Astros start fast, top Dodgers 5-3 for 2-1 World Series lead

HOUSTON (AP) A perfect fit in their own place, the Houston Astros are halfway home.

George Springer and the Astros broke out the bats early this time to keep up their unbeaten October run at spirited Minute Maid Park, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

''We're very comfortable here,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

You can say that again.

Houston moved two wins from its first championship, but the game also included this: Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture shortly after homering off Japanese star Yu Darvish. Major League Baseball will follow up, and punishment is possible.

The ballpark was booming hours earlier, with cheers, chants and a train whistle echoing beneath the closed roof.

Deep in the heart of football country, a sellout crowd stood much of the evening. And with every Houston batter getting a hit or walk, fans enjoyed the Friday Night Sights.

''The energy in the building is second to none,'' Hinch said. ''It's loud. They're loud from the very beginning.''

Coming off a dramatic rally to win Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, the Astros improved to 7-0 at home this postseason. Jose Altuve & Co. have dominated, too, outscoring the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers 36-10 in that span.

Gurriel homered to begin a four-run burst in the second inning that sent Darvish to the shortest start of his career.

Back in the dugout, Gurriel put his fingers to the side of his eyes and said ''chinito'' - a derogatory Spanish term that translates literally to ''little Chinese.'' Gurriel, from Cuba, previously played in Japan.

''I feel bad and I apologize for anybody who got offended,'' Gurriel said through a translator.

Darvish, through a translator, said, ''Acting like that, you just disrespect all the people around the world.''

Astros curveballer Lance McCullers Jr. wobbled, but protected the lead into the sixth.Brad Peacock rose to the occasion with 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief for his first pro save.

With every pitch by Peacock in the ninth, the decibel level increased.

''To tell you the truth, when I was out there a couple of times, I got the chills from them screaming so loud,'' he said.

Springer lined a leadoff double in the first and the Astros went on to win a home game for the first time in the World Series. They were swept by the White Sox in 2005, and this win left them two victories from a most elusive championship.

Game 4 will be Saturday night when Charlie Morton starts for Houston. Left-hander Alex Wood pitches for the Dodgers, facing a lineup that has put at least one runner on in 14 straight innings.

''Obviously, this crowd is into it. Very educated, very enthusiastic,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''They've got some confidence over there, that team.''

McCullers left in the sixth as Los Angeles scored twice to cut into a 5-1 deficit.

Peacock followed, and shouldered the load for a shaky bullpen. The right-hander was nearly perfect, walking one and striking out four.

''It was awesome,'' said Peacock, who made 21 starts and 13 relief appearances during the regular season. ''I've never experienced anything like that in my life.''

Coupled with four shutout innings from McCullers to finish off the Yankees in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, the unconventional Astros became the first team to have two saves of three-plus innings in one postseason.

On a night when a lot went right for Houston, also credit third base coach Gary Pettis, who's been having quite a postseason. He boldly sent Josh Reddick careening home on a wild throw by reliever Tony Watson for a two-out run in the fifth.

The Astros rode the momentum of a thrilling victory Wednesday night in Los Angeles, where Marwin Gonzalez hit a tying homer in the ninth on an 0-2 pitch from star closer Kenley Jansen, and Houston went deep three times in extra innings before hanging on to win 7-6 in 11 on Springer's two-run shot.

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger almost won that game with a drive that was caught on the warning track in the ninth. He fanned all four times up in Game 3, leaving him 0 for 11 with seven strikeouts in the Series.

''I think he's just in that funk right now where he's chasing balls out of the strike zone,'' Roberts said.

This game wasn't nearly as dramatic as the previous one, not that the home crowd minded.

Fans were revved up from the start when injured Houston Texas defensive end J.J. Watt - who has raised more than $37 million for relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey - hobbled out to the mound on crutches to throw the first ball.

Soon, it was time for the Houston hitters to take over.

Gurriel homered into the Crawford Boxes in left to begin the second - he became the 12th hitter already to homer in this Series. Reddick followed with a double and Evan Gattis, the designated hitter with the game in an American League park, drew a walk.

Gonzalez launched a drive off the wall in left-center and wound up with an RBI single when Gattis held at second , seeing if the ball would be caught. Brian McCann singled home another run with one of his three hits , and Alex Bregman's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.

When Altuve doubled, Darvish was done after 1 2/3 innings. He threw 49 pitches and the Astros swung and missed only once.

Darvish had done well at Minute Maid, going 4-1. That included a 2013 start when he was one out from a perfect game for the Rangers before Gonzalez singled.

''The fastball command wasn't there, and the slider was backing up. So he just really didn't have the feel and couldn't get any type of rhythm going,'' Roberts said.

Last month, Darvish and several Dodgers players wore Houston Strong T-shirts to raise money for hurricane relief. The four-time All-Star who previously played in Texas also contributed to the relief efforts.

On Thursday, Darvish kidded that maybe his goodwill would lead to good luck.

''Since I made that donation, maybe I can use a ball that doesn't have much pop in it,'' he said through a translator.

Nope, didn't quite work out that way.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
LAD1-2
001002000342
HOU2-1
04001000X5120
  • W: L. McCullers (1-0)L: Y. Darvish (2-1)S: B. Peacock (1)
  • HR: HOU - Y. Gurriel (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
C. Taylor CF30000102.244.404.561.9651.0
C. Seager SS31000112.273.407.500.9071.5
J. Turner 3B41100001.318.412.6141.0253.0
C. Bellinger 1B40000042.213.245.383.628-2.0
Y. Puig RF40110011.341.426.5851.0111.5
L. Forsythe 2B20100000.304.467.348.8143.0
a- C. Utley PH-2B20000000.000.176.000.1760.0
A. Barnes C20000001.219.306.344.6490.0
b- Y. Grandal PH-C20000000.000.273.000.2730.0
J. Pederson DH21100110.300.364.8001.1643.5
E. Hernandez LF10000101.389.500.9441.4441.0
c- A. Ethier PH-LF00000100.222.364.556.9191.0
  • a-fouled out for Forsythe in the 6th
  • b-flied out for Barnes in the 7th
  • c-walked for Hernandez in the 7th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF50100016.246.328.421.7491.5
A. Bregman 3B30010112.200.250.418.6681.5
J. Altuve 2B50100024.345.429.6911.1191.0
C. Correa SS50100015.293.328.569.8970.5
Y. Gurriel 1B51211001.340.386.547.9338.0
J. Reddick RF42200001.212.268.231.4995.0
E. Gattis DH11100300.318.467.5451.0125.0
M. Gonzalez LF41110014.170.264.277.5412.5
B. McCann C40310000.182.265.227.4934.0
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Turner, J. Pederson (2)
    • RBI - Y. Puig (8)
    BATTING
    • 2B - G. Springer (4), J. Altuve, Y. Gurriel (6), J. Reddick
    • HR - Y. Gurriel
    • SF - A. Bregman
    • RBI - A. Bregman (8), Y. Gurriel (5), M. Gonzalez (4), B. McCann (6)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - L. Forsythe (2)
    FIELDING
    • E - J. Turner (2), T. Watson
    FIELDING
    • DP - C. Correa, Y. Gurriel, L. McCullers
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    Y. Darvish (L, 2-1)1.26441014.151.23-13.0
    K. Maeda2.21001200.000.335.0
    T. Watson1.02100103.601.001.5
    B. Morrow0.21001201.640.73-1.0
    T. Cingrani0.21001000.001.09-2.0
    R. Stripling1.11000100.001.712.5
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    L. McCullers (W, 1-0)5.14334302.951.0412.5
    B. Peacock (S, 1)3.20001405.001.3317.0
    PITCHERSIP
    L. McCullers (W, 1-0)5.1
    B. Peacock (S, 1)3.2
    PITCHING
    • IBB - T. Cingrani (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - Y. Darvish 49-31, K. Maeda 42-28, T. Watson 18-11, B. Morrow 13-8, T. Cingrani 8-6, R. Stripling 15-11
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Y. Darvish 2-3, K. Maeda 3-3, T. Watson 1-1, B. Morrow 1-0, R. Stripling 1-2
    • Batters Faced - Y. Darvish 12, K. Maeda 10, T. Watson 5, B. Morrow 5, T. Cingrani 4, R. Stripling 5
    PITCHING
    • WP - B. Peacock
    • Pitches-Strikes - L. McCullers 87-51, B. Peacock 53-35
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. McCullers 6-5, B. Peacock 3-4
    • Batters Faced - L. McCullers 22, B. Peacock 12
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    LAD1-2
    001002000342
    HOU2-1
    04001000X5120
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Taylor CF30000102.244.404.561.9651.0
    C. Seager SS31000112.273.407.500.9071.5
    J. Turner 3B41100001.318.412.6141.0253.0
    C. Bellinger 1B40000042.213.245.383.628-2.0
    Y. Puig RF40110011.341.426.5851.0111.5
    L. Forsythe 2B20100000.304.467.348.8143.0
    a- C. Utley PH-2B20000000.000.176.000.1760.0
    A. Barnes C20000001.219.306.344.6490.0
    b- Y. Grandal PH-C20000000.000.273.000.2730.0
    J. Pederson DH21100110.300.364.8001.1643.5
    E. Hernandez LF10000101.389.500.9441.4441.0
    c- A. Ethier PH-LF00000100.222.364.556.9191.0
    Total2934105710-----
    HITTERSAB
    C. Taylor CF3
    C. Seager SS3
    J. Turner 3B4
    C. Bellinger 1B4
    Y. Puig RF4
    L. Forsythe 2B2
    a- C. Utley PH-2B2
    A. Barnes C2
    b- Y. Grandal PH-C2
    J. Pederson DH2
    E. Hernandez LF1
    c- A. Ethier PH-LF0
    Total29
    • a-fouled out for Forsythe in the 6th
    • b-flied out for Barnes in the 7th
    • c-walked for Hernandez in the 7th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF50100016.246.328.421.7491.5
    A. Bregman 3B30010112.200.250.418.6681.5
    J. Altuve 2B50100024.345.429.6911.1191.0
    C. Correa SS50100015.293.328.569.8970.5
    Y. Gurriel 1B51211001.340.386.547.9338.0
    J. Reddick RF42200001.212.268.231.4995.0
    E. Gattis DH11100300.318.467.5451.0125.0
    M. Gonzalez LF41110014.170.264.277.5412.5
    B. McCann C40310000.182.265.227.4934.0
    Total36512414623-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Turner, J. Pederson (2)
      • RBI - Y. Puig (8)
      BATTING
      • 2B - G. Springer (4), J. Altuve, Y. Gurriel (6), J. Reddick
      • HR - Y. Gurriel
      • SF - A. Bregman
      • RBI - A. Bregman (8), Y. Gurriel (5), M. Gonzalez (4), B. McCann (6)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - L. Forsythe (2)
      FIELDING
      • E - J. Turner (2), T. Watson
      FIELDING
      • DP - C. Correa, Y. Gurriel, L. McCullers
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      Y. Darvish (L, 2-1)1.26441014.151.23-13.0
      K. Maeda2.21001200.000.335.0
      T. Watson1.02100103.601.001.5
      B. Morrow0.21001201.640.73-1.0
      T. Cingrani0.21001000.001.09-2.0
      R. Stripling1.11000100.001.712.5
      Total8.01254461---
      PITCHERSIP
      Y. Darvish (L, 2-1)1.2
      K. Maeda2.2
      T. Watson1.0
      B. Morrow0.2
      T. Cingrani0.2
      R. Stripling1.1
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      L. McCullers (W, 1-0)5.14334302.951.0412.5
      B. Peacock (S, 1)3.20001405.001.3317.0
      Total9.0433570---
      PITCHERSIP
      L. McCullers (W, 1-0)5.1
      B. Peacock (S, 1)3.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • IBB - T. Cingrani (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - Y. Darvish 49-31, K. Maeda 42-28, T. Watson 18-11, B. Morrow 13-8, T. Cingrani 8-6, R. Stripling 15-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Y. Darvish 2-3, K. Maeda 3-3, T. Watson 1-1, B. Morrow 1-0, R. Stripling 1-2
      • Batters Faced - Y. Darvish 12, K. Maeda 10, T. Watson 5, B. Morrow 5, T. Cingrani 4, R. Stripling 5
      PITCHING
      • WP - B. Peacock
      • Pitches-Strikes - L. McCullers 87-51, B. Peacock 53-35
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. McCullers 6-5, B. Peacock 3-4
      • Batters Faced - L. McCullers 22, B. Peacock 12
      • 6TH INNING
        Turner scored on wild pitch35
        Puig grounded out to second, Seager scored, Turner to third25
      • 5TH INNING
        Gattis reached on an infield single to pitcher, Reddick scored, Gattis to second on Watson fielding error15
      • 3RD INNING
        Seager grounded into double play first to shortstop to pitcher, Pederson scored, Hernandez to third, Taylor out at second14
      • 2ND INNING
        Bregman hit sacrifice fly to center, Gonzalez scored04
        McCann singled to right center, Gattis scored, Gonzalez to third03
        Gonzalez singled to left center, Reddick scored, Gattis to second02
        Gurriel homered to left01
      • 9TH INNING
        • B. Peacock Pitching:
        • Y. Puig: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Puig struck out swinging
        • C. Utley: Foul, Foul, Ball, Utley grounded out to pitcher
        • Y. Grandal: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Grandal flied out to right
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • B. Peacock Pitching:
        • C. Seager: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Seager struck out swinging
        • J. Turner: Ball, Ball, Turner fouled out to catcher
        • C. Bellinger: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Bellinger struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • R. Stripling Pitching:
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman flied out to right
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
        • C. Correa: Correa singled to center
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Gurriel grounded out to second
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Yasmani Grandal hit for Austin Barnes
        • Y. Grandal: Grandal flied out to deep left
        • J. Pederson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Pederson struck out swinging
        • Andre Ethier hit for Enrique Hernandez
        • A. Ethier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ethier walked
        • C. Taylor: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Taylor grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Morrow Pitching:
        • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel doubled to deep left
        • Tony Cingrani relieved Brandon Morrow
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Reddick popped bunt out to first
        • E. Gattis: Gattis intentionally walked
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Gonzalez popped out to second
        • B. McCann: Strike swinging, Ball, McCann reached on an infield single to first, Gurriel to third, Gattis to second
        • Ross Stripling relieved Tony Cingrani
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Foul, Springer flied out to deep center
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • L. McCullers Pitching:
        • C. Seager: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Seager walked
        • J. Turner: Foul, Ball, Foul, Turner doubled to deep left, Seager to third
        • C. Bellinger: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Bellinger struck out swinging
        • Brad Peacock relieved Lance McCullers
        • Y. Puig: Puig grounded out to second, Seager scored, Turner to third
        • Chase Utley hit for Logan Forsythe
        • C. Utley: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Turner scored on wild pitch, Utley fouled out to third
        • Middle of the 6th (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • T. Watson Pitching:
        • B. McCann: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, McCann popped out to shortstop
        • Brandon Morrow relieved Tony Watson
        • G. Springer: Ball, Springer safe at first on 3rd baseman Turner fielding error
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked, Springer to second
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Altuve struck out swinging
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 5TH INNING
        • L. McCullers Pitching:
        • A. Barnes: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Barnes flied out to right
        • J. Pederson: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pederson doubled to left center
        • E. Hernandez: Hernandez grounded out to second, Pederson to third
        • C. Taylor: Taylor lined out to center
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • K. Maeda Pitching:
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Correa grounded out to shortstop
        • Tony Watson relieved Kenta Maeda
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Gurriel grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick singled to center
        • E. Gattis: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Gattis reached on an infield single to pitcher, Reddick scored, Gattis to second on Watson fielding error
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 4TH INNING
        • L. McCullers Pitching:
        • C. Bellinger: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Bellinger struck out swinging
        • Y. Puig: Strike looking, Foul, Puig singled to left, Puig out at second
        • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Forsythe flied out to deep right
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • K. Maeda Pitching:
        • B. McCann: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, McCann singled to shallow left
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • A. Bregman: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Bregman struck out swinging
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Strike swinging, Altuve reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, McCann out at second
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • L. McCullers Pitching:
        • J. Pederson: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Pederson walked
        • E. Hernandez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Hernandez walked, Pederson to second
        • C. Taylor: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Taylor walked, Pederson to third, Hernandez to second
        • C. Seager: Ball, Strike swinging, Seager grounded into double play first to shortstop to pitcher, Pederson scored, Hernandez to third, Taylor out at second
        • J. Turner: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Turner grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • K. Maeda Pitching:
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Gurriel popped out to third
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick popped out to third
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gattis walked
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Gonzalez grounded out to first
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • L. McCullers Pitching:
        • C. Bellinger: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Bellinger struck out swinging
        • Y. Puig: Puig grounded out to second
        • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Forsythe singled to right
        • A. Barnes: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Forsythe stole second, Barnes grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Y. Darvish Pitching:
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gurriel homered to left
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick doubled to left
        • E. Gattis: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Gattis walked
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gonzalez singled to left center, Reddick scored, Gattis to second
        • B. McCann: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, McCann singled to right center, Gattis scored, Gonzalez to third
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Springer lined out to second
        • A. Bregman: Bregman hit sacrifice fly to center, Gonzalez scored
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Altuve doubled to left center, McCann to third
        • Kenta Maeda relieved Yu Darvish
        • C. Correa: Ball, Correa flied out to right
        • End of the 2nd (4 Runs, 5 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • L. McCullers Pitching:
        • C. Taylor: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Taylor popped out to second
        • C. Seager: Strike looking, Seager grounded out to second
        • J. Turner: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Turner flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Y. Darvish Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Springer doubled to deep right center
        • A. Bregman: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Bregman grounded out to third
        • J. Altuve: Altuve flied out to center, Springer to third
        • C. Correa: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Correa grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)