gibson (R) look on in the second inning of game four of the MLB World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 02 November 2022. MLB World Series – Houston Astros at Philadelphia Phillies, USA – 02 Nov 2022

All even: Astros toss combined no-no, take Game 4 over Phillies 5-0 to tie World Series at 2-2

Things looked to be squarely in favor of the Phillies after Game 3 on Tuesday, having already stolen a game in Houston before dominating the Astros in their first game at home in this year’s Fall Classic. A loss in Game 4 for the Astros would mean a tough hill to climb, needing to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

Instead, Houston would return the favor to Philadelphia, getting a big inning of offense paired with terrific pitching to grab a lopsided 5-0 win to even the series 2-2.

Teams trade scoreless innings early

Houston put traffic on the bases early in Game 4, getting a single by Yordan Alvarez in the top of the first against Aaron Nola, but he would become the first of three stranded runners in the first two frames. In the top of the second, Kyle Tucker led off with a double, then moved to third on a groundout, giving the Astros a huge opportunity to open the scoring and grab early momentum. Instead, Nola would get strikeouts of Aledmys Diaz and Chas McCormick to get out of the jam. 

Cristian Javier was doing his part on the mound, helping erase the sting of Philadelphia’s homer-happy game the night prior by holding the Phillies scoreless and without a hit in the early innings. He allowed a walk in the second and another in the third but would strand both before striking out the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.

Houston breaks through with big fifth

Houston threatened again in the top of the fifth, getting three straight singles against Nola to load the bases and end his night. Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson would call upon lefty José Alvarado to face the left-handed portion of Houston’s order. Alvarado plunked Yordan Alvarez with his first pitch, bringing in the first run of the game, then Alex Bregman brought in two more with a two-RBI double.

The Astros would end up getting a five-spot in the fifth, with a sac fly by Kyle Tucker and an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel capping off the big inning and putting Houston out to yet another 5-0 lead in this series. That gave Javier plenty of support to work with, as he would go on to finish six no-hit innings in a much-needed gem for the Astros. His final line: 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9K, 97 P.

Combined no-hitter, tied World Series

Bryan Abreu took over for Javier in the bottom of the seventh, keeping the Phillies’ offense at bay by striking out the side. Still 5-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Rafael Montero would head to the mound next, keeping a zero on the board with a 1-2-3 frame to send the game to the ninth. 

That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly in the bottom of the ninth. He would hold firm, finishing off the combined no-hitter to get the Astros back on track in the World Series.

News and notes

World Series history: The Astros are the first team to toss a combined no-hitter in the Fall Classic, with 2022 Game 4 just the second no-hitter in World Series history. 

What a night for Javier: With his terrific outing in Game 4, Cristian Javier became the first pitcher in World Series history to record at least nine strikeouts while allowing no hits in five or more innings. 

Game 5 up next: World Series Game 5 will be another 7:03 p.m. Central start from Philadelphia on Thursday night. Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA) will look to redeem himself from his rough Game 1, going opposite of Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 4.12 ERA). 

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