Oct 26 (Reuters) – Atlanta scored five runs over the first three innings and pitcher AJ Minter was sharp in relief of the injured Charlie Morton as the Braves took Game One of the World Series 6-2 on Tuesday.
The game could not have started any better for the visitors when leadoff hitter Jorge Soler smashed a home run over the left field fence for a 1-0 Braves lead.
Austin Riley pushed the lead to 2-0 when his double to deep left center scored Eddie Rosario later in the inning.
The Astros loaded the bases in the bottom of the first but second baseman Ozzie Albies coolly fielded a sharply hit ground ball off the bat of Kyle Tucker to end the threat.
In the second, Travis d’Arnaud scored on a fielder’s choice and in the third Adam Duvall hit a two-run shot into the stands for a 5-0 Braves lead that silenced the fans at Minute Maid Park.
Braves ace Morton left in the third with a fractured right fibula and is reportedly done for the series but Minter did not let the team down, inducing a fly ball from Yordan Alvarez to get them safely through the fifth inning with a 5-1 lead.
Both teams scored a run in the eighth before Braves closer Will Smith got Michael Brantley out on a ground ball to end the game.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the early lead did nothing to calm him nerves against the high-powered Houston offense.
“I’d rather have a 5-0 lead after the seventh inning than when we did because they have so much time to come back,” he told reporters after the game.
“That 5-0 lead feels like 1-0 quite honestly, because of the club they are. They are so dangerous and so relentless, which makes it even more special what our bullpen did.”
Game Two of the best-of-seven series is on Wednesday in Houston.
Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Stephen Coates
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