The lead was early Wednesday night, with the Houston Astros pulling away from the Atlanta Braves 4-1 before the third inning — a vengeful performance after Houston's Game 1 loss on Tuesday.
Pitching for the Astros was on point in Game 2 at Minute Maid Park, with José Urquidy acing his assignment on the mound. His last start came against the Boston Red Sox (1 2/3 innings pitched, six runs allowed) which provided a good bit of drama heading into the contest for the Astros bullpen: roll with the vet who's faced the pressures of the Fall Classic in Urquidy, or go with rookie Luis Garcia (11-8, 3.48 ERA in the regular season).
The move paid off for Houston as Urquidy limited Atlanta's offense to two runs on six hits — also recording seven strikeouts prior to his exit after five innings pitched.
With solid pitching dodging Atlanta's ardent swinging — carried over from Tuesday's six-run performance — the Astros pushed ahead with an early lead after scoring four times in the second inning: three runners coming home and Jose Altuve hitting a score into the fan sections deep left.
Altuve scored his 22nd postseason home run in the seventh inning to put the Astros up 7-2. Altuve's run piled on the historic postseason that led him to a World Series tie at two games. On Wednesday, Altuve tied Bernie Williams for second-most homers in the MLB playoffs. During the ALCS, the 31 year old reached the exclusive group postseason history to cross the 20-homer mark: including Derek Jeter (20), Williams and Manny Ramirez (29).
Urquidy found his own bit of history on Wednesday night: becoming the first-ever Mexican-born player to earn multiple World Series wins, per MLB Stats.
The series flips to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 — both games at Truist Park, with Game 3 slated for Friday and Game 4 on Saturday.
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