Starter Ian Anderson threw five no-hit, scoreless innings, third baseman Austin Riley and catcher Travis d’Arnaud provided the offense, and the Braves established a 2-1 advantage in the 2021 World Series by winning 2-0 Friday night.
It was a game the Braves had to win. Playing a World Series game at home for the first time since 1999, the Braves needed to capitalize on Anderson’s start, as the team is likely looking at bullpen-heavy games the rest of the weekend.
Anderson, who is still technically a rookie, dazzled over five innings, walking three and striking out four. Houston starter Luis Garcia pitched well, allowing only one run while striking out six in 3.2 innings, but took the loss.
Relievers A.J. Minter and Luke Jackson carried the no-hitter into the 8th before a bloop base hit off the bat of Aledmys Diaz in front of left fielder Eddie Rosario cost the Braves a chance to become the second team in World Series history to throw a no-hitter.
Still, it was a nearly spotless night for the Braves’ bullpen: four scoreless innings, two hits, no walks. Closer Will Smith picked up the save with a scoreless 9th.
The Braves scored in the 3rd when Riley lashed an RBI double down the left field line to score Rosario. The rest of the night was a one-run nail-biter, with d’Arnaud providing much-needed insurance with a 437-foot monster home run to center field in the bottom of the 8th to make it 2-0.
Game 4 is set for tomorrow night at 8:09 p.m. ET.