Nationals Blast Astros Into Orbit, 12-3
We are learning a lot about the Washington Nationals in this postseason. The biggest thing we are learning is, when there are two outs, the Nats are just getting started.
The Nationals blew open game two of the World Series, scoring six times in the seventh inning en route to a 12-3 win over the Houston Astros to give them a 2-0 lead in the best of seven Fall Classic.
Five of the runs in that inning scored with two out.
Kurt Suzuki homered off Astros starter Justin Verlander to open the seventh and break a 2-2 tie. Verlander exited after issuing a walk to Victor Robles. Ryan Pressly came on and walked Trea Turner. Adam Eaton bunted the runners to second and third but Pressly got Houston native Anthony Rendon to fly to shallow center for the second out. The Astros walked Juan Soto intentionally to load the bases and Howie Kendrick then delivered a slow ground ball that Alex Bregman couldn't field as Robles scored. The grounder was ruled an infield single, making the score 4-2. Asdrubal Cabrera then singled home a pair of runs to give the Nationals a four run lead. Ryan Zimmerman then hit a slow roller down the third base that Bregman threw away, allowing two more runs to score, making it a six run inning and an 8-2 lead.
Eaton added a two run homer in the eighth inning off reliever Josh James and Cabrera drove in another run with a base hit to add three more runs, and Michael A. Taylor homered with one out in the ninth for the final Nationals' score of the night.
Martin Maldonado homered in the ninth for Houston.
The Nationals struck first in the opening inning when Verlander issued a leadoff walk to Turner. Eaton followed with a single and Rendon doubled off the wall in left, scoring both runners.
But the Astros came right back in the bottom of the first against Washington starter Stephen Strasberg when Jose Altuve doubled with one out. Altuve was thrown out trying to steal third, but Michael Brantley singled and Alex Bregman, who had struck out three times in game one, homered to left to tie the game.
Both starters settled down after that. The Astros had a chance in the third when Altuve reached on an error with two out and Brantley singled, but Bregman hit into a force play. Houston had another chance in the sixth when Yuli Gurriel doubled with one out. The Nationals chose to walk Yordan Alvarez intentionally. The move paid off when Carlos Correa popped up and Strasberg struck out pinch hitter Kyle Tucker on a full count.
Strasberg pitched the first six innings, allowing seven hits. He issued the one intentional walk and struck out seven.
Verlander was charged with the loss, giving up four runs in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out six.
Game three will be in the Nation's Capital Friday night.