In another October thriller, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 in Game 3 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
The Astros got a big offensive game from Yuli Gurriel, superb defense and some excellent pitching from Lance McCullers Jr. and Brad Peacock to secure the pivotal victory. They now lead the series 2-1 and will have a chance to take control in Game 4 on Saturday.
Houston’s offense really set the tone early, knocking Dodgers starter Yu Darvish from the game after he recorded just five outs. By the time the second inning ended, Houston’s lead was 4-0.
The Dodgers did mount numerous threats, ultimately plating one in the third and two more in the sixth. But the Astros limited or outright thwarted those rallies with some clutch pitching and defense. Now, for the first time all season, the Dodgers aren’t in control of their situation. They’ll have to fight from behind to win this series, and it will have to begin with a win in Houston.
That gives Game 4 an intriguing twist. Before we get there though, here’s a look back at the key moments from Game 3.
YULI GURRIEL’S SECOND-INNING HOMER
After the Astros wasted a George Springer leadoff double in the first inning, Yuli Gurriel made sure they wouldn’t come up empty-handed in the second inning. The slugging first baseman, who has been Houston’s most consistent hitter throughout the postseason, greeted Yu Darvish with a home run to start the second frame. The home run was Gurriel’s first in the postseason and at that point Houston’s fifth over the last five World Series innings. The Astros would add three more runs in the inning to break the game open early.
BRAD PEACOCK’S EXCELLENT RELIEF
The Astros bullpen has been less than reliable during the postseason, and that’s putting it mildly. So one couldn’t blame manager A.J. Hinch for turning to Brad Peacock, a usual starter, in hopes of getting some big innings in Game 3. The veteran right-hander came through, tossing 3 2/3 hitless innings to earn the save. His only real blemish was a wild pitch that allowed inherited runner Justin Turner to score in the sixth. Otherwise he was lights out.
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YULI GURRIEL STARTS DAZZLING 3-6-1 DOUBLE PLAY
After being given a four-run cushion, Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. found himself in immediate trouble in the third inning. McCullers started the third inning by walking Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor, which set the stage for Corey Seager to get Los Angeles right back in the game with one swing. Instead, Seager hit into a rally-killing 3-6-1 double play that was started beautifully by Gurriel at first base and completed when a hustling McCullers took the throw at first. McCullers would go on to retire Justin Turner as well, limiting the Dodgers to one run.
GEORGE SPRINGER ROBS CHRIS TAYLOR OF AN RBI SINGLE
The Dodgers tried to chip away at Houston’s lead in the fifth inning. Joc Pederson led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on Enrique Hernandez’s ground out, but he never made it home thanks to George Springer’s incredible diving catch. The man who is often referred to as “Super Springer” because of his defense certainly picked a good time to make one of his best plays. This comes on the heels of Springer’s game-winning home run in Game 2.
MARWIN GONZALEZ AND BRIAN MCCANN COME THROUGH
When the Astros offense is clicking, it’s dangerous from one through nine. That was evident during the second-inning rally when Marwin Gonzalez and Brian McCann, the number eight and nine batters respectively, kept the line moving and the scoring going with back-to-back RBI singles. Those two hits pretty much sealed the fate of Yu Darvish. The Dodgers starter was pulled after recording only five outs.
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