Astros beat Braves to extend World Series
Game 6 is Tuesday back in Houston
Marwin Gonzalez had a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth inning and Martin Maldonado drove in three runs as the Houston Astros overcame an early four-run deficit to extend the 2021 World Series with a 9-5 victory Sunday over the host Atlanta Braves.
Facing elimination and trailing early after a first-inning grand slam from the Braves' Adam Duvall, the Astros' offense roared to life after a pair of lackluster games at Atlanta left them in a 3-1 series hole.
Houston scored multiple runs in the second, third and fifth innings, with Maldonado's bases-loaded walk in the fifth tying the score 5-all before Gonzalez dumped his two-run single to left against Atlanta left-hander A.J. Minter (1-1) for a 7-5 lead.
The Astros became just the fourth team to rally from a four-run deficit and win in a World Series elimination game, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and the first since the Angels did it in Game 6 in 2002 against the Giants.
Freddie Freeman had a solo home run for the Braves, who have two more chances to wrap up their first World Series title since 1995 when the matchup shifts to Houston. Game 6 is Tuesday, with a potential Game 7 on Wednesday.
The Astros need consecutive victories to become the first team since the 2016 Chicago Cubs to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win the championship.
Duvall's opening-inning slam came off Astros left-hander Framber Valdez, following singles from Jorge Soler and Austin Riley, as well as a walk from Eddie Rosario. It was Duvall's second home run of the World Series and third of the postseason.
The Astros scored a pair of runs in the second on an Alex Bregman double and a sacrifice fly from Maldonado. It was just the second hit for Bregman in the series and it came after he was dropped to the No. 7 spot in the lineup.
The Astros tied the game 4-all in the third, getting an RBI double from Carlos Correa and a run-scoring ground out from Yuli Gurriel. Correa also drove in a run in the eighth.
Freeman gave Atlanta a 5-4 lead with a mammoth 460-foot home run in the third. It was his first home run of the series and fourth of the postseason.
The Astros' go-ahead rally in the fifth started with two singles and an intentional walk to Bregman before Maldonado and Gonzalez delivered.
Left-hander Tucker Davidson, with just five games of regular-season experience, was the surprise starter for the Braves, giving up four runs (two earned) over two-plus innings.
Jose Urquidy (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the Astros to earn the victory.