2021 World Series Game 5: Best moments from Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves

Every time theHouston Astroshave put out a stinker of an offensive performance this postseason, they come storming back, reminding everyone why they topped all of baseball in runs scored this season. The Astros came back to life on Sunday night for a 9-5 winover theAtlanta Bravesin Game 5 of the World Series. The victory was sparked by the heart of the Astros' offensive power, withJose Altuveracking up two hits,Michael Brantleywalking twice and tallying a hit,Carlos Correacollecting three hits and two RBIs,Yuli Gurrielscoring two runs on three hits while knocking in a run, andAlex Bregmantallying a big RBI base hit after entering Game 5 hitting 1-for-14 in the first four games of the Series.

Manager Dusty Baker shook up the lineup after the team's offense struggled, dropping Bregman from the three-hole to seventh, moving Correa from the fifth to the third spot, and sliding up Gurriel from seventh to fifth. Credit to Baker for being willing to shake things up and move Bregman down a few slots in the lineup to give the Astros' third baseman a different look in the lineup.


How theBraves' bullpen bounces back will go a long ways toward determining whether they can take one of the two games in Houston to clinch their first World Series championship since 1995. Atlanta's decision to turn to rookieTucker Davidsoninitially looked promising in the game's first inning before the pitcher allowed four runs on two hits while walking three batters in 2-plus innings pitched.A.J. Minteralso struggled, allowing three runs on three hits while walking and striking out two.Drew Smylyallowed Houston to further extend its lead, allowing five hits and two runs over two innings pitched. While Atlanta's bullpen has bent but not broken so far throughout the course of its playoff run, the Braves' relievers struggled to keep things within reach for their offense on Sunday.

On the flip side, Houston's bullpen came through. All of Atlanta's runs came off ofFramber Valdez, who went two innings, allowing four hits and five runs, including two homers toAdam DuvallandFreddie Freeman. In order to get through a game in which their starter went 2 innings, the Astros relied on a bevy of relievers, includingYimi Garcia,Jose Urquidy,Phil Maton,Ryne StanekandKendall Graveman, who combined to not yield any hits or walks.

Now we head back to Houston, where Atlanta has two shots to avoid adding to the city's lore of heartbreaking sports losses by not blowing a 3-1 series lead. -- Joon Lee

Here are some of the biggest moments from a high-stakes Game 5:

Houston comes alive in five


Hope you didn't count out Houston's offense. The Astros stormed back in the fifth inning, scoring three runs to take a 7-5 lead. The inning started with aCarlos Correaline-drive single to center field. Following a strikeout byYordan Alvarez,Yuli Gurrielsingled beforeKyle Tuckerfollowed up with a ground out to push Correa to third and Gurriel to second.

Atlanta then decided to intentionally walkAlex Bregman, which set up a bases-loaded at-bat forMartin MaldonadoagainstA.J. Minter. Minter promptly walked the Astros catcher on five pitches, which scored the tying run for Houston.

AMarwin Gonzalezsingle to left field scored Gurriel and Bregman before Altuve ended the inning on a strike out.-- Lee

Those fans look familiar


Rapper 2 Chainz isn't featured in the picture he snapped ofAtlanta HawksstarTrae Youngwith his family, but he was in the building.


Young wasn't the only member of the Hawks to show his support for the fellow Atlanta franchise, asLou Williamswas also spotted at the game, decked out in a jersey and all.

Hey, doesn't he play for theMinnesota Twins? Yeah, sure, butByron Buxtonis Georgia born and bred so it makes sense he wanted to take in the game as a fan.

Wild third inning


Freddie Freemantook one look at the scoreboard and was fed up with the tied score. After working a 1-2 count to 3-2, Freeman golfed a 94.5 mph sinker deep into the right-field seats on the sixth pitch of his at-bat against Valdez.

The 460-foot moonshot pushed Atlanta into the lead again.

While the rest of the inning ended quietly after anOzzie Albiesgroundout on a dribbler toAlex Bregman, a groundout by Austin Riley toCarlos Correa, anEddie Rosariowalk and anAdam Duvallpopup, the damage was done by the Braves. -- Lee

Astros answer


It didn't take long for Houston to start chipping away at Atlanta's lead.Yordan Alvarezstarted Houston's half of the second inning by flying out to left field, but after a line-drive single byYuli Gurrielto center field and a walk byKyle Tucker, Astros third basemanAlex Bregman-- who entered Game 5 hitting 1-for-14 in the World Series and dropped to seventh in the lineup -- doubled on a sharp line drive to centerfield on a 94.3 mph fastball fromTucker Davidson, scoring Gurriel. CatcherMartin Maldonadofollowed up with a sacrifice fly to center field, which scored Tucker and brought the score to 4-2 in Atlanta's favor.-- Lee

Slam to start it off



Atlanta struck first. Following a leadoff single fromJorge Soler, aFreddie Freemanflyout, a fielder's choice byOzzie Albies, a single byAustin Rileyand a walk ofEddie Rosario, outfielderAdam Duvallhit a grand slam over the right field fence on a first-pitch 95.4 mph sinker againstFramber Valdez. Duvall landed in Atlanta at the trade deadline after the Braves needed to replaceRonald Acuna Jr., who tore his ACL and was ruled out for the season. In 55 games with Atlanta, Duvall hit .226/.287/.513 with 16 homers in 199 plate appearances, finishing the 2021 season with 38 homers between his time with the Miami Marlins and the Braves. -- Lee

Duvall's blast marks the third-ever first-inning grand slam in the World Series and the first since 1960.

Pregame looks


Did we mention the potential series-clinching game just happens to fall on Halloween?

Braves players understood the assignment. See:Joc Pederson's trick or treat-inspired Sour Patch Kids and Coca-Cola ensemble (with a pearl necklace, of course),A.J. Minter's ode to country singer Alan Jackson andJorge Soler's cheetah onesie.

At first glance, the Astros were too focused on staying in the fight to commit to a costume, asCarlos CorreaandYordan Alvarezarrived in normal street clothing.

On second glance, did Correa rock the Freddy Krueger sweater?

Spooky season indeed.

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