Justin Verlander made his fourth start of the postseason and second in the World Series for the Astros. He finished with six strikeouts in five innings pitched, allowing just four hits and only one run — a leadoff homer.
On the other side, Noah Syndergaard made his second start (fourth appearance) of the postseason for the Phillies. He checked out after three innings after allowing three hits and two runs, including one home run.
Here are the top plays from Game 5.
Astros 3, Phillies 2 (HOU leads series 3-2)
Starting off with a bang!
The Astros jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to back-to-back big hits from José Altuve and Jeremy Peña. First, Altuve smashed Syndergaard’s sinker to right field and made it all the way to third base after an error by Phillies center fielder Brandon Marsh.
Then, Peña crushed an RBI single up the middle to bring in Altuve and get Houston on the board first.
Astros’ Jeremy Peña smashes an RBI single up the middle
Jeremy Peña smashes an RBI single up the middle to get Houston on the board.
Catch and tag
The Astros tried something risky early, but their plan was foiled when Peña was thrown out at second base.
Returning the favor
The Phillies knotted things up in the bottom of the first inning, courtesy of a picture-perfect Kyle Schwarber home run.
Kyle Schwarber launches a leadoff home run
Kyle Schwarber launches a leadoff home run to bring the Phillies to a 1-1 tie.
It marked the Phillies’ 18th home run this postseason at Citizens Bank Park, tying the Astros’ 2017 record for the most homers hit at one ballpark in a single postseason.
Pitchers take center stage
Both teams were relentless on the mound. Syndergaard had a huge inning for the Phillies in the second …
… while Verlander’s slider got the Astros out of a jam with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning.
Not so fast!
Peña reminded baseball fans why he was the first rookie shortstop to ever win a Gold Glove after coming up with a massive play for Houston in the third inning on what was likely to be a big hit from Nick Castellanos.
With momentum on his side, Peña hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.
Jeremy Peña cranks a solo home run
Jeremy Peña’s solo home run gives the Astros a 2-1 lead over the Phillies.
What can’t he do?
Peña followed that up with a smooth play in the bottom of the fourth inning, throwing out Jean Segura at first.
Bryce Harper smashed Verlander’s four-seam fast ball in the fifth inning, good for the hardest-hit ball of the year. The Astros were able to get out of the inning unscathed, however, as it remained 2-1.
After hitting a double and getting to third base on a wild pitch by Seranthony Domínguez — the Phillies’ fourth pitcher of the night — Yuli Gurriel was tagged out at home after a rundown with Rhys Hoskins.
The Astros added to their lead in the top of the eighth inning, thanks to a big hit from Yordan Alvarez that allowed Altuve to score and sent Peña to second base after Hoskins bobbled the ball at first base.
Within arm’s reach
Astros pitcher Ryan Pressly walked both Castellanos and Bryson Stott in the bottom of the eighth inning. Then, Segura hit a single to right field, allowing Castellanos to score and close the gap, 3-2.
Astros outfielder Trey Mancini came up with a clutch play when it mattered most by picking up an all-important third out with Phillies runners on first and third.
The Phillies battled until the very end, highlighted by a very strong ninth inning that had the Astros sweating.
What could have been
J.T. Realmuto was this close to potentially tying things up in the bottom of the ninth, but Chas McCormick had other plans. In the end, the home team wasn’t able to pull off a comeback, and things ended there, 3-2.
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