Atlanta’s ninth dominated the Texans from the start to take the lead in the Fall Classic
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When you have 11 strikeouts and 12 hits connected, you had great teamwork. Yes, they lost Charlie Morton to a fracture, but the Atlanta Braves are ready to be champions… although they still have three wins to go. This ninth gave an exhibition of how to play and win a World Series game: hitting that hurts from the start and a killer pitching. And before that, the Houston Astros did not have the capacity to react.
The Braves scored five runs in the first three sets, the starter went 2.1 innings without damage before leaving with a fracture and the bullpen completely erased Jose Altuve and company, who were prescribed 11 strikeouts, for Atlanta to win Game 1 by slate of 6-2.
The ninth champion of the National showed during the Regular Season that they know how to win on the road by having more victories on the road than at home (46 vs 42), and they start the World Series with a solid victory outside their ball park, first victory in a Fall Classic for the franchise since October 21, 1996, when they beat the New York Yankees 4-0.
Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall finished with two RBIs, on a night where they connected 12 hits, while the pitching crushed the Astros by prescribing 11 chocolates. For their part, José Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa went 12-0 at bat.
FIRST BATTER, ALREADY WON 1-0
The Braves waited for nothing to strike the first blow. On the third pitch of the game, Cuban Jorge Soler made history by being the first batter to hit a home run in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series. With that bombing of the left field stands, the Braves were already leading 1-0.
Then aggressive baseball followed. Ozzie Albies hit and stole second. Austin Riley arrived to give a double with which Albies easily put it 2-0 on the board.
The visitors’ offense continued to burn and at the top of the second set was a busy ball from Soler that drove Travis d’Arnaud to the plate for 3-0.
And the Braves still had more gunpowder in storage and in the third inning they added two more touchdowns to their account. With a home run by Adam Duvall (with Eddie Rosario on base) they shut down the Minute Maid, whose decibels reached almost zero when they saw a 5-0 on the board.
Thus, while the Atlanta offense was in charge of putting 5 runs on the electronic board, Charlie Morton was intractable … and he was until the last out he took, a strikeout to José Altuve when opening the bottom of the third inning, moment in the that he had to leave because the fracture in the fibula in his right leg stopped him from continuing.
And while this was bad news for the Braves, the bullpen played like the bullpen of the NL champion team. Going into an emergency situation, they worked 6.2 innings in which they only allowed seven hits and two runs, with 8 strikeouts, making the Atlanta bats in no time able to ignite.
THE WORK OF THE BULLPEN
AJ Minter: 2.2 innings / 3 hits / 1 run / 3 strikeouts
Luke Jackson: 1.2 innings / 1 hit Tyler Matzek: 1.1 innings / 1 run / 2 strikeouts
Will Smith: 1 inning / 1 walk
Houston scored once in the fourth and one more in the eighth, while at the top of the 8th inning, the Braves added their sixth touchdown when Dansby Swanson hit the plate on a hit and run.
With a 1-0 lead in the World Series, the Atlanta Braves will return to Minute Maid Park this Wednesday looking for a second hit, sending Max Fried to the center of the diamond, while the Astros will have Mexican José Urquidy as their starter.