The Braves, who still lead the series 3-2, reportedly clinched the title with a victory in front of their home fans but faced a revamped Astros strike order that appeared determined to extend their season.
Veteran Houston manager Dusty Baker’s decision to turn things around was justified after shortstop Carlos Correa, who moved up to third in batting order, had three hits and a pair of RBIs. .
Meanwhile, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who rose to fifth after reaching Game 7 in Game 4, hit three hits and scored two runs. In total, the Astros totaled a dozen hits.
“We don’t care what other people say or what they think. It’s what you think of yourself and what you think of each other on the team that really matters, ”Baker said after the game, when asked about those who mattered. them out of the series already.
“Fortunately, this evening we took advantage of it. “
The Braves, looking for their first championship since 1995, opened the scoring explosively with Adam Duvall hitting a grand slam in the first inning.
But the Astros quietly chipped away, ultimately drawing even a 4-4 draw after Gurriel failed at the top of the 3rd.
Veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman then put the Braves back in front, throwing a massive 460-foot home run into the seats.
Freeman’s blast marked a player’s longest home run of the 2021 playoffs, but it also represented the host’s last goal of the night.
Houston, however, was far from finished and scored three times in the start of the 5th, with the two-run and two-run single from pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez giving the Astros their first lead of the game.
The Astros then added an insurance run in the seventh with receiver Martin Maldonado’s third RBI of the night, and another in the eighth with the single from Correa who tackled second goal Jose Altuve.
The loss marks the Braves’ first loss at home in the playoffs, and if Atlanta is to win the World Series, they will be forced to do so in enemy territory.
Tuesday’s Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7 will take place in Houston.
“You still like to do it here. I’ll take him anywhere, ”Braves manager Brian Snitker said after missing the chance to win the series in front of home fans.
“I don’t care where we are. If we win the World Series, it doesn’t matter where they are. I would have loved to do it in front of our fans.
“I hope we can do it in the next few days. ”
With the latest win, the Astros hope to build on their home crowd to become the 15th team in MLB history to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a best-of-seven playoff series.