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Houston evens up World Series with 5-2 Game 2 win over Philadelphia

Framber Valdez pitched a gem, Jose Altuve had three hits and Alex Bregman went deep as the Astros tied the World Series at a game apiece.

HOUSTON — Framber Valdez made a five-run lead stand up after Houston’s lightning first-inning burst, Alex Bregman homered and the Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 Saturday night to tie the World Series at one game apiece.

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

Valdez rebounded from a pair of poor outings in last year’s Series to pitch shutout ball into the seventh, and the bullpen survived a couple of jams to close things out.

Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez all doubled as Houston took a two-run lead four pitches in against Zack Wheeler. An error allowed another 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, too.

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

First base umpire Tripp Gibson at first signaled for umps to conference and the call was reversed on a crew chief review when it was determined the ball was just to the foul side of the pole.

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

Ryan Pressly finished the combined six-hitter, giving up a run on an error by first baseman Yuli Gurriel.

Following 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 Series tied 1-1, the Game 2 winner went on to the title 31 times — but just 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 pitched 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 blew by batters with a fastball averaging 95.6 mph and baffled them with his curve, which got three of his strikeouts— all looking. Unusually, he changed his glove and spikes mid-outing.

When the Phillies put two runners on for the only time against him in the sixth, Valdez struck out Game 1 star J.T. Realmuto with high heat, then got Bryce Harper to bounce a first-pitch sinker into an inning-ending double play.

Phillies vs. Astros ninth inning

Houston 5, Philadelphia 2

Philadelphia scored on a fielding error, but Ryan Pressly was able to keep the Phillies at one run.  Houston wins it, 5-2.

Phillies vs. Astros eighth inning

Houston 5, Philadelphia 1

Philadelphia put runners on and had two close calls with Kyle Schwarbar nearly hitting a home run twice, but Houston held Philadelphia scoreless in the top of the frame. 

Houston went down in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Phillies vs. Astros seventh inning

Houston 5, Philadelphia 1

Philadelphia got on the board with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning.

Altuve got his third hit of the night in the bottom of the inning but was caught stealing before Alvarez struck out  

Phillies vs. Astros sixth inning

Houston 5, Philadelphia 0

Valdez again kept Philadelphia off the board

Houston also came up empty in the bottom of the sixth

Phillies vs. Astros fifth inning

Houston 5, Philadelphia 0

The Phillies didn't score in the top of the inning.

In the bottom of the frame, Yordan Alvarez walked before Alex Bregman went deep to left to give Houston a 5-0 lead.

Here's that Alex Bregman swing!

Phillies vs. Astros fourth inning

Houston 3, Philadelphia 0

Valdez put the Phillies down in order in the top of the inning. 

McCormick singled in the bottom of the inning, but was left there.

Phillies vs. Astros third inning

Houston 3, Philadelphia 0

Valdez gave up his first hit, but didn't allow a run in the top of the inning. 

In the bottom of the inning, Houston got one man aboard, but left him stranded.

Phillies vs. Astros second inning

Houston 3, Philadelphia 0

Valdez again gave up one walk...and again pitched around it. Phillies come up empty in the second.

In the bottom of the frame, Chase McCormick drew a walk, but was left there.

Phillies vs. Astros first inning

Houston 3, Philadelphia 0

Framber Valdez gave up a walk in the first inning, but was able to pitch around it. Phillies left one man on base when Bryce Harper lined out to left. 

The Astros answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning with three straight doubles from Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez scored on a throwing error to give Houston a 3-0 lead.

Biggio and Bagwell get things started

Two of the greatest players ever to wear Astros uniforms got things started with the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2.

Houston makes lineup change

Trey Mancini, who started Game 1 of the World Series, will be replaced by Aledmys Díaz. The rest of the lineup is the same.

Here's the Philadelphia lineup that Valdez will face.

Astros vs. Phillies pitching matchups

Phillies: Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 163 strikeouts); Astros: Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.77 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 194 strikeouts)


Phillies vs. Houston head-to-head

BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies take the field in Game 2 of the World Series, with the Phillies up 1-0.

Houston is 106-56 overall and 55-26 at home. Astros hitters are batting a collective .247, which ranks sixth in the AL.

Philadelphia has an 87-75 record overall and a 40-41 record on the road. Phillies hitters are batting a collective .252, which ranks fifth in the NL.

The teams play Saturday for the fifth time this season. The season series is tied 2-2.

Pre-game festivities

Former Astros stars Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell will be involved in the ceremonial first pitch. Houston's own Bun B will have the 'Play Ball' call. And Little Big Town will perform the national anthem before the first pitch. Street Fest is also part of the pre-game fun

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