HOUSTON (KXAN) — The Houston Astros have to put the champagne back on ice and get ready for a do-or-die World Series game seven.
The Washington Nationals extended Astros pitcher Justin Verlander’s winless streak in the World Series by defeating Houston 7-2 Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.
Game seven is Wednesday at 7:08 p.m. in Houston and a title will be hanging in the balance.
It seemed like Astros party was about to be rocking after several hard-hit, first innings shots off Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, but Washington’s ace got into a rhythm after the first stanza.
Jose Altuve hit a sacrifice fly and Alex Bregman hit a towering solo homer in the first inning to work the Astros fans into a frenzy and grab the team’s only lead of the game at 2-1.
From that point on, Strasburg held the talented Astros hitters at bay pitching 8.1 innings and allowing two runs. Verlander was good, but didn’t match Strasburg’s effort.
In the fifth inning, Verlander gave up Houston’s lead when Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each hit solo home runs for a 3-2 score.
After some controversy in the seventh, the Nats exorcised any possible frustrations when Anthony Rendon hit a two-run blast for a 5-2 lead.
Washington manager Davey Martinez was ejected for arguing an interference call during the seventh inning stretch. Trea Turner was called out for interference on a close play at first base. Turner hit a slow roller to the third base side and was hit by the ball while stretching out toward first base interacting with Yuli Gurriel’s glove. Interference isn’t a reviewable play.
If the call had gone in favor of the Nationals, they would’ve been set up nicely with runners on second and third with no outs. Martinez was livid with the decision.
Rendon gave the Nats even more of a cushion with an RBI double in the ninth inning for the 7-2 result.
The Astros have been in this position before. Houston had to win the 2017 World Series as the visiting team in a game seven situation against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Astros jumped out quickly in that game scoring five runs in the first two innings on their way to the World Series title.
This time, they’ll get a chance to close out a championship at home in a series that has yet to see the home team win a game.