World Series notebook: Home team finally wins at home

MLB

HOUSTON (AP)The Houston Astros ended a five-game losing streak in World Series games at Minute Maid Park.

With their 7-2 win in Game 2 over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night, the Astros became the first team to win a World Series game in its home ballpark since the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 against Boston in 2018.

All six games of last year’s World Series were played at a neutral site, Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, when postseason games were played in bubbles because of the pandemic.

That came after the visiting team won all seven games in the 2019 World Series – the only time that’s happened. The Washington Nationals beat Houston, winning all four games at Minute Maid, where they clinched after losing all three home games.

Houston then lost the opener of this World Series, falling to 0-4 in Game 1s.

FAST RUNS

When Jose Altuve doubled and scored for Houston in the first inning, it marked the seventh consecutive World Series game with a run scored in the first inning.

That tied the longest such streak in World Series history, matching 1927-28.

Altuve later hit his 22nd career postseason homer to tie Bernie Williams for second in baseball history behind Manny Ramirez (29).

STREAKS

Eddie Rosario went 0 for 4 while leading off for the Braves, ending his 11-game hitting streak this postseason.

At the same time, second baseman Ozzie Albies was 1 for 3 to extend his postseason hitting streak to 11 games. He matched Rosario for the third-longest in Braves history, making them the first teammates with hitting streaks of at least 11 games in a single postseason since Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre for the Texas Rangers in 2010.

Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel extended his postseason hitting streak to nine games, the longest active run for a Houston batter.

UNDER THE SUN – AND STARS

The sun shined brightly through the glass onto parts of the outfield during batting practice for both teams, and the retractable roof was open before the first pitch.

There were clear skies throughout Game 2. The game-time temperature was 73 degrees, and only dropped a few degrees throughout the night.

Those conditions were drastically different than earlier in the day when strong storms moved through the Houston area and triggered tornado warnings.

As for the early weather forecast at Truist Park in Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Saturday, there is a 50% chance of rain both days with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 50s. There was a 90% chance of rain Thursday, an off day in the Series.

RUNNING OPTION

Speedy outfielder Terrance Gore is on the World Series roster for the Braves after not being on it for the NL Championship Series, or even playing a regular-season game for Atlanta.

With a potential four of seven games being in the American League park and the use of a designated hitter, Gore is part of the roster to be a pinch-runner.

”Just knowing with these games and just adding … because we didn’t use the extra guy that much, as much as I think we thought we would. I just figure that’s kind of a nice item to have on the bench in a situation where it is a big run,” manager Brian Snitker said. ”There’s a couple of guys we probably would run for, and to have that there we just kind of felt was more important than the extra hitter.”

Gore has only two at-bats in nine career postseason games with Kansas City, the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta in the NL Division Series. He is five of six on stolen base attempts and has scored three runs.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

Houston has 13 players on its roster with previous World Series experience. All of those were for the Astros in 2017 or 2019 – or both.

With the Braves in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1999, their only six players who played in past World Series did so for seven different teams since 2012. They are Travis d’Arnaud (2015 New York Mets), Terrence Gore (2014-15 Kansas City Royals), Charlie Morton (2017 Astros, 2020 Tampa Bay Rays), Joc Pederson (2017-18, 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers), Drew Smyly (2012 Detroit Tigers), and Jorge Soler (2016 Chicago Cubs).

SHORT HOPS

Every Braves starter had a hit in Game 1, the first time a team’s starting nine all had hits since Kansas City in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series. It was the 25th time overall, but first in a World Series opener. … This is only the second time since MLB went to a six-division format in 1994 that the World Series matches teams from the NL East and AL West. The other was the Astros against the Washington Nationals two years ago. … The Astros had two of their Hall of Fame players throw out ceremonial first pitches: Jeff Bagwell before Game 2 after Craig Biggio before Game 1. They were on the field together for a ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park.

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