ATLANTA – The seventh inning stretch was a wake-up call to the National League champions on Saturday night.
As the World Championships even draw nears, the Braves—with two major ups and downs—set themselves to avoid the trip back to Houston. The brave are now about to lift the World Championship trophy on their home soil.
Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler fired back-to-back hurdles in the seventh inning, giving the Braves most of the attack they needed, in a 3-2 win over the Astros in Game 4 of the World Series. Atlanta led 3-1 in the series to a losing crowd in Truist Park that included former President Donald Trump, who joined the chorus of fans performing Tomahawk Chop.
The Braves have won seven consecutive home games this post-season. They’ll go for a knockout punch on Sunday night, posting the Bulls game for a second night in a row. Champagne will be on the ice for a franchise she last won at the World Championships in 1995 (Atlanta’s only city championship in the four major sports). The Astros Framber Valdez is set to start at the left hand side. The Cubs of 2016 were the last team to beat a 3-1 series deficit at the Fall Classic.
For the second night in a row, the brave pitchers delivered. Having entered the eighth inning on Friday, the Braves bowlers bowed but didn’t break on Saturday, as the Astros left 11 runners at base. Kyle Wright handled the bulk of the work, with one run allowed over 4²/innings behind opener Dylan Lee.
Then there was the brave defense: Eddie Rosario stabbed Jose Altove’s shot to the left in the eighth minute and blocked it with a backhand in the final as it hit the left field fence.
Swanson raised his index finger in the air as he rotated first base in seventh, after clearing the right field wall for a 2-2 tie against Christian Javier. Four pitches later, Soler smashed a battered streak into left field that hit the fence simultaneously with Jordan Alvarez. The ball passed through Alvarez’s outstretched glove in the center of the Bulls to achieve the green light.
Austin Riley’s RBI song in the sixth inning cut the Astros’ lead to 2-1, but Phil Mattoon limited the damage by hitting Travis Darno with loaded bases to end the threat. Rosario doubled against Brooks Rally left and Freddy Freeman walked before Mattoon went in and hit Ozzy Albis for second before Riley handed him his third RBI of the series. After Jock Pederson purposely walked away, Darno was caught looking at the third hit.
The 5-foot-6 altoff player (who sang “It’s a Small World” composed by the Braves bassist) cleared the central field fence on the fourth with Homer’s solo off Wright giving the Astros a 2-0 lead. The blast was the 23rd of Altuve’s post-season career, leading him to lead Bernie Williams for the second time ever. Manny Ramirez is the career leader with 29 post-season homes.
My opening game lasted only four strokes before he was removed. After Alvarez walked to load the bases with one, Wright entered and Carlos Correa retired on a defender, and Altuve scored the first round of the game. Lee’s last line left included two runs and one hit allowed.
Astros writer Zack Greinke fired four stops, allowing four-strokes with three strokes. The veteran right-hander was starting his 21st post-season career.
Greinke allowed one song in each of his first four innings, but did not allow a run. In the third and fourth stages, the Astros turned behind him, after hits from Rosario and Riley, respectively.