Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall Lead Braves to World Series Game 1 Win vs. Astros

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 27, 2021

Atlanta Braves' Jorge Soler runs a home run during the first inning of Game 1 in baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Round 1 of the Fall Classic belongs to the Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in Tuesday's Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park. Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall hit home runs for the victors, who are now just three wins away from their first championship since 1995.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Braves take Game 1 of the World Series 👀<br><br>Atlanta's pitching lifts them to a 1-0 series lead over the Astros <a href="https://t.co/TAT6GLkKjE">pic.twitter.com/TAT6GLkKjE</a>

A solid showing from the bullpen wasn't enough for the Astros, who now must win Game 2 just to split the first two contests at home and avoid falling into a daunting hole before heading to Atlanta.

Notable Player Stats

  • Jorge Soler, DH, ATL: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
  • Adam Duvall, CF, ATL: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
  • Michael Brantley, LF, HOU: 3-for-5
  • Kyle Tucker, RF, HOU: 2-for-4, 1 R

Bullpen Saves Game After Braves Lose Morton

It's not often that negative news is one of the biggest headlines for a team that wins Game 1 of the World Series, but that was the case for the Braves.

Charlie Morton appeared well on his way to an impressive showing while allowing a single hit and striking out three in 2.1 scoreless innings but saw his day cut short by an injury. Atlanta announced he suffered a right fibula fracture that will keep him sidelined until spring training of the 2022 campaign.

B/R Walk-Off @BRWalkoff

Charlie Morton after comebacker that led to fractured fibula:<br><br>- Strikeout<br>- Line out<br>- Strikeout

Morton helped anchor a Braves rotation that was missing Mike Soroka all season and figured to be in line to start two or perhaps three games in the series against the Astros.

Instead, the bullpen was immediately thrown into the fire and asked to protect a 5-0 lead.

A.J. Minter was first and largely brilliant while throwing a career-high 43 pitches. He gave up one run when Chas McCormick reached and Kyle Tucker scored on an error by Dansby Swanson but escaped runners on the corners and one out after that by striking out Martin Maldonado and retiring Jose Altuve.

Luke Jackson preserved a scoreless sixth by striking out McCormick with a runner in scoring position and retired two in the seventh before giving way to Tyler Matzek, who ended the frame by striking out Alex Bregman.

B/R Walk-Off @BRWalkoff

Don’t run on Eddie!<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a>) <a href="https://t.co/ti0cVudaP8">pic.twitter.com/ti0cVudaP8</a>

B/R Walk-Off @BRWalkoff

Straight up not having a good time. <a href="https://t.co/kPq7KtZqAn">pic.twitter.com/kPq7KtZqAn</a>

Matzek was anything but effective in the eighth but still managed to give up just one run after a leadoff triple from Yordan Alvarez thanks in part to Eddie Rosario throwing out Yuli Gurriel trying to stretch a single into a double. Will Smith closed the door from there on a clutch and extended showing from Atlanta's bullpen.

Astros Can't Overcome Valdez's Poor Start

One batter.

That's all it took for Atlanta's lineup to give a rude welcome to Astros starter Framber Valdez. Soler launched a solo homer and became the first player in Major League Baseball history to lead off the top of the first inning in Game 1 of the World Series with a long ball.

It was just the start of the Braves' onslaught with Valdez on the mound. Austin Riley drove in Ozzie Albies with a double in the first inning, Soler added another RBI with a groundout in the second inning and Duvall extended the lead to 5-0 with a two-run homer in the third inning.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JORGE SOLER STARTS THE WORLD SERIES WITH A BANG 💥<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBONFOX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLBONFOX</a>) <br> <a href="https://t.co/mjNCdGTC68">pic.twitter.com/mjNCdGTC68</a>

B/R Walk-Off @BRWalkoff

Braves start hot! <br><br>2-0 lead after a Riley double <a href="https://t.co/Y0H3Sod5KW">pic.twitter.com/Y0H3Sod5KW</a>

B/R Walk-Off @BRWalkoff

The Braves 🔥🔥🔥<br><br>Adam Duvall’s homer makes it 5-0 in the 3rd 😳<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a>) <a href="https://t.co/rieELiXkxh">pic.twitter.com/rieELiXkxh</a>

Duvall was the final batter Valdez faced as he failed to record an out in the third inning while giving up five runs and eight hits overall. The performance was a far cry from his showing in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series when he gave up one run in eight dominant innings.

Houston's bullpen deserves plenty of credit for keeping the team within relative striking distance.

Yimi Garcia, Jake Odorizzi, Phil Maton, Ryne Stanek and Brooks Raley combined to allow just one run in seven innings in a performance that could set the tone for the rest of the series when the bullpen is called upon in high-leverage situations.

Still, it wasn't enough to overcome Valdez's poor start.

What's Next?

The series remains in Houston for Wednesday's Game 2.


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