Thanks largely in part to strong pitching from right-hander José Urquidy, the Astros won 7-2, leaving the best-of-seven series tied at one game a piece.
In five innings, Urquidy struck out seven Braves from the start while only giving up two runs to collect his second World Series win for the Astros, having previously won Game 4 of the 2019 Fall Classic against the Washington Nationals.
While Urquidy was flourishing, Braves starter Max Fried also lasted five innings, but with less success, finishing with seven hits and six runs allowed.
Second baseman Jose Altuve was a vital cog in the Astros’ resurgent evening, hitting a leadoff double and scoring in the first inning before adding a home run in the seventh.
In doing so, the 31-year-old now has 22 career postseason home runs, leaving him tied with Bernie Williams for the second most all time. Former Red Sox great Manny Ramirez (29) has the most.
“I would say it was a must-win today,” Altuve said afterwards. “We didn’t want to go to Atlanta down by two.
“So we left everything we had in there tonight. Obviously, very important win to tie the series to keep going from there.”
Altuve’s fast start helped the Astros to a four-run second inning which put some breathing space between the two teams, and they didn’t look back.
In front of a raucous Minute Maid Park crowd and thanks in part to some Braves errors, the Astros raced into a 5-1 lead.
“They knew that we needed that game,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said afterwards.
The Fall Classic now travels to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday evening.
The Astros are appearing in their third World Series in five seasons, having won the 2017 crown but lost the 2019 title to the Washington Nationals in seven games.