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One of the tougher challenges of the MLB postseason this year has been playing the Atlanta Braves at home. On Saturday night, Atlanta defeated the Houston Astros, 3-2, to improve to a 7-0 postseason record when playing at Truist Park this October.
The Braves are now just a Sunday night Game 5 dub at Truist away from winning their first World Series since 1995.
Throughout the Fall Series, wins by Atlanta have equally felt like losses from the Astros — stemming from the latter’s lackluster offense.
Houston’s lineup of batters was seen as the deeper unit between both teams coming in, but the Astros haven’t been able to find a score outside of José Altuve.
Altuve remained the only constant, with patience for Alex Bregman (going 1-for-14, with five strikeouts) to snap out of his postseason funk quickly running out of time and Carlos Correa making a cameo by chipping in on the night’s first score. Altuve hit his 23rd postseason homer in the fourth to continue climbing history, behind only Manny Ramirez (29) in postseason scores.
Even after facing some solid pitching by Houston’s Zack Greinke, Atlanta only needed a jolt of offense in the bottom of the seventh, down 2-1, to win the game.
Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler homered back to back — swinging the momentum in Atlanta’s favor, going up 3-2 heading into the eighth. The road ahead looked promising for fans at Truist after the superb inning from the Braves.
Atlanta’s live audience on Saturday also welcomed former president Donald Trump, who joined Braves fans with his own tomahawk chop.
In the subsequent inning, Altuve knocked a pitch deep left that fell just yards away from becoming his 24th postseason score and the game-tying homer. Rather than granting Altuve some time on the bases, Braves’ Eddie Rosario hustled for the ball and perfectly snatched the cruising line drive.
In that moment, the NLCS MVP earned the highlight of the night and had a significant impact on Atlanta maintaining the lead for the win.
Sunday night’s Game 5 will either crown a 2021 champ or extend into Houston for Game 6 on Tuesday.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela