The Astros have finally won their first-ever World Series Game and have tied the series 1-1, but it didn't come easy, nor the way anyone thought it would. Nonetheless, the team has stolen a game in Los Angeles — triumphing 7-6 over the Dodgers — to make it a best-of-five series with the next three at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Astros made an amazing comeback to force extra innings, went ahead, then allowed the Dodgers to tie the game, but eventually pulled out the win in a home run-filled Game 2 of the World Series.
Marwin Gonzalez tied the game in the ninth, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa gave the Astros the first lead in extra innings, but it was George Springer's two-run blast in the top of the eleventh that was the ultimate exclamation point on an incredible back-and-forth Game 2.
Game 2 started with a leadoff walk of George Springer by Rich Hill in the top of the first. Springer became the first stranded runner of the night, though, as Hill was able to get the next three batters out in order. In the bottom of the inning, Justin Verlander looked hot early getting two strikeouts and a popout to end the scoreless inning.
In the second, Hill and Verlander combined for an efficient, quiet inning. The two combined for four strikeouts in a six up, six down scoreless inning to keep the game tied going into the third.
Josh Reddick reached on an infield single to start the top of the third, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Verlander. Springer expanded on his first inning walk with a single to move Reddick to third. The Astros got on the board with an RBI single from Alex Bregman to make it 1-0 Astros and still had runners on first and second with one out. Hill battled back, though, getting two strikeouts to avoid any further damage. Verlander made quick work of the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning, retiring the side on 8 pitches to maintain the 1-0 lead.
Yuli Gurriel worked a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Hill was able to get the next two batters out, setting up an intentional walk of Reddick to face Verlander, whom he struck out on three pitches to end the half inning. Verlander faired much better on the mound than he did in the batter's box, working around a leadoff walk to get two groundouts including a double play to end the inning with the Astros still ahead 1-0.
Kenta Maeda took over pitching for the Dodgers in the top of the fifth, ending Hill's short night and despite a couple of loud fly balls towards the warning track, was able to get a 1-2-3 inning. Joc Pederson tied the game with a two-out solo homer to right field off Verlander, the first hit of the night for the Dodgers, in the bottom of the inning, making it a 1-1 game headed to the sixth.
Correa started the top of the sixth with a leadoff single off of Maeda but was left stranded after a foul out from Gurriel before Tony Watson came in from the bullpen and got a double play for the last two outs. In the bottom of the inning, Verlander issued a two-out walk to Chris Taylor in the bottom of the inning, then gave up a go-ahead two-run home run to Corey Seager to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead before Verlander was able to get the last out of the inning.
Ross Stripling was brought in to pitch against Gonzalez to start the seventh and walked him on four pitches. Next out for the Dodgers was Brandon Morrow who worked around a two-out pinch-hit single by Evan Gattis to get through the half inning. Will Harris entered the game for the Astros in the bottom of the inning, but an error by Bregman allowed Cody Bellinger to reach first. Bellinger moved to second on a wild pitch by Harris, but Harris bounced back to get out of the jam and keep the lead at 3-1 for the Dodgers going to the eighth.
Bregman led off the eighth with a hit to the right field corner which bounced off Yasiel Puig's glove and into the stands for a ground rule double. That prompted a call to the bullpen to bring out the Dodgers closer, Kenley Jansen. Bregman moved to third on a ground ball by Altuve for the first out, then came around to score on an RBI single by Correa to make it a 3-2 game. Jansen followed that with a foul out and strikeout to end the Astros' threat. Joe Musgrove entered the game for the Astros in the bottom of the inning and was able to get a 1-2-3 inning to keep it a one-run game headed to the final inning.
Gonzalez came up huge for the Astros to lead off the ninth, hitting a solo home run to tie the game 3-3. Springer hit a two-out double but was left stranded as Jansen got Bregman to ground out to end the half inning. Ken Giles took the mound in the bottom of the ninth and despite a two-out fly out to the warning track by Cody Bellinger, was able to send the game to extra innings tied up at 3.
The Dodgers went to Josh Fields in the top of the tenth but he would crumble to the Astros' offense, allowing a leadoff go-ahead solo home run to Altuve, followed by another solo home run by Correa to put the Astros up 5-3. Yuli Gurriel was next and hit a double to center, prompting another call to the Dodgers' bullpen to bring in Tony Cingrani, who was able to stop the bleeding and end the top of the tenth. Giles allowed a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning to Puig to make it a 5-4 game, then a two-out walk to Logan Forsythe. Forsythe advanced to second on a wild pitch from Giles, then would come around to score the tying run on an RBI single by Kike Hernandez, ending the night for Giles in favor of Chris Devenski. Devenski was able to get a flyout to finally get the last out of the tenth and send the game on to the eleventh.
In the top of the eleventh, Brandon McCarthy came out of the bullpen as the last Dodgers reliever available. Cameron Maybin, who came in to play center field in the tenth, hit a leadoff single then came around to score on a two-run homer from Springer to put the Astros ahead once again, this time 7-5. McCarthy was able to get the next three batters out to send the game to the bottom of the eleventh. Devenski returned for the bottom of the eleventh and despite a two-out homer by Charlie Culberson to bring the Dodgers yet again within one run at 7-6, was able to get the final out, finally, to seal the Astros' win.
Game 3: Both teams get a day off on Thursday before resuming play in Houston on Friday. First pitch of Game 3 is scheduled for 7:09 pm CST Friday night and can be seen on FOX. The Astros will send out Lance McCullers who had a great start in New York in Game 4 of the ALCS then pitched four dominant innings of relief in Game 7 to clinch the AL pennant. The Astros will face a familiar face as the Dodgers send out Yu Darvish, whom they acquired from the Rangers earlier this year. In Darvish's two starts against the Astros this year as a Ranger he was part of a 7-1 loss where he allowed three runs and also a 6-1 win where he allowed just one.
This story originally appeared on SportsMap.