The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen had their postseason scoreless streak snapped at 28 innings, and it resulted in a 7-6 win for the Houston Astros in 11 innings. The World Series is now tied as it shifts to Minute Maid Park for three games.
George Springer’s two-run home run off Brandon McCarthy, who made his World Series debut, proved the difference for the Astros. The Dodgers nearly mounted a third comeback on the night, but Charlie Culberson’s solo home run was all they mustered in the bottom of the 11th.
Kenley Jansen and Ken Giles both faltered in a six-out save opportunity, which sent Game 2 into extra innings.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ hand was forced when Ross Stripling issued a leadoff walk on four pitches in the seventh inning. Brandon Morrow entered and though he got through the seventh, was removed after allowing a ground-rule double to start the eighth.
The inherited runner scored on Alex Bregman’s one-out single off Kenley Jansen. Then in the ninth, Marwin Gonzalez drove an 0-2 fastball to center field for a game-tying home run.
Gonzalez’s home run was the first that tied a World Series game for the road team in the ninth inning or later since Dwight Evans in Game 3 of 1975 Series. The blown save was Jansen’s first of his career in the postseason.
Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa greeted Josh Fields with back-to-back home runs in the 10th inning, giving the Astros a 5-3 lead. Giles failed to protect it, however, with his undoing beginning on Yasiel Puig’s leadoff home run.
Logan Forsythe kept the inning alive with two outs by drawing a walk, and he then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Kiké Hernandez’s base hit to right field drove in the tying run and knocked Giles out of the game.
While Justin Verlander said he would not lean much on his August start against Dodgers, his outing in Game 2 was eerily similar. In his start for the Detroit Tigers, Verlander was perfect through four innings.
He issued a walk in the fifth, then lost a no-hitter on Curtis Granderson’s solo home run in the sixth inning. On Tuesday night, the Dodgers did not manage their first baserunner until Chris Taylor’s leadoff walk in the fourth inning.
Nothing came of that free pass, however, as Corey Seager hit into a force out, and Justin Turner grounded into a double play. The Dodgers caught lightning in a bottle in the bottom of the fifth, behind Joc Pederson’s game-tying solo home run that broke up Verlander’s no-hitter.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Pederson’s two game-tying home runs in the postseason tied him with Andre Ethier and Ron Cey for most in Dodgers franchise history. Pederson’s first came off Max Scherzer in Game 5 of the 2016 National League Division Series.
After he was stranded earlier in the night, Taylor’s two-out walk in the bottom of the sixth was cashed in. Seager went opposite field on an 0-2 pitch, with his two-run homer giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
Verlander allowed just the two home runs, walked two and struck out five in six innings. Conversely, Rich Hill’s night came to an end after just four innings and 60 pitches.
Hill stranded a leadoff walk in the first inning but was unable to keep the Astros from capitalizing on Josh Reddick’s infield single to start the third.
Verlander’s sacrifice bunt moved Reddick into scoring position, and George Springer’s base hit put runners at the corners. Bregman’s sinking line drive to center field fell for an RBI single.
While Taylor was unable to make a diving catch, good fortune was on the Dodgers’ side as the ball skipped off the brim of his cap and rolled to Pederson instead of the wall in left-center.
Hill did his part to keep the damage at a minimum by striking out Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to end the inning. It was all Hill allowed in four innings, as he struck out seven against three walks.