Astros win wild Game 2, tie the World Series at a game apiece

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6 in Game 2 of the 2017 World Series. In a rollercoaster game that featured eight home runs, the Astros prevailed by getting to the Dodger bullpen, which has been the strength of the team all postseason.

The Astros offense exploded late in the game hitting four home runs off the Dodger bullpen. George Springer delivered the game winning hit on a two run homer in the eleventh inning. Despite being down to their final three outs in the ninth and a 2-0 series deficit near in their future, the Astros battled back and stole Game 2 to tie the best of seven series at a game apiece.

Rich Hill looked rusty in the first, he had trouble fining the strike zone and surrendered a lead off walk to George Springer. Despite struggles, Hill worked an 18 pitch 1-2-3 inning. Astros starter Justin Verlander started the game dominant, as he has all Postseason. Verlander struck out Chris Taylor and Corey Seager, and got Justin Turner to pop out for a quick 11 pitch 1-2-3 first inning.

In the second Hill looked to get on track, getting the leadoff man Yuli Gurriel to line out and striking out Brian McCann and Marwin Gonzalez for a quick 1-2-3 inning. Verlander came out in the bottom half of the second and contiued to shut down the Dodger offense, he struck out Cody Bellinger and got Yasiel Puig to pop out, he ended the inning by striking out Joc Pederson.

The Astros got to Hill in the third, Josh Reddick led off the inning with a single, Verlander advanced Reddick to second on a sacrafice bunt. Springer followed with a single that advanced Reddick to third, Alex Bregman, who homered in Game 1, delivered again, a single to center plated Reddick to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. Hill limited the damage by striking by consecutive strikeouts of Altuve and Correa.

Verlander shut down the Dodgers in third, retiring the side in order for a perfect first three innings.

A leadoff walk to Guriel in the fourth put the Astros in business again, a passed ball advanced Guriel to second. Hill got McCann to flyout for the first out of the inning, he followed by striking out Gonzalez for the second out. Hill intentionally walked Reddick to get to Verlander, the move paid off as Hill struck out Verlander to end the inning and escape the jam. In the bottom half of the inning the Dodgers finally earned a baserunner, Taylor worked a leadoff walk that was followed by Seager grounding into a force out at second. Verlander however got Turner to ground into an inning ending double play.

The Dodgers sent RHP Kenta Maeda into the game to start the fifth, closing the books on Hills night at 4 IP 1 ER 3 H 7 K 2 BB. Maeda has been dominant in his new relief role in the postseason, and he was no different in the fifth recording a quick 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the fifth the Dodgers to go quietly, Verlander recorded two quick outs. Pederson who was in the lineup because of his ability to handle Verlander's velocity Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Roberts' decision paid off as Pederson launched a game tying solo shot into the right field seats for the Dodgers first hit of the game. Verlander followed the homer by retiring Barnes to end the inning.

Maeda remained in the game to start the sixth inning. Correa led off the inning with a single. Guriel popped up and with the lefty McCann coming up, Maeda's night was done. The Dodgers sent in LHP Tony Watson and on the first pitch of the at bat he got McCann to ground into an inning ending double play.

In the bottom half of the sixth Verlander quickly retired Utley and pinch hitter Andre Ethier. For the second night in a row Chris Taylor worked a two out walk, the results were the same as yesterday. Corey Seager's launched a two run homer into the left field seats to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Verlander escaped the inning following the homer by getting Turner to pop out.

The Dodgers sent Ross Stripling into the game to start the seventh, Stripling issued a four pitch walk and his night was done. RHP Brandon Morrow replaced Stripling and he forced Reddick to ground into a double play. A two out infield singles by Evan Gattis was followed by Springer grounding out to end the inning.

The Astros sent RHP Will Harris into the game for the bottom of the seventh, closing the door on Verlander's night at 6 IP 2 ER 2 H 5 K 2 BB. Bellinger led off the inning and reached first on a throwing error by Bregman. A wild pitch allowed Bellinger to advance to second and the Dodgers looked to be business. Puig grounded out to advance Bellinger to third. Harris however was able to strand Bellinger at third by striking out Pederson and Barnes to end the inning.

Morrow remained in the game to start the eighth but a lead off ground rule double by Bregman was just out of the reach of Puig in right. Following the double Dave Roberts wanted to take no chances and sent in his closer Kenley Jansen for a six out save opportunity. Jansen got Altuve to ground out but Bregman advanced to third on the play. Correa followed with an RBI base hit to center to make it a 3-2 game. The run ended the Dodger bullpen's consecutive scoreless inning streak at 28.

Jansen followed by getting Gurriel to pop out and struck out McCann to end the inning.

The Astros sent RHP Joe Musgrove into the game for the bottom of the eighth. Musgrove made quick work of the Dodgers retiring Utley, Kiké Hernández, who entered the game on a double switch with Jansen and Taylor in order for a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Jansen went back out for the ninth to try convert the final three outs of a six out save opportunity. Gonzalez started the inning with a leadoff homer off Jansen to tie the game at 3-3.

For Jansen it was his first blown save of the postseason and the first run he has allowed all postseason. Jansen retired the next two batters but allowed a two out double to Springer. Jansen was able to strand Springer at second by getting Bregman to ground out to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth the Astros sent their closer Ken Giles to the mound to try to send the game to extra innings. Giles made quick work of the Dodgers, retiring Seager, Turner and Bellinger in order.

The Dodgers sent RHP Josh Fields into the game for the start of the 10th inning, the Astros came out swinging, back to back homers by Altuve and Correa made it a 5-3 game.

Fields continued to struggle allowing a double by Guriel and his night was done. LHP Tony Cingrani entered the game for the Dodgers and he quickly got McCann to flyout to center. An Intentional walk to Gonzalez who hit the game tying homer in the ninth brought up Reddick and he grounded into an inning ending double play.

Giles remained in the game for the bottom of the 10th inning and Puig took him deep to make it a 5-4 game. Yasmani Grandal struck out in his first at bat of the World Series for the first out of the inning. After a strikeout to Barnes, Logan Forsythe worked a walk to bring up Hernández. A wild pitch by Giles allowed Forsythe to move to second and Hernández cashed in the tying run on a RBI base hit to right to tie the game at 5-5.

Giles' night was done after the base hit, the Astros sent in RHP Chris Devenski and he quickly ended the inning by getting Taylor to fly out and end the inning.

New addition to the Dodgers postseason roster Brandon McCarthy entered the game in the 11th inning for his first career postseason appearance. Cameron Maybin led off the inning with a base hit to center, with Springer batting Maybin stole second to put the go ahead run at second with no outs. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, Springer launched a two run homer into the right field seats, giving the Astros a 7-5 lead. McCarthy was able to settle down and retire the next three batters.

Devenski remained in the game for the bottom of the eleventh as he looked to close out Game 2. Devenski quickly retired Seager and Turner bringing up Charlie Culberson with the Dodgers down to their last out. Culberson hit a solo shot to make it a 7-6 game. Puig who homered in the 10th stepped up to the plate as the tying run, in a nine pitch battle with Devenski, Puig struck out to end the game and tie the series a 1-1.

Game 3 of the 2017 World Series is Friday night, the Dodgers will send RHP Yu Darvish to the mound, the Astros will counter with RHP Lance McCullers.