x
Breaking News
More () »

Southeast Texas's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Southeast Texas, Texas | 12NEWSNOW.com

'Stros on fire! Astros beat Nationals 7-1 to seize control of World Series

The Astros now have a 3-2 series advantage as it shifts back to Houston for Game 6—and with it a chance to clinch a championship.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Things looked a lot different for the Houston Astros five days ago.

The hapless Astros fell into an 0-2 hole to the Washington Nationals at home. And with the series shifting to Washington, things weren’t looking bright for a team that won a Major League-best 107 games during the regular season.

Fast forward to Sunday night and it’s a whole new ballgame for Houston—both literally and figuratively.

The Astros beat the Washington Nationals 7-1 Sunday, completing a three-game sweep on the road in Washington to take a 3-2 World Series lead. The series now returns to Houston on Tuesday and the Astros have a chance to win their second World Series title in three years—in front of their home crowd, no less.

“I love the feel for the moment and the feel for this team,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said after the Game 5 victory. “We just have a way of playing for today. The confidence comes from the success we’ve had—we feel we’re in every game.”

After tying the series Saturday night, Houston used a trio of two-run home runs by Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa and George Springer to seize control.

Alvarez crushed a 2-1 sinker over the center field wall that gave the Astros a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

Two innings later, Correa jacked a slider to left field that made it a 4-0 game.

And just for some late-game insurance, Springer connected on a fastball over the middle of the plate in the top of the ninth.

The hits were indicative of the offense’s turnaround in Washington.

Alex Bregman hit a grand slam in Game 4. Catcher Robinson Chirinos hit home runs in back-to-back games. The offense scored 19 times over the three-game stretch after managing seven runs at home.

Correa said the Astros were going through the motions in games 1 and 2 like they were regular season games.  On the plane to Washington on Thursday, Correa said he told Jose Altuve the team needed to get its swagger back.

“‘This is the World Series. This is the last series of the season. We need to play like it. We need to give it everything we’ve got. Let’s play hard. Let’s play with passion. Let’s play like we want it,’” said Correa Sunday, recalling the conversation on the plane. “And I feel like these last three games we really played like we want this championship.”

Houston jumped on Nationals pitcher Joe Ross, who got the start after Max Scherzer was scratched hours before the game. Washington manager Dave Martinez said Scherzer woke up with neck pain Saturday and it only got worse today. It was a blow to Washington who not only lost their ace, but their pitcher who got the win in Game 1. Scherzer tossed five innings and held Houston to two runs.

Ross, making his first career World Series start, gave up four runs in five innings and struck out one Sunday.

Spotted an early lead, Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole turned in an ace-worthy performance after struggling in Game 1.

The only real trouble he faced was in the second.

Juan Soto, the 21-year-old power-hitting rookie, singled to right to leadoff the inning. Howie Kendrick followed with a single to center that sent Soto to third with no outs.

Cole got Ryan Zimmerman to swing and miss on a slider that broke off the outside of the plate and well out of the zone. Victor Robles then grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Cole, in what could be his last start as an Astro with free agency looming, tossed seven innings and allowed one run on three hits. His only miscue of the night came in the seventh when Soto hit a solo shot to center field.

With nine strikeouts Sunday, Cole has thrown 47 in the playoffs, tying him for second most in postseasons history. When asked about the accomplishment after the game, Cole was almost speechless.

“I didn’t know that. That’s pretty neat,” he said. “That’s pretty special.”

Relievers Joe Smith and Ryan Pressly each tossed an inning of relief to seal the victory.

Credit: AP
Houston Astros fans cheer after Game 5 of the baseball World Series Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. The Astros won 7-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

As the series shifts home and to Game 6, the Astros turn to Justin Verlander in hopes of closing the series. Houston will face Stephen Strasburg who got the win in Game 2 after a battle between the two aces.

This time, though, the Astros are in full control.

What a difference five days makes.

Ninth Inning

BOTTOM 9

Ballgame! The Astros are in full control as they return to Houston with a 3-2 series lead.

Score: Houston 7, Washington 1

0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

Kendrick: Grounds out to third base to end the game.

Soto: Strikes out on a check swing.

Rendon: Lines out to right field.

Pitching change: Ryan Pressly replaces Joe Smith.

TOP 9

George Springer joins the Astros home run club with a 2-run shot that pads Houston’s lead, 7-1. The Astros have this game all but locked up.

Score: Houston 7, Washington 1
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Altuve: Lines out to center field.

Springer: Home run! Crushes a 96 mph fastball to left field; Maldonado scores. Astros lead 7-1.

Tucker: Strikes out on six pitches.

Pinch hitter: Kyle Tucker pinch hits for Joe Smith.

Maldonado: Singles to left field.

Correa: Flies out to the warning track in center field.

Eighth Inning

BOTTOM 8

Gerrit Cole gave the exactly what they needed in Game 5: a dominant pitching performance that gives your team a chance. Cole tossed seven innings of three hit ball, allowing one run and striking out nine.
The Astros are three outs away from sweeping three games in Washington and returning home needing one win to win the series.

Score: Houston 5, Washington 1
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left on base

At Bats

Eaton: Pops out in foul territory.

Turner: Lines out to right field.

Cabrera: Strikes out on a 90 mph fastball at the shoulders.

Gomes: Singles up the middle.

Pitching change: Joe Smith replaces Cole.
Cole: 7 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts, 2 walks.

TOP 8

So, the Nationals score a run in the bottom of the seventh and the Astros come right back in the eighth and get the run back. Springer gets a leadoff double and comes around to score on Gurriel single.

Score: Houston 5, Washington 1
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on base

At Bats

Marisnick: Strikes out swinging to end the inning.

Pinch hitter: Jake Marisnick pinch hits for Alvarez.

Gurriel: Singles to right field; Springer scores, Brantley to third.

Bregman: Flies out to shallow right field.

Brantley: Intentional walk, his second of the series.

Altuve: Grounds out to shortstop; Springer to third.

Springer: Doubles off the wall in right field.

Pitching change: Daniel Hudson replaces Sean Doolittle.

Seventh Inning

BOTTOM 7

Well, the Nationals get on the board on a solo shot by Juan Soto. Cole shuts down the rest of the lineup on a couple of questionable calls: a six-pitch walk to Zimmerman that looked to be strike three, then a strikeout to Robles on a 3-2 count that appeared to be ball four.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 1
1 run, 1 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base

At Bats

Robles: Strikes out on a 3-2 fastball up in the zone—almost the same spot as the slider against Zimmerman. Robles thought it was ball four, but the ump rung him up—maybe a make-up call for the slider?  

Zimmerman: Walks on six pitches. Cole walks off the mound after catching a slider that looked to catch the outside corner. He’s stunned it wasn’t strike three.

Kendrick: Strikes out on a slider, Cole’s eighth of the game.

Soto: Home run! Soto connects on a 98 mph fastball over the middle of plate to center field. Astros lead 4-1.

Rendon: Flies out left field.

Defensive adjustments: Astros switch Brantley to left field and Springer to right. Marisnick takes over in center field.

TOP 7

Before Alvarez’s leadoff single, the Astros hadn’t had a hit since Correa’s home run in the fourth. But with a four-run lead and the way Cole’s dealing, they don’t seem too concerned. Speaking of Cole, Hinch send him out there to bat in the seventh with two outs. Clearly his night isn’t over.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0
0 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base

At Bats

Cole: Strikes out to end the inning.

Maldonado: Walks on five pitches with two outs.

Correa: Grounds into a double play.

Alvarez: Beats the shift—again!—and singles to right field. That’s his third hit of the night: HR, single, single.

Pitching change: Sean Doolittle replaces Tanner Rainey.

Sixth Inning

BOTTOM 6

Cole is holding up his end to make sure the Astros grab a 3-2 series lead as the series heads back to Houston. He’s struck out seven, retired eight straight and allowed only two hits through seven innings. What more could you ask for?

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Eaton: Strikes out on a slider that catches the inside top corner of the zone for the final out.

Turner: Grounds out to first base after Gurriel makes a great stop and dives to the bag for the out.

Credit: AP
Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel dives to tag the bag and get Washington Nationals' Trea Turner (7) out at first during the sixth inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Para: Strikes out on a slider at the knees.

Pinch hitter: Gerardo Parra pinch hits for Tanner Rainey.

TOP 6

The Astros chased Ross after five innings and four runs. Reliever Tanner Rainey comes in and retires the side, but Brantley and Bregman send a couple deep balls to left field that died near the warning track.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0

0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Gurriel: Pops out to shallow right.

Bregman: Flies out to deep left field. He’s 0-for-3 tonight but has made some really good swings.

Brantley: Flies out to deep left field.

Pitching change: Tanner Rainey replaces Joe Ross.
Ross: 5 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 1 strikeout, 2 walks

Fifth Inning

BOTTOM 5

The Cole train is cruuuuuuuuuuising. Cole needs only six pitches to get through that inning. Cole seems to be back to his old self—what a good thing for the Astros.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Gomes: Flies out to right field.

Robles: Strikes out on a slider out of the zone. That’s Cole’s fifth strikeout of the game.

Zimmerman: Flies out to first base. One pitch, one out for Cole.

TOP 5

Nothing for the Astros that inning, but they’re making Ross work his way through the lineup. Ross has thrown 78 pitches through five innings. Let’s see how much longer Washington manager Dave Martinez will let him go.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Altuve: Grounds into an inning-ending double play.

Springer: Walks on six pitches.

Cole: Grounds out to second.

Fourth Inning 

BOTTOM 4

The Nationals are making some good contact off Cole….but they’re hitting it right at the Astros defense.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Kendrick: Grounds into a force out at second.

Soto: Lines out to center field.

Rendon: Walks on five pitches.

Eaton: Strikes out looking.

TOP 4

All the Astros do is homer. Carlos Correa connects on a 2-2 hanging slider that he sends over the left field wall giving Houston a 4-0 lead. It’s his third home run of the posteason and the Astros second two-run shot of the game.

Score: Houston 4, Washington 0
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Maldonado: Lines out to third to end the inning.

Correa: HOME RUN! Correa cranks a ball to left field that scores Alvarez. Astros lead 4-0.

Alvarez: Beats the shift on a single to right field. That’s two hits for the rookie tonight. He’s now 5-for-10 in the series.

Gurriel: Grounds out to second.

Bregman: Grounds out to first base after making Ross throw eight pitches.

Third Inning

BOTTOM 3

Cole isn’t giving the Nationals much to work with. He’s retired five straight.

Score: Houston 2, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Turner: Lines out to left field to end the inning.

Ross: Strikes out on four pitches.

Gomes: Pops out in foul territory.

TOP 3

Jose Altuve is a hitting machine. With his single, he’s now reached safely in 25 straight postseason games.

Score: Houston 2, Washington 0
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left on base

At Bats

Brantley: Flies out to center field to end the inning.

Altuve: Hits a bloop single just past Kendrick at second base. Altuve has now reached safely in 25 consecutive postseason games.

Springer: Grounds out to third.

Cole: Grounds out to third.

Hold My Beer and Watch This Save

Check out the Nationals fan who snagged Alvarez's home run ball.

Anyone else having flashbacks to Happy Gilmore?

Second Inning

BOTTOM 2

The Nationals, led by Juan Soto’s leadoff single, hit a couple hard-hit balls off Cole and threatened with two on and one out. But Cole works a couple sliders to Victor Robles and gets him to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Score: Houston 2, Washington 0
0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Robles: Grounds into a double play to end the inning.

Ryan Zimmerman: Strikes out on a slider well out of the zone—and oh boy, what an ugly swing.

Howie Kendrick: Singles to center field, Soto to third.

Juan Soto: Singles on a line drive to right field.

TOP 2

Boom! And just like that, the Astros grab a 2-0 lead on an Alvarez bomb to left field. The rookie is back in the lineup after serving as a pinch hitter in games 3 and 4 and did the move pay off. The Astros have scored first in all three road games. They’ve won the previous two.

Let's see what Cole does with the lead.

Score: Houston 2, Washington 0
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez, left, celebrates his two-run home run with Yuli Gurriel during the second inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

At Bats

Martin Maldanado: Grounds out back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Carlos Correa: Strikes out on a 95 mph fastball at the letters out of the zone.

Yordan Alvarez: HOME RUN! Hits a two-run shot to left field that scores Gurriel. Astros lead 2-0.

Yuli Gurriel: Singles to shortstop on a ball that was tipped by Ross.

Alex Bregman: Lines out to left field on a well-hit ball.  Bregman has been making good swings the past two games.

First Inning

BOTTOM 1

Gerrit Cole shuts the Nationals down in order, but they make him work for it. Cole threw 17 pitches that inning—13 for strikes.

Score: Houston 0, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Anthony Rendon: Flies out to center field.

Adam Eaton: Lines out on a hard-hit fastball to center field.

Trea Turner: Strikes out on nine pitches.

TOP 1

Good start for Joe Ross who sits the Astros down in order. Ross gets Altuve to ground into a double play after losing Springer to lead off the inning.

Score: Houston 0, Washington 0
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

At Bats

Brantley: Grounds out to second to end the inning.

Altuve: Grounds into a double play on a first-pitch sinker; Springer out at second.

Springer: Walks on eight pitches after battling back from an 0-2 hole.

Pregame

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wow does it look like the Astros caught a break in Game 5. Max Scherzer, the Nationals ace and expected starter, was scratched early Sunday with neck spasms in what was supposed to be a rematch of Game 1’s head-to-head matchup with Gerrit Cole.

Washington manager Dave Martinez said Scherzer woke up with neck pain Saturday and it only got worse today. Martinez said Scherzer’s neck is “jacked up.”

In his place, Houston will face Joe Ross, a 26-year-old righty who’s tossed just two innings in the postseason this year.

Ross had a 4-4 regular season record with a 5.48 ERA in 27 games.

Credit: AP
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer speaks during a news conference before Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. Scherzer was slated to start Sunday's World Series game, has been scratched with spasms in his neck and right trapezius. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In his final regular season start, Ross tossed six innings of one-run ball while striking out eight against the Cleveland Indians.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Scherzer’s scratch doesn’t change much for his team.

“We still need to go out and win a game,” Hinch said. “If we need any example of a young rookie stepping up and doing well in the World Series, we could rewind 24 hours and our guy did pretty good.”

He’s talking about, of course, Jose Urquidy who tossed five scoreless innings Saturday night as the Astros evened up the series with an 8-1 win.

Martinez said Scherzer may be available out of the bullpen in Game 6 or could start a potential Game 7.

In Games 3 and 4, Houston was quick to jump on the Nationals starters and grab an early lead.

We’ll see if they can do it again against Ross.

An Astros’ win would mean a sweep on the road and a 3-2 series lead heading back to Houston.

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s game.

First Pitch

7:07 p.m. at Nationals Park. Series is tied 2-2.

How You Can Watch

T.V.: FS1

Radio: SportsTalk 790 AM

Online: Right here—follow our live blog with play-by-play and in-game analysis.

Starting Pitchers

Houston’s Gerrit Cole (3-1, 1.82 ERA postseason) vs. Washington’s Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00 ERA in one postseason appearance).

Cole looks to improve off Game 1's start in which he gave up five runs in seven innings—a game the Nationals won 5-4.

Starting Lineups

Credit: AP
Credit: AP

3 Keys to an Astros Win

  • Keep the Nationals reeling. Score early and often.
  • Early arrival from Cole Train. Gerrit Cole needs to come out and establish himself from the get go.
  • Hitters: Control the strike zone. Ross is going to try to extend strike zone. Get that fastball early and make Ross pitch back to the plate to get something to hit.

Noteworthy

  • Alex Bregman became the first AL player to hit a grand slam in the World Series since Paul Konerko in 2005. Bregman’s seventh-inning slam was the 20th in World Series history. It was also his ninth career postseason home run.
  • Robinson Chirinos has hit a home run in back-to-back World Series game, becoming the sixth catcher in Major League history to do so.
  • Michael Brantley is batting .471 in the series (8-for-17). He’s reached base safely in 11 straight games and has three consecutive multi-hit games.
  • The Astros have a 6-9 World Series record and are 4-4 on the road.

Quoteworthy

“We’re fired up. This is why you play the game. This is the World Series.” — Astros third baseman Alex Bregman after Houston tied the series 2-2 Saturday night.

Scenes from Game 4

Credit: AP
Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos and Chris Devenski celebrate after Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. The Astros won 8-1 to tie the series 2-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, middle, celebrates after his grand slam with George Springer, left, and Michael Brantley against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros relief pitcher Will Harris celebrates after the final out in the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman hits a grand slam during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Credit: AP
Washington Nationals' Trea Turner reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Robinson Chirinos celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Robinson Chirinos, left, rounds the bases after a two-run home run off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Patrick Corbin during the fourth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Jose Altuve celebrates with Carlos Correa after scoring during the first inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

World Series Schedule

Game 1: Washington 5, Houston 4 (Washington leads 1-0) 

Game 1 recap: Astros' comeback falls short as Nats claim Game 1 of the World Series

Game 2: Washington 12, Houston 3 (Washington leads 2-0) 

Game 2 recap: Astros falter late in 12-3 loss as Nationals seize control of World Series

Game 3: Houston 4, Washington 1 (Washington leads 2-1)

Game 3 recap: Victory! Astros come to life with 4-1 win over Nationals

Game 4: Houston 8, Washington 1 (Series tied 2-2)

Game 4 recap: Astros explode for eight runs in Game 4 win over Nationals

Game 5: Tonight, 7:07 p.m., Washington

Game 6: Tuesday, 7:07 p.m., Houston

Game 7*: Wednesday, 7:07 p.m., Houston

*If necessary

The Astros Apologize

Jim Crane sent a letter to Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein apologizing for how the Astros handled an article she wrote about inappropriate comments made during the team’s clubhouse celebration.

Crane wrote, “On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday, Oct. 21.”

On This Day in Astros History

In 2017, the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-3, in Game 3 of the World Series to take a 2-1 series lead.

Fast Facts

Five things you might not know about:

  • Jose Altuve, including how he often finds himself in the spotlight—but he doesn’t like being there.
  • Gerrit Cole grew up cheering for this team. Hint: It wasn’t the Astros.
  • George Springer isn’t the only superstar athlete in his family—just ask his wife and sisters.
  • Alex Bregman and the reason behind why he wears #2.
  • Carlos Correa and his proposal heard 'round the world.
  • Yuli Gurriel and how he got his nickname.
  • Yordan Alvarez and this accomplishment that surpassed Shoeless Joe Jackson.
  • Justin Verlander and his journey to the Astros.
  • Josh Reddick and his love for wrestling.

Extra Bases

Love the Astros and podcasts? Subscribe to Extra Bases with KHOU’s Jason Bristol and former major league scout Jeremy Booth who discuss all things Houston Astros and Major League Baseball.

Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts.

More Astros Coverage

RELATED: Robinson Chirinos becomes first catcher since 1982 to hit homers in back-to-back World Series games

RELATED: What a moment: Fans, players at World Series stand up to cancer

RELATED: 'Be better. Work harder' | Jose Altuve wrote inspirational letter to himself

RELATED: 'You need to fix this pronto' | Alief ISD student has coaching tips for Astros GM A.J. Hinch

RELATED: How many teams have come back from 0-2 to win the World Series?

RELATED: Granddaughter surprises her 'Paw-Paw' with tickets to the World Series

RELATED: Simone Biles didn't just throw the 1st pitch of Game 2 of the World Series -- she flipped and twisted, too

RELATED: Here's how the Houston Astros got their name