Astros close out World Series with convincing Game 2 win over Phillies

Framber Valdez hit a five-run lead after Houston’s first-inning blitz, Alex Bregman beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Saturday night to tie the World Series at one game apiece.

Just like in game 1, the Astros jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Unlike ace Justin Verlander in Game 1, Valdez and Houston held on.

Valdez bounced back from a pair of bad outings in last year’s Series to pitch the seventh, and the bullpen survived a couple of jams to close things out.

2022 World Series Game 2: Philadelphia Phillies v.  Houston Astros
Pitcher Framber Valdez of the Houston Astros returns to the dugout in the seventh inning during Game 2 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

Logan Riely/MLB Photos/Getty Images

Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez each doubled as Houston took a two-run lead on four pitches off Zack Wheeler. An error allowed one more run in the first and Bregman added a two-run homer in the fifth.

A day after coming back for a 6-5 win in 10 innings. Philadelphia tried to rally in this one as well.

With the Phillies trailing by four runs, Kyle Schwarber hit a drive deep down the right-field line with one man on in the eighth against Rafael Montero, who had originally been ruled a two-run homer by right-field umpire James Hoye.

First base umpire Tripp Gibson initially signaled for conference umps, and the call was reversed on a crew chief’s evaluation when it was determined that the ball was right on the foul side of the pole.

Schwarber, who led the NL in home runs this season, then hit a long drive that was caught on the right field wall.

Ryan Pressley finished with a combined six hits, giving up a run on an error by first baseman Yuli Gurriel.

After the split in Houston, the series resumes Monday night when Citizens Bank Park hosts the series for the first time since 2009.

Of 61 previous 1-1 Series ties, the winner of Game 2 has won the title 31 times — but only four of the last 14.

After struggling to a 19.29 ERA in a pair of series starts in last year’s six-game loss to Atlanta, Valdez stepped up with polish and poise. His cheeks glistening with sweat, the 28-year-old left-hander struck out nine and walked three, allowing four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

He hit with a fastball that averaged 95.6 mph and confused them with his curve, which had three of his strikeouts — all seen. Unusually, he switched gloves and spikes in the middle of the outing.

When the Phillies put two runners on for the only time against him in the sixth, Valdez hit Game 1 starter JT Realmuto with a hot out, then got Bryce Harper to pop out a runner on first into a groundout double play.

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