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World Series Game 5: Braves vs Astros

What we covered here

  • The Houston Astros beat the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series
  • Final score: HOU: 9 ATL: 5
  • W: Urquidy (2-1), L: Minter (1-1)
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Astros avoid elimination, defeat Braves 9-5 to force Game 6

Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros celebrate the team's 9-5 win against the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series on October 31 in Atlanta.

With his team facing elimination, and that elusive first World Series championship once again seeming to slip away, Houston’s veteran manager Dusty Baker revamped his batting order. The result? Nine Astros runs, a critical Game 5 win, and a series that now heads back to Texas.

Shortstop Carlos Correa, bumped up to third in the batting order, came through with three hits and a pair of RBI, while first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who moved up to fifth after hitting seventh in Game 4, had 3 hits of his own and scored two runs. On the evening the Astros tallied a dozen hits, earning a 9-5 victory that, for the time being, extends their season.

The Braves, seeking their first championship in more than a quarter-century, opened the scoring in explosive fashion on Adam Duvall’s first-inning Grand Slam. But the Astros quietly chipped away, ultimately drawing even at 4-4 on a Gurriel groundout in the top of the 3rd.

Veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman would put the Braves back in front in the bottom of the frame, launching a massive 460-foot homer into the seats in right-center field. Freeman’s blast marked the longest home run by any player in the 2021 postseason, but it also represented the final scoring play of the evening for the home team. The Astros, however, were far from done.

Houston scored three times in the top of the 5th, highlighted by pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez’s 2-out, 2-run single which gave the Astros their first lead of the game, 7-5.

The Astros added an insurance run in the 7th on catcher Martin Maldonado’s third RBI of the night, and one more in the 8th on a Correa single which plated second baseman Jose Altuve.

On the night Houston used six pitchers, with the Astros bullpen holding Atlanta scoreless for the final six innings of the ballgame.

The loss marks the Braves’ first defeat at home this postseason, and if Atlanta is to win the World Series, they’ll be forced to do so in enemy territory. Both Game 6, and if necessary Game 7, will be in Houston.

Astros pitcher Jose Urquidy, normally a starter, earned the victory in relief for Houston, while Braves reliever A.J. Minter — who allowed three runs in the pivotal 5th frame — suffered the loss.

Now trailing 3-2, Houston aims to become just the 15th team in MLB history to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a best-of-seven postseason series.

Game 6 is Tuesday night, with the first pitch set for 8:09 PM ET.

Houston wins Game 5 of the World Series

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman Jose Altuve celebrate winning Game 5 of the World Series.

The Houston Astros defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series. The final score was 9-5.

Game 6 is set for Tuesday night in Houston, Texas. The Braves lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2.

We're heading to the bottom of the ninth in Atlanta

It’s Atlanta’s last chance in Game 5. They’ve got plenty of work to do, trailing 9-5.

If the Astros can hold on, the series is heading back to Houston for Game 6 on Tuesday.

Houston tacks on more in the eighth

Jose Altuve of the Astros steals second past Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson during the eighth inning of Game 5.

Jose Altuve led off the inning with a hit up the middle. He stole second on a play that was reviewed by the umpires but ultimately Altuve was ruled safe.

Altuve advanced to third on a Michael Brantley grounder. Next man up, Carlos Correa drove him in to extend visitors’ lead, 9-5.

It’s still 9-5 as the Braves bat in the 8th.

Astros extend lead on Maldonado's 3rd RBI

Astros' Kyle Tucker scores past Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud on a single by Martin Maldonado during the seventh inning.

Major League catchers are traditionally lauded for their defensive work.

But with his team facing elimination on a cool Georgia night, Houston backstop Martin Maldonado has done significant damage at the plate.

With his 8th-inning liner to left field, the 35-year-old plated Kyle Tucker and extended the Astros lead to 8-5.

The RBI is Maldonado’s third of the evening, as he also drew a bases-loaded walk in the 5th, and brought Tucker home with a second-inning sacrifice fly.

It’s currently 8-5 Astros in the bottom of the 7th.

Maton shuts down the Braves in the bottom of the sixth

Phil Maton of the Astros delivers a pitch during the sixth inning.

Braves pinch-hitter Joc Pederson came up against Houston reliever Phil Maton in the sixth inning with a man on and two out.

Pederson has been smoking hot as a pinch hitter this postseason. Going into tonight he was 3-3 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs in pinch-hit duties during the 2021 playoffs.

Maton got Pederson to pop one up in foul territory down the third base line. Because the shift was on, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman had to run a mile across the infield to get to the pop-up but managed to reel it in for the third out.

Houston still up 7-5 in the 7th.

Astros take first lead on Gonzalez RBI

Marwin Gonzalez of the Astros hits a two-RBI single during the fifth inning.

A two-out, bases-loaded single by pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez has given the Astros their first lead in Game 5, 7-5.

Facing Braves reliever A.J. Minter with the bases loaded, Gonzalez gently served one up to shallow left field, allowing both Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman to score.

Gonzalez’s clutch single came moments after Minter issued a bases-loaded walk to catcher Martin Maldonado, tying the game at 5-5.

After trailing 4-0 in the first inning, the Astros are in front for the first time all evening.

Minter was replaced by right-hander Chris Martin, who struck out Jose Altuve to end the frame.

It’s currently 7-5 Astros in the 5th.

Houston turns to Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the fourth

Jose Urquidy of the Astros delivers a pitch during the fourth inning.

Trailing 5-4, the Astros brought in their Game 2 starter Jose Urquidy to pitch in the bottom of the fourth.

They probably would’ve liked to start him in Game 6 — but Game 6 isn’t happening unless Houston wins tonight.

Urquidy allowed a leadoff single to Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud but then retired the next three batters he faced to keep the game at 5-4.

It remains 5-4 heading to the 5th in Atlanta.

Framber Valdez's night is over

Framber Valdez #59 of the Astros is taken out of the game during the third inning.

Houston starter Framber Valdez left in the third with a runner on first and two outs. Valdez went 2.2 innings, giving up five runs on four hits by the Braves, including two home runs.

Right-handed reliever Yimi Garcia came in for Valdez and got Adam Duvall to pop up after a hard-fought 12 pitch at-bat to end the inning.

Both starters’ nights ended early in Game 5. Tucker Davidson was pulled by Braves manager Brian Snitker in the third.

We’re heading to the 4th with Atlanta up 5-4.

Freddie Freeman's blast puts the Braves back in front

Freddie Freeman of the Braves hits a solo home run during the third inning.

Freddie Freeman’s 460-foot home run has given the Braves back the lead.

The rocket to right-center is Freeman’s longest of the season, and tied for the biggest smash of his career.

Facing Astros starter Framber Valdez to start the third, Freeman launched a sinker into the seats, in the process putting the Braves up 5-4. The homer is Atlanta’s second of the evening, as Adam Duvall opened the scoring with a first inning Grand Slam.

It’s still 5-4 in the third.

Houston ties the game in the third

Carlos Correa of the Astros celebrates after hitting an RBI double during the third inning.

Atlanta reliever Jesse Chavez came into the game with two on and nobody out in the top of third. The first man he faced, Houston shortstop Carlos Correa, lined a double to left-center to knock in Jose Altuve and cut the Atlanta lead to 4-3.

Two batters later, Yuli Gurriel tied the game with a grounder to shortstop as Michael Brantley crossed to pull the Astros even in Game 5.

It’s now 4-4 in the bottom half of the third.

Braves make pitching change

Braves pitcher Jesse Chavez throws during the third inning.

Tucker Davidson’s night is done.

Making his first appearance since June 15, the 25-year-old failed to record an out in the third frame before being lifted in favor of Jesse Chavez.

The first batter of the inning, Jose Altuve, reached on an error by shortstop Dansby Swanson. Davidson then walked Michael Brantley on 5 pitches before earning the hook from Braves skipper Brian Snitker.

It’s currently 4-4 in the third inning.

Houston answers in the second

Alex Bregman of the Astros hits an RBI double during the second inning.

The struggling Alex Bregman delivers for Houston!

The Astros third baseman was 1-14 in the World Series, and had been dropped in the batting order from third to seventh. But with Houston facing elimination, and with two runners on in the top of the second, Bregman sent one to the gap in right-center, driving in Yuli Gurriel and moving Kyle Tucker to third.

The next man up, Martín Maldonado hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Tucker.

Houston pitcher Framber Valdez struck out to end the inning.

Atlanta up 4-2 going in the bottom of the second.

Braves belt first inning Grand Slam, take early lead

Adam Duvall, right, of the Braves is congratulated by Austin Riley after hitting a grand slam home run during the first inning.

The Atlanta Braves have struck first in Game 5 and they’ve done so in dramatic fashion.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, Atlanta center fielder Adam Duvall took Astros starter Framber Valdez deep to right field for a Grand Slam and a 4-0 Braves lead.

Duvall came to the plate following a pair of Atlanta hits — a lead-off single by Jorge Soler and a base hit to left by Austin Riley — and then a walk to second baseman Ozzie Albies.

The homer by Duvall is his third of the playoffs and allows Atlanta a comfortable cushion as they look to clinch their first championship since 1995.

It’s now 4-0 Braves in the second inning.

World Series Game 5 begins in Atlanta

Tucker Davidson of the Braves delivers a pitch during the first inning.

Play ball! Game 5 of the World Series is underway at Truist Park in Atlanta.

Tucker Davidson is on the mound for the home team. The left-hander faces Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa at the top of the Astros lineup.

Here are tonight's starting pitchers

Tucker Davidson gets the ball for the Braves tonight as Atlanta looks to clinch its first World Series since 1995. The 25-year-old left-hander was just added to the roster Wednesday after Atlanta ace Charlie Morton was knocked out of the series with a fractured right fibular in Game 1.

With their backs against the wall, Houston will turn to left-hander Framber Valdez. The Astros hope that Valdez can summon the same stuff he had when he went eight innings, giving up one hit to Boston in Game 5 of the ALCS.

World Series trivia: Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews only player to play in all 3 cities Braves have called home

Eddie Mathews of the Braves stands for a photo on May 5, 1952, in Boston.

At Truist Park, there are 10 numbers displayed in left field that have been retired by the Atlanta Braves.

No. 41 belongs to Eddie Mathews, a hard-hitting third baseman who became the seventh player in MLB history to reach the 500-home run mark. But in the annals of Braves history, Mathews is unique. He is the only player to play in all three cities the Braves have called home.

Mathews joined the Braves in 1952, playing the team’s final season in its original home in Boston. He moved with the team in 1953 to Milwaukee, where he played with Hank Aaron and won a World Series in 1957. He moved with the team to Atlanta in 1966, his final season with the Braves. He played for the Houston Astros in 1967 before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers before he retired in 1968. He managed the Braves from 1972-1974. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Braves Hall of Fame in August 1999. Mathews died on Feb. 18, 2001.

Here are tonight's starting lineups for both teams

Truist Park is seen prior to Game Five of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves on October 31 in Atlanta.

We have changes to the lineup for both teams tonight.

For Houston, the struggling Alex Bregman, 1-for-14 in the World Series, was dropped down from the third slot to seventh. For the Braves, Jorge Soler is back in the leadoff spot and starting in right field in place of Joc Pederson.

Here are the lineups for Game 5:

Houston Astros

Jose Altuve, 2B  Michael Brantley, RF  Carlos Correa, SS  Yordan Alvarez, LF  Yuli Gurriel, 1B  Kyle Tucker, CF  Alex Bregman, 3B  Martín Maldonado, C  Framber Valdez, LHP

Atlanta Braves

Jorge Soler, RF  Freddie Freeman, 1B  Ozzie Albies, 2B  Austin Riley, 3B  Eddie Rosario, LF  Adam Duvall, CF  Travis d’Arnaud, C  Dansby Swanson, SS  Tucker Davidson, LHP

The Atlanta Braves may win the World Series. But they face a tougher opponent off the field

Atlanta has long been called a Black Mecca, but in the 1990s it was also known for something else: The home of some of the country’s baddest Black baseball superheroes.

Those Braves teams featured a colorful lineup of Black superstars: Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff, speedy Otis Nixon, two-way star Deion “Prime Time” Sanders and the dimpled chin of David Justice, who was married to actress Halle Berry.

The Braves then were part of the heartbeat of Black Atlanta. Hip-hop artists wore their caps, and legions of Black fans, ushers and street vendors mingled with White fans at the team’s ballpark in a historic Black neighborhood near downtown.

But when the Rev. Michael Clayton Harris, co-host of the Red & Rev. Sports Show, attended a recent Braves game at Truist Park, he sat in a crowd of overwhelmingly White fans in a predominantly White suburb while a soundtrack of mostly rock and country music played over the sound system.

“When you go to the game, it has a Trump feel to it with the fan base,” says Harris, who is a pastor at Acts of Faith Baptist Church in Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta. “It felt weird for the simple fact that I remember when the stands had a lot more Black people, and a lot more were enticed to games because they had more representation.”

Harris’ experience demonstrates that one of the most fascinating storylines of the 2021 World Series is happening off the field. The Braves aren’t just playing the Houston Astros — they’re also battling a perception that the franchise has abandoned the city’s Black community.

I’ve lived in Atlanta for 30 years, and I’ve long heard this talk in barbershops and sports bars. Some Black fans say the team has few, if any, African American players they can relate to. Others believe the team left Atlanta because its suburban White fans felt uncomfortable coming to games downtown, where they were surrounded by Black people.

Atlanta, once known as the “city too busy to hate,” in recent years has been engulfed by racial turmoil: police shootings of Black men, racial protests and clashes over voting rights. These tensions spilled over into the sports world this year when Major League Baseball pulled the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest new state laws that make it more difficult to vote.

A World Series appearance usually brings a city together. But I wonder: Can a Braves World Series victory begin to heal the rift with the city’s Black community?

Read more from Blake here.

Atlanta Braves vs Houston Astros: Here's a recap of Game 4

Will Smith of the Braves celebrates the teams 3-2 win against the Astros in Game 4 of the World Series at Truist Park on October 30 in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Braves came back to win Game 4 behind back-to-back seventh inning home runs to take a commanding 3-1 World Series lead over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Houston Astros had most of the momentum in the game’s early innings but failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

In case you missed it, here’s what you need to know about Game 4:

  • Trailing 2-1 heading into the seventh inning, Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson hit a solo home run to tie the game at two. Four pitches later, Braves outfielder Jorge Soler hit another solo home run to give the home team the lead. Braves pitcher Will Smith closed out the game to secure the 3-2 win. 
  • Former President Trump was in attendance at Game 4 and participated in the controversial “Tomahawk chop” on Saturday. The chop — a stadium-wide chant and longtime tradition at Braves games — has been under renewed scrutiny as part of a national discussion about racism and racial imagery in professional sports.
  • The Braves have a chance to clinch the franchise’s first World Series title since 1995 on Sunday. 

Atlanta Braves are just one win away from World Series victory

The Atlanta Braves are now just one win away from the franchise’s first MLB championship since 1995, after winning Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday.

Highlighted by back-to-back 7th inning home runs from shortstop Dansby Swanson and a pinch-hitting Jorge Soler, the Braves edged the visiting Astros 3-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

Atlanta can capture the crown in front of their home crowd on Sunday night.

“I just want to win tomorrow. I don’t know how confident I am,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said when asked how he felt being 3-1 up.

“I’m glad we are, quite honestly. I’d rather be up three than down three, I guess. But I’ve been around too long to get ahead of myself.”

If you are planning to tune in, here’s a look at tonight’s game and the rest of the schedule if necessary:

  • Sunday, Oct. 31: Game 5
  • Tuesday, Nov. 2: Game 6 (if necessary)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3: Game 7 (if necessary)

All of the games will begin at 8:09 p.m. ET, except for Game 5, which will begin at 8:15 p.m. ET. The games will all be shown on TV by Fox.

Read more here.