Washington Nationals send the World Series to a Game 7 as they get an 7-2 win over the Houston Astros Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg pitched 8 1/3 innings in getting the win. You can see Game 7 Wednesday night with coverage beginning 7:30 pm on WFXR and FOX.
Alex Bregman carried his bat past first base after a solo home run that gave Houston a 2-1 in the first inning at rollicking Minute Maid Park.
Already way more back and forth action than we saw at Nationals Park over the weekend, where Washington never led, was outscored 19-3 and went just 1 for 22 with runners in scoring position while losing three games.
Anthony Rendon smartly grounded an RBI single through the vacant side that put Washington ahead 1-0. The run, set up when leadoff man Trea Turner was ruled safe on a replay reversal, extended Justin Verlander’s early woes – he’s given up10 runs in the first inning of six postseason starts this month after allowing only 12 in 34 starts during the regular season.
The Astros quickly bounced back. George Springer hit a double on Stephen Strasburg’s first delivery, took third on a wild pitch and scored on José Altuve’s sacrifice fly to the warning track.
With two outs, Bregman hit a homer to deep left. He trotted with his bat past the bag at first, dropped it in the dirt and continued around the bases.
Yuli Gurriel almost followed with a home run, but his ball was caught against the wall.
Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg have both settled in after some early trouble for the third inning of Game 6, with Houston leading Washington 2-1.
Verlander had retired seven in a row when he walked Adam Eaton with two outs in the third. Anthony Rendon then drew a walk on a 10-pitch at-bat, but Juan Soto grounded out to leave the runners stranded.
Strasburg pitched his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the third, striking out Josh Reddick before retiring George Springer and Jose Altuve.
Strasburg has retired seven in a row since Alex Bregman’s solo homer with two outs in the first put Houston on top.
Justin Verlander is through four innings but has needed 75 pitches to nurse a 2-1 lead. There’s been some stirring in the Houston bullpen, but no one is throwing yet.
José Urquidy could be warming up soon. The 24-year-old righty rookie, who began the year in Double-A, dazzled with five shutout innings in Game 4 and is available.
Verlander escaped a first-and-second, one-out jam in the fourth. Catcher Robinson Chirinos went to the mound at one point to lock things in.
Stephen Strasburg had retired nine straight batters before issuing a pair of two-out walks in the fourth. He struck out Carlos Correa to end the inning, but the walks helped push his pitch count to 55.
The Washington Nationals went deep twice while trying to force a Game 7 at the World Series, and Stephen Strasburg worked out of a jam to protect the lead they just got.
Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each hit solo homers in the fifth inning off laboring Astros starter Justin Verlander to put the Nationals up 3-2 in a Game 6 they have to win to extend their season.
Washington’s two left-handed batters pulled balls into the right field seats. Eaton’s tying blast was measured by MLB Stats at 381 feet, while Soto’s go-ahead shot went a little farther – about 413 feet into the second deck.
Verlander needed 93 pitches (59 strikes) to get through five innings, allowing five hits and walking three. His three strikeouts pushed his MLB postseason career record to 205, but Brad Peacock took over on the mound to start the sixth.
Houston hadn’t had a hit against Strasburg since Alex Bregman’s solo homer in the first put the Astros up 2-1, until No. 9 batter Josh Reddick’s one-out single in the fifth.
George Springer, who hit the first pitch of the game off the wall in left field for a double, followed with another double. But with runners on second and third, Jose Altuve struck out swinging at a low breaking ball and Michael Bradley grounded out.
Strasburg, 4-0 this postseason, has thrown 46 of 77 pitches for strikes. He has five strikeouts and two walks.
Stephen Strasburg worked around a leadoff single in the sixth inning to wrap up another scoreless frame and keep the Nationals on top 3-2 in Game 6.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch lifted Justin Verlander for Brad Peacock to start the sixth after Verlander surrendered homers to Adam Eaton and Juan Soto to give the Nationals the lead an inning earlier.
Peacock struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Alex Bregman legged out an infield single with no outs in the bottom of the inning but was erased when Yuli Gurriel grounded into a force out. Yordan Alvarez then also grounded into a force that left Gurriel out at second before Strasburg struck out Carlos Correa to end the inning.
Strasburg has struck out six and thrown 86 pitches through six innings.
Washington manager Dave Martinez has been ejected after a volatile argument in which he was physically restrained from getting at umpire crew chief Gary Cederstrom.
The trouble started in the top of the seventh when speedy Nationals leadoff man Trea Turner was called out for interference – he hit a tapper down the third base line, and plate ump Sam Holbrook said Turner was out for running outside the line.
It was a big call because catcher Robinson Chirinos’ throw had gotten away, leaving runners at second and third.
Martinez came on the field to shout at Holbrook but left fairly soon.
There was a delay of over 4 1/2 minutes while umpires got on the headsets with the replay room. Part of the discussion was whether the play was reviewable – rather, it was an umpire’s judgment, which cannot be challenged.
After the top of the seventh ended, Martinez came on the field to talk to Holbrook and Cederstrom. Suddenly, Martinez got extremely agitated, and bench coach Chip Hale had to hold him back.
The Nationals wound up taking a 5-2 lead on a two-run homer by Anthony Rendon off reliever Will Harris.
After the Astros batted, manager AJ Hinch came from the dugout to talk with Holbrook while Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre met with Cederstrom on the dirt near the backstop.