World Series Game 2: Five key moments from the Astros 7-6 win

Big League Stew

The Houston Astros are alive and well after coming from behind to even the World Series in Game 2. The Astros rallied in the ninth inning and used three extra-inning home runs to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6.

While not a must win, this felt like a game the Houston Astros really couldn’t afford to lose. Not with an 0-2 deficit looming. Not without home-field advantage to fall back on. And certainly not with their postseason ace Justin Verlander on the hill. It didn’t look good in the middle innings, when the Dodgers broke ahead on Verlander with a pair of home runs of their own, but the resilient Astros kept battling, eventually stealing the game against the Dodgers usually airtight bullpen.

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Astros’ left fielder Marwin Gonzalez celebrates his game-tying home run in the ninth inning of World Series Game 2. (AP)
Astros’ left fielder Marwin Gonzalez celebrates his game-tying home run in the ninth inning of World Series Game 2. (AP)

Now we have a brand new series as the scene shifts to Houston. It’s a position the Dodgers haven’t been in yet this postseason. They’ve started every series with a 2-0 lead. Now though, they’ll have to go in to Houston and win at least one to get the series back to Los Angeles.

It definitely adds some drama to a series that was void of it for the first game and eight innings of the second. Let’s take a look back at the five biggest moments.

In a game filled with huge moments, the biggest belonged to George Springer. Coming in with just four hits total in his last eight games, Springer unloaded with a two-run homer against Brandon McCarthy to give Houston the lead in the 11th inning. The home run came after the Astros had tied it in the ninth and taken the lead in the tenth, only for the Dodgers to match Houston’s resilience with their own comeback. If the Astros win this series, this might go down as their biggest moment. Given everything that happened, it would have been crushing to let this game get away.

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Dave Roberts wasn’t messing around in Game 2. He went to all-world closer Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning to close the door with a six-out save attempt. Marwin Gonzalez had other ideas though. The Astros left fielder surprised Jansen and silenced Dodger Stadium with an opposite field game-tying home run that just got over the wall in left field. The homer was the first earned run allowed by Jansen in 11 postseason innings. It was also the first game-tying homer in the ninth inning or later on the road in a World Series game since Dwight Evans in Game 3 of 1975 Series. And it set the stage for a dramatic finish.

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Just when it looked like the Dodgers had let Game 2 slip away the first time, the bats came to life in the tenth inning against Astros closer Ken Giles. Down by two runs, Yasiel Puig started the inning with a solo home run. After Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes each struck out, the Dodgers were able to manufacture a two-out rally on a walk to Logan Forsythe and a wild pitch. The wild pitch was the real key. It allowed Forsythe to race around and score when Enrique Hernandez poked a single through the right side of the infield.

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With Gonzalez’s home run giving the Astros new life, their superstars rose to the occasion to ensure it wouldn’t be for naught. Jose Altuve greeted reliever Josh Fields with a home run to give Houston the lead. Then Correa followed with a home run of his life, which would prove valuable given the Dodgers rally. The home run was Altuve’s sixth of the postseason. Correa now has four.

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For 4 2/3 innings, Verlander was cruising. The flamethrower had yet to allow a hit, and it looked like Bregman’s solo shot might be enough to even the series. With one swing, Joc Pederson ended any chance of that. He took an 88 mph slider from the 34-year-old Verlander out to right field for a solo home run to tie things up. Pederson’s home run may have been helped a bit by the high temperatures in L.A., as it barely cleared the fence in right. For the first time in 10 starts with the Astros, Justin Verlander looked human.

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