World Series

Astros Force Game 6 in Houston

Manager Dusty Baker made important lineup changes that helped the victory

By Edward "Figgy Fig" Gilliard November 1, 2021

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa after their win in Game 5 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in Atlanta. The Astros won 9-5. The Braves lead the series 3-2 games. 

The Astros stay alive in Atlanta as they beat the Braves 9-5 in game 5 of the World Series. There was a surprising, but most necessary change in the lineup by dropping a struggling Alex Bregman from third to seventh in the batting order.

Carlos Correa moved up one spot, and that seemed to be the difference in a make-or-break Series game for the ‘Stros.

Here’s What Happened in Game 5

Top of the first inning, the Astros didn’t get anything going. Jose Altuve flies out, Michael Brantley walks, and Correa grounded out into a double play to end the inning.

Framber Valdez was on the bump, but it wasn’t the start the Astros were looking for. The Braves got things rolling with when Jorge Soler singled to shallow left field. Freddie Freeman hit a fly out to center field, and Ozzie Albies touched base on a fielder’s choice with Jorge Soler out at second.

With an Austin Riley single and an Eddie Rosario walk, Framber now had the bases loaded in the first inning which is nothing new in this postseason for the Astros. Adam Duvall hit a grand slam giving the Braves a 4-0 head start, just a gut punch to the Astros early in the game.

The top of the second saw Yuli Gurriel hit a single and Kyle Tucker walk. Alex Bregman who had been dropped down in the batting order, doubled to deep right field to score Gurriel. It was a much-needed hit for Bregman.

Martin Maldonado hit a sac fly that brought in Kyle Tucker to make it a 4-2 Game.

At the top of the third, Jose Altuve reached first base on a fielding error by Dansby Swanson. Brantley walked and Carlos Correa hit a double to center field that brought in Altuve, making it 4-3 with Brantley on third.

After a Yordan Alvarez fly out, Yuli Gurriel grounded out to score Brantley to tie the game at 4-4.

Later, Freddie Freeman hit a home run to center field off Valdez, to give the Braves the lead 5 - 4. Valdez was done after 2.2 innings pitched, giving up four hits including two home runs and two walks.

Top of the fifth, Astros bats come alive starting with a Correa single to center field. Gurriel singled to shallow center field, moving Correa to second. Kyle Tucker grounded out, moving the runner to second and third.

The Braves intentionally walk Bregman to load the bases, and Martin Maldonado draws a walk to tie the game 5-5.

‘Stros fan favorite Marwin Gonzalez was pinch-hitting, and hit a single to left-center field scoring Gurriel and Bregman. This led to the Astros getting a 7-5 lead in a crucial must-win Game 5.

In the top of the seventh inning, Kyle Tucker doubled, and Martin Maldonado broke through a bit of a postseason slump to hit a single to score Tucker, giving the Astros an 8-5 lead. Maldonado had his third RBI.

In the eighth inning the Astros added another run to their lead. Altuve had a single to center field and a stolen base, which was reviewed, but was still ruled safe. Brantley grounded out, moving Altuve to third.

Carlos Correa singled to left field, scoring Altuve, and the Astros escape out of Atlanta with a 9-5 victory.

All the moves Dusty made before this game, which included moving Bregman down in the lineup, and moving Correa up, has paid off.

Bregman went 1-4 with a key RBI, and Correa went 3-5 with 2 RBIs. Even Dusty pinch-hitting Marwin Gonzalaz paid off well.

After the first inning grand slam, the Astros refused to just lay down. They fought it out in this crucial Game 5 to force their way back to Houston for Game 6. A lot of chess playing for Dusty in the National League, but now they are going back to the American League to try and force a Game 7. 

Game 6 of the World Series will take place Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Minute Maid Park starting at 7:09 p.m.

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