ATLANTA – The Braves’ race in history was short on Friday night, but the consolation prize – simply a Fall Classic win at home to take the series lead – wasn’t too shabby.
Smooth fever gripped Truist Park in the eighth inning, after Ian Anderson, AJ Minter and Luke Jackson held that dangerous Astros lineup without a hit. The Astros finally got their hit and then another in the ninth, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Braves in their 2-0 win in Game 3 of the World Series.
The Braves, ahead 2-1 in the series, won their sixth straight home game in the playoffs. It was the franchise’s first home World Series win since 1995.
Travis d’Arnaud provided a cushion for the Braves with a solo homerun in the eighth. The explosion was the second in a series for the former Mets wide receiver, who finished the night 2-for-4.
The no-hitting drama built into the eighth when top-inning pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz hit a left-field bloop from Tyler Matzek that landed in front of Eddie Rosario’s outstretched glove.
Don Larsen’s perfect match for the Yankees against the Dodgers in 1956 was the only no-hitter in World Series history. Roy Halladay has the only other non-hitting player in playoff history, against the Reds in the 2010 NLDS.
The Braves still had one game to win, leading just 1-0. Jose Siri, a pinch runner, stole the second base against Travis d’Arnaud with two strikeouts and climbed to third on a wild pitch. Matzek, undeterred, brought in Michael Brantley for the final.
Will Smith was given a two-point lead in the ninth – after Arnaud’s home circuit provided some insurance – and gave Alex Bregman a single, but came out unscathed.
Fans chanted “cheat, cheat” for Jose Altuve and Bregman, among others, throughout the night. It’s a chant the Astros have heard a lot, following the MLB investigation that determined the team used electronic surveillance to steal signs during their 17 World Series championship season.
Ian Anderson continued his strong playoffs by shooting five clean innings for the Braves in which he struck out four strikes and three goals on goal. The right-hander, a quick 23-year-old October veteran, posted a 1.59 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in four playoff starts. Anderson also started four playoff games for the Braves last year.
Austin Riley’s RBI brace in the third gave the Braves a 1-0 lead, but a missed opportunity followed. After Jorge Soler walked to charge the bases, Adam Duvall fell 0-2 in Luis Garcia’s tally before coming out weakly. Garcia then hit Arnaud to escape.
Garcia went 3 ² / ₃ of innings for the Astros and allowed a earned run on three hits with six strikeouts and four walks on 72 shots. The right-hander was retired after working a second time in the roster, replaced in the fourth inning by left-hander Blake Taylor, who recorded the final after allowing Rosario a single.
Altuve and Bregman each shot one goal against Anderson in the first inning, but Michael Brantley struck in a double play between the two as a rally killer.
In the fourth, Yordan Alvarez walked and Carlos Correa was hit with a pitch, but with two strikeouts Anderson struck out Kyle Tucker on a comeback. Anderson had perfect innings in the second, third and fifth.