Jose Altuve hit a home run and right-hander Jose Urquidy went five strong innings as the host Houston Astros earned a 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday to even the World Series one win apiece.
The Astros maximized their opportunities, scoring four of their first six runs on a sacrifice fly, an infield single, an error and a fielder’s choice to rebound from a 6-2 defeat in Game 1.
The best-of-seven series shifts to Atlanta for the next three games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Braves while starter Max Fried gave up six runs on seven hits over five innings as Atlanta lost for the third time in its past five postseason road games.
The Astros have won four of their past five overall and have rebounded with a victory following three of their four postseason losses.
Houston got off to a fast start with Altuve leading off the bottom of the first inning with a double before moving to third base on a fly ball from Michael Brantley. Alex Bregman followed with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
The Braves got d’Arnaud’s solo home run in the second inning before trouble surfaced. The Astros scored four runs in the second, the first on an infield single from Jose Siri. Martin Maldonado added a run on a single to left field, with Siri scoring from first base on the play once Atlanta left fielder Eddie Rosario fired an errant throw back to the infield.
Houston finished off the big rally on a Brantley RBI single for a 5-1 advantage.
The Braves pulled within 5-2 on a Freddie Freeman RBI single in the fifth inning. The Astros got the run back in the sixth on a Yuli Gurriel ground ball that scored Yordan Alvarez as the Braves failed to record an out on the play.
Altuve’s home run led off the bottom of the seventh, his fourth this postseason. He has 22 playoff homers in his career, tied with Bernie Williams for second in major league history.
Urquidy (1-0) gave up two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Four Astros relievers combined to allow one hit over four scoreless innings.
Fried (0-1) walked one and struck out six in his second consecutive rough outing. He gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings during a defeat against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.