Jose Altuve, Astros Level World Series 1-1 With Game 2 Win vs. Braves

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 28, 2021

Houston Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy throws during the first inning in Game 2 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Houston Astros have tied the World Series at one game apiece after beating the visiting Atlanta Braves 7-2 on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.

Houston's four-run second inning proved to be the difference, with Jose Siri, Martin Maldonado and Michael Brantley all smacking RBI singles to help give the Astros a 5-1 lead.

Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy and the Houston bullpen took care of the rest. Urquidy struck out seven batters over five innings, allowing two runs.


Three strikeouts for José Urquidy in the first. 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/BfXYZwG7jq">pic.twitter.com/BfXYZwG7jq</a>

Houston relievers shut out Atlanta for the final four frames.

Atlanta catcher Travis d'Arnaud and Houston second baseman Jose Altuve each hit solo home runs.

D'Arnaud's blast put Atlanta up 1-0 in the second.

Atlanta Braves @Braves

A dʼArnaud doubter!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BattleATL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BattleATL</a> <a href="https://t.co/vusQVkpHvK">pic.twitter.com/vusQVkpHvK</a>

Altuve's shot added more insurance to the Astros with a 7-2 edge.

Houston Astros @astros

Gonna hang one on Jose? That's Brave.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ForTheH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ForTheH</a> <a href="https://t.co/8upPtYUVgK">pic.twitter.com/8upPtYUVgK</a>

He also added a first-inning double and scored on an Alex Bregman sacrifice fly.

Atlanta defeated Houston 6-2 on Tuesday to begin the 2021 Fall Classic.

Notable Performances

Atlanta SP Max Fried (Loss): 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Atlanta C Travis d'Arnaud: 2-of-4, HR, 2 R, RBI

Atlanta DH Jorge Soler: 1-of-4, 2B

Houston SP Jose Urquidy (Win): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 7 K

Houston 2B Jose Altuve: 2-of-5, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 R

Houston LF Michael Brantley: 2-of-4, RBI

Small Ball Sends Astros to Game 2 Win

The long ball helped the Astros all season to the tune of 221 home runs en route to their American League West crown. Eight players hit 12 or more home runs, and a quartet hit 26 or more out of the park.

Yordan Alvarez's postseason power surge has been the difference thus far in October, but on Wednesday, the Astros won in a different fashion and with a new cast of characters.

The bottom of the order got things going to make the difference.

With the score tied at one, Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel hit singles to put runners on the corners with one out.

That's when Siri came to the dish and ran out an infield single to give Houston the 2-1 edge.

Houston Astros @astros

Hey Siri, give us the lead.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ForTheH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ForTheH</a> <a href="https://t.co/lEFqHsTRrC">pic.twitter.com/lEFqHsTRrC</a>

Maldonado, who hit .172 during the regular season, then plated Gurriel with an RBI single for a 3-1 lead. An Eddie Rosario overthrow then scored Siri, who rushed home for the fourth Astro run of the game.

Houston Astros @astros

MACHETE.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ForTheH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ForTheH</a> <a href="https://t.co/cR9lJd20QV">pic.twitter.com/cR9lJd20QV</a>

Brantley then finished the outburst with his own RBI single to score Maldonado.

Siri, Maldonado and Brantley aren't known as power hitters. Maldonado had the most homers among them with 12 this year, although Siri's four came in 21 contests.

Still, Houston showed it doesn't need the top half of the order to bash home runs to win ballgames. Bregman, Alvarez and Carlos Correa, who hit third through fifth in the order, notably went just 1-for-9.

On Wednesday, the Astros' bottom half of the order got it done with some timely hitting and baserunning, and Altuve and the pitching staff did the rest.

Atlanta Knocks on Door, But Urquidy, Astros Don't Let Them In

Atlanta had its chances to break this game open a la Game 1, but missed opportunities ultimately spelled doom for the National League champs.

They started early, with Jorge Soler finding himself at bat with runners on second and first with two out in the first. However, Urquidy got him swinging with a 94 mph fastball to end the threat.

Atlanta looked like it might have Urquidy and the Astros on the ropes in the fifth, with d'Arnaud landing on second following a single and wild pitch.

Up came NL Championship Series MVP Rosario, one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Urquidy got him to ground out, but a Freddie Freeman single kept hopes alive to plate d'Arnaud and cut the score to 5-2.

Ozzie Albies then strolled to the dish and hit a screaming liner down the first-base line, but Gurriel was there to snag the ball.

The Astros bullpen then answered the phone for the final 12 outs. A one-out Soler double offered some intrigue in the sixth, but a pair of harmless outs in a Joc Pederson flyout and an Adam Duvall popout ended the frame.

And that was pretty much it for Atlanta, who managed just two walks and no hits in the final three innings and didn't advance any runners past first in that span.

The combination of Cristian Javier, Phil Maton, Ryan Pressly and Kendall Graveman tossed four shutout innings. That was more than good enough to send the series back to Atlanta tied at one.

What's Next?

Atlanta will host Houston for Game 3 from Truist Park on Friday at 8:09 p.m. ET.