To start the seventh, Phil Maton struck out Austin Riley on six pitches. Eddie Rosario doubled to left — the guy who hit .560 in the N.L.C.S. is 2 for 4 so far in the World Series — and then Adam Duvall walked. Rather than gambling on whether Maton would continue to be effective, Houston replaced him with Ryne Stanek.
The first batter Stanek faced was Travis d’Arnaud, who hit a grounder to short that looked like an inning-ending double-play ball in real-time. D’Arnaud was initially ruled safe at first, but a review of the play overturned that call.
Houston’s batters are running out of time.
Luke Jackson came on in relief of A.J. Minter and he looked just as good as Minter did, striking out Carlos Correa, allowing a one-out single to Kyle Tucker and then getting out of the inning by inducing a grounder to second from Yuli Gurriel and striking out Chas McCormick.
Houston’s bullpen has done a terrific job holding serve after Framber Valdez’s short outing.
Jake Odorizzi got yet another out when Joc Pederson flied out to right, but when Dansby Swanson singled to left that was it, with Houston Manager Dusty Baker pulling Odorizzi in favor of Phil Maton. Maton started off hot, striking out Jorge Soler looking.
Freddie Freeman got a two-out infield single on a ball that was a bit too tough for Alex Bregman at third base. But Maton got out of the inning when Ozzie Albies grounded out to third.
The season is over for Atlanta pitcher Charlie Morton, a master of the postseason.
Morton, who was struck by a comebacker in the second inning off Yuli Gurriel’s bat, fractured his right fibula on the play, the team announced Tuesday night. Morton, the team said, is expected to return for spring training in 2022.
Morton, 37, was making the 16th postseason start of a career studded with more victories in winner-take-all showdowns than any pitcher in major league history. During this Atlanta playoff run, he has been the anchor of the rotation, starting Games 1 and 4 of a division series against Milwaukee and Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And he has thrown postseason gems against Houston in the past: a 3-0 record with an E.R.A. of just 0.57. Two of those wins came in 2020, when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.
On Tuesday night in Houston, he threw two and one-third innings, giving up one hit and no runs. He walked two and struck out three.
Incredibly, Morton got three more outs after sustaining a broken leg: a strikeout of Chas McCormick and a line out by Martin Maldonado to end the second, and a strikeout of Jose Altuve for the first out in the bottom of the third.
With Morton out, the Braves will be allowed to add another pitcher to their roster.
A gutsy inning by A.J. Minter kept the score where it was.
He retired Michael Brantley on a deep drive to left that looked like it had Eddie Rosario a bit baffled. Minter stayed in against the right-handed Alex Bregman and rewarded his manager’s faith by striking out Houston’s power-hitting third baseman. The payoff was his being available to pitch to the left-handed Yordan Alvarez, who he got to fly out to center to end the inning.
That will undoubtedly be it for Minter, but he was terrific in two and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on a Dansby Swanson error.
Jake Odorizzi has looked terrific so far in a relief appearance Houston desperately needed to go well.
In his second inning, he got Eddie Rosario to ground out to second and then he struck out both Adam Duvall and Travis d’Arnaud on called third strikes.
In two innings, Odorizzi has yet to allow a hit and has five strikeouts.
Houston is on the board, but the deficit is still large.
A.J. Minter got a quick out when Carlos Correa grounded out to second, but Kyle Tucker followed that with a double to right. That brought up Yuli Gurriel, who woke up the crowd with a long foul ball down the right field line and ultimately settled for a single to left that sent Tucker to third.
With runners on the corners and one out, Chas McCormick hit a rocket of a grounder to shortstop that Dansby Swanson couldn’t handle. The first error of the postseason by a Braves position player allowed Tucker to score and it also let Gurriel motor all the way from first to third.
Minter struck out Martin Maldonado on a foul tip and then finished the inning by getting Jose Altuve to pop out back to the mound.
Ahead of the World Series, Atlanta Manager Brian Snitker was jokingly asked whether his son, Troy Snitker, the co-hitting coach for the Astros, had given him any tips about how to get Jose Altuve out. “I don’t know if he knows,” Brian Snitker replied. But whether Troy Snitker knew anything or not, the Atlanta pitching staff seems, for now, to have figured out Altuve. The Houston leadoff man, who hit .278 and 31 home runs this season, has struck out twice tonight and popped out to the pitcher.
According to Atlanta, Charlie Morton fractured his right fibula and will be out for the rest of the World Series.
Chas McCormick’s rocket to shortstop that Dansby Swanson couldn’t handle has officially been ruled an error.
The Astros make it 5-1 on a sharp grounder.
Chas McCormick hit the ball hard to shortstop and Dansby Swanson couldn’t handle it.
To start the fourth, Houston brought in its third pitcher of the day, with Jake Odorizzi replacing Yimi Garcia. Odorizzi, who is normally a starter, kept Atlanta’s bats fairly quiet.
He struck out Jorge Soler at the end of a grueling 10-pitch at-bat. He then needed only three pitches to strike out Freddie Freeman, catching the reigning National League most valuable player looking at a cutter for strike three.
Odorizzi’s lone blemish came when Ozzie Albies reached first on a soft grounder — again — this one coming by way of first baseman Yuli Gurriel not being able to shovel the ball over to Odorizzi in time with the speedy Albies running. The play was ruled an error, but Odorizzi then struck out Austin Riley to end the inning.
A 20-pitch, three-strikeout, scoreless inning for Odorizzi.
Reporting from Minute Maid Park
The announced attendance for tonight’s game is 42,825, which is more than 700 higher than the stadium’s official capacity thanks to quite a bit of standing-room-only seating. In-person baseball is back.
Atlanta is also into its bullpen after Charlie Morton was forced out of the game by an ankle injury.
Morton, who had taken a comebacker off his ankle in the previous inning, struck out Jose Altuve looking for the second time. But with that, Morton’s day was done. He came out of his follow-through grabbing at his right leg in pain and was quickly removed for a reliever, with A.J. Minter getting an extended warm-up as a result of his coming in because of an injury.
Minter got off to a rocky start when Michael Brantley doubled with a rocket into the right field corner. But he retired Alex Bregman on a grounder to third and got out of the inning by striking out Yordan Alvarez with a vicious 90-m.p.h. cutter that was nowhere near the strike zone.
It was an ankle injury that sent Charlie Morton to the clubhouse early. He had a comebacker hit him in the ankle in the second inning and he came down awkwardly on the same ankle in the third. A big loss for Atlanta.
Charlie Morton gave up one hit and no runs in tonight’s outing, which ended with one out in the third inning. But even though he exited with a five-run lead, he has no chance of being the winning pitcher: To qualify for a win, a starter must throw at least five innings.
Dusty Baker is managing his first World Series game since 2002, when his San Francisco Giants lost to the Angels in seven games. Baker seemed relaxed in his pregame interview, even imitating Houston starter Luis Garcia’s distinctive windup.
He was asked about his musical playlist for the day and about his famous striped wristbands, which he said are the same from the last three games of the American League Championship Series.
“No, I didn’t change them,” he said. “These are the ones I had from the other day. When I win, I use the same ones. When I lose, I give them to some kids.”
As for his pregame music, Baker said he was listening to the great blues musicians James Cotton and Muddy Waters.
“James Cotton used to play with Muddy Waters,” he said. “I saw James Cotton, I don’t know, 30-something years ago, and I saw him 15 years ago or 20 years ago when he was no longer physically able to stand up and play.”
We apologize in advance for this line, but Astros fans were singing the blues, too, when their team fell behind, 5-0, in the third inning.
Charlie Morton is coming out of the game with an injury following a strikeout of Jose Altuve. It appeared to be some sort of lower-leg injury that occurred on his follow-through.
The Houston Astros are already into their bullpen and Atlanta has a 5-0 lead. It’s not looking good for the home team.
Eddie Rosario started off the third with a sharp grounder that sneaked its way through the shift for a single into right. Adam Duvall’s drive didn’t have to sneak anywhere as he connected with a changeup, sending it into the stands in left field for a two-run homer.
With that, Framber Valdez’s day was done. He was yanked in favor of Yimi Garcia having looked nothing like the dominant starter of the A.L.C.S.
Garcia caught Travis d’Arnaud looking at a fastball for strike three, retired Joc Pederson on a fly ball to right and struck out Dansby Swanson on a caught foul tip. A terrific appearance by the reliever, but one that might have come too late.
Framber Valdez’s day is over as he was replaced by Yimi Garcia following Adam Duvall’s two-run homer. He allowed five runs in two-plus innings of work, striking out two and walking one. He gave up two home runs.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Eddie Rosario and Joc Pederson during this Atlanta postseason. But don’t forget Adam Duvall, who hit that two-run homer and was a part of Atlanta’s summertime outfield rebuild. He played for Atlanta just last year, spent most of this season with the Marlins and then returned to Atlanta as a part of a deal just ahead of the trade deadline. Coming into tonight’s game, he was hitting .229 this postseason, including a triple and a homer.
Adam Duvall’s homer makes it 5-0 Atlanta.
Duvall’s rocket over the wall in left brought home Eddie Rosario as Atlanta is really rolling now.
Charlie Morton made quick work of Houston.
He retired Yuli Gurriel, the 2021 American League batting champion, on a comebacker that deflected off him to first baseman Freddie Freeman. He struck out Chas McCormick on four pitches. Then he got Martin Maldonado to line out to Freeman. It was a decidedly more relaxing inning that his hectic first.
Reporting from Minute Maid Park
Framber Valdez induced more ground ball outs than any other pitcher in the majors this year. But there is a red flag so far tonight for the Astros: Valdez has only induced two ground ball outs through his first 13 batters faced over two innings. He is leaving pitches up and Atlanta is hitting a smattering of line drives and fly balls. In fairness to Valdez, he could have two more ground ball outs but for Ozzie Albies. The speedy Atlanta second baseman beat out a high chopper in the first inning that Valdez fielded on the third-base side of the mound, then Albies beat out another ground ball to second baseman Jose Altuve in the second. Atlanta leads 3-0.
Atlanta is up 3-0, and it looks like Houston’s Framber Valdez does not have the same magic working that he mustered in his last start. Travis d’Arnaud started the inning off with an opposite-field single. Joc Pederson liked what he saw, so he did the same. With runners on first and second, Dansby Swanson hit a deep ball to center that was caught at the warning track but allowed both runners to advance.
Jorge Soler came up and hit a ball weakly to shortstop that allowed a run to score but also erased Pederson on the bases because of a baserunning mistake. Regardless, Soler is up to two R.B.I., which makes Manager Brian Snitker’s decision to bat him leadoff look incredibly smart.
Freddie Freeman drew a two-out walk and Ozzie Albies reached first with an infield single after motoring down the line while Jose Altuve took his time throwing to first on a grounder up the middle.
Austin Riley came to the plate with the bases loaded, but Valdez was able to strike him out to end the threat.
Reporting from Minute Maid Park
Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels superstar pitcher/slugger, was presented with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award before the game. Ohtani, who hit 46 home runs and 8 triples while also going 9-2 with a 3.18 earned run average as a pitcher, received a warm ovation from the Houston crowd when he was introduced before the second inning, even though he plays for an American League rival.
“This award is not given out every year, so I know how special it is,” Ohtani said before the game. “I’m not fully sure if I really deserve it, but since Mr. Manfred’s going to give it to me, I’m going to accept it.”
Jorge Soler gives Atlanta a 3-0 lead.
It wasn’t as pretty as his home run, but a fielder’s choice got the job done.
The official scorer has changed the hit-by-pitch on Carlos Correa to a walk. Adjust your scorebooks accordingly.
Charlie Morton got his first out the hard way, sneaking a curve past Jose Altuve for an unexpected strike three of a player who has never struck out 100 times in a season. And the inning didn’t get much easier.
Michael Brantley followed Altuve with a single to right and Morton fell behind Alex Bregman, 3-0, but recovered to retire him on a grounder to first. That brought up Yordan Alvarez, the most valuable player of the American League Championship Series, with two outs and a runner on second. Morton appeared to want no part of Alvarez, walking him on five pitches with only the fourth pitch being anywhere near the strike zone.
Carlos Correa worked a full count and Morton hung a curveball that was initially ruled to have hit Correa but later called ball four.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Morton managed to Houdini his way out of the jam, getting Kyle Tucker to ground out to second to end the threat.
It’s notable that Morton held Houston scoreless but ended up throwing 26 pitches in a difficult inning.
Reporting from Minute Maid Park
It is incredibly loud inside the stadium, but much of it is the public address system pumping out music and the usual, “make some noise,” announcements. The P.A. system is louder than the fan noise, especially in the outfield seats, so when it is not active, the decibel level is not noticeably loud at all. Of course, Jorge Soler’s leadoff home run for Atlanta took a lot of steam out of the crowd.
Let’s briefly go back to Jorge Soler’s home run that gave Atlanta the lead that it has since grown. M.L.B. says it was the first-ever leadoff homer in the top of the first inning of a World Series Game 1. (Got that?) By the way, it came on a sinker that was moving 93 miles an hour, a bit slower than the first two pitches of the at-bat.
Supporters of the Astros and the Braves made their loyalties known at Minute Maid Park in Houston.