HOUSTON – The Houston Astros made their first World Series appearance by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Saturday night in Game 2.
The Astros became the first team in history to start a World Series game with a three-run lead and roughed up Phillies starter Zack Wheeler.
Unlike Friday night, the Astros were able to close the books and even the series at 1-1. Especially thanks to the brilliance of Framber Valdez in the starting position.
“His fastball is fantastic and his curveball is really good,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. His presence end throws are good. »
Valdez succeeded where Justin Verlander failed, allowing five runs after the Astros took a 5-0 lead after three innings. The Phillies escaped with a 6-5 victory in 10 innings.
Valdez allowed one run, four hits and three walks in six and a third innings on the mound. Since the beginning of the playoffs, he has not been defeated in three starts. Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly joined forces to confirm their victory.
“Framber did a really good job,” said Jose Altuve, who had three hits. It’s an outstanding performance from him and also from him. »
Wheeler has done a great job for the Philadelphia team since the start of the playoffs, but was unable to overcome a difficult first set. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in five innings of work.
“I think everybody deserves a bad start every now and then,” Thomson said. These guys have been good to us for a long time and I expect them to come back strong and ready to throw well for us. »
The good news for Wheeler is that he was catching the ball early in the game. The bad news is that the Astros’ hitters didn’t panic.
The Astros set the tone for the game by scoring three runs in the first inning off Wheeler.
On Wheeler’s first hit of the game, Jose Altuve hit a double to left. The Phillies pitcher didn’t get any more hits in his second at-bat, as Jeremy Pena hit a one-out double. Yordan Alvarez extended the Astros’ lead to 2-0 with another double on Wheeler’s fourth hit.
The Phillies also shot themselves in the foot in the first inning. Yuli Gurriel should have grounded out to end the inning, but shortstop Edmundo Sosa made a bad throw toward first base, allowing Alvarez to cross the plate.
“I wanted the fourth run,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. You want to try to score the most runs because you know Wheeler is one of the toughest pitchers to face in baseball. »
Altuve got another hit when he led off the fifth inning with a single. He was retired on Alvarez’s option, but Alex Bregman followed with two long balls to make it 5-0.
The Phillies showed signs of life in the seventh inning. Nick Castellanos hit a leadoff double and after advancing 90 feet on a ground ball, crossed home plate on a Jean Segura sacrifice fly.
In the eighth inning, with Bryson Stott out, Kyle Schwarber thought he had a shot, but the ball went right of the goal post. Schwarber was then pulled out for a very long trip to the caution strip. With two runners on base and two out, Montero ended the threat by striking out the dangerous Bryce Harper on a fly.
The Phillies added a run in the ninth inning, but the damage was already done.
Game 3 of the World Series is Monday night at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.