Braves defeat Astros to win World Series

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

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Matthew Tate

The Atlanta Braves won the World Series after defeating the Houston Astros in six games.  This is their first world title since 1995. As for the Astros, this is their third World Series appearance in five years, but their only title came in 2017 when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

The Braves had a perfect start to the series, as Jorge Soler hit a home run on the third pitch of game one. The Braves offense put up six runs en route to a 6-2 victory. Despite the win, Atlanta lost starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a fractured right fibula.

The Astros responded with a 7-2 victory in game two. Jose Altuve hit his 22nd career postseason home run, tied for second most ever, as Braves starter Max Fried struggled on the mound. Astros pitching limited Atlanta’s offense, and Astros starter Jose Urquidy struck out seven in game two.

The series moved to Atlanta for game three, and Braves pitching kept the Astros hitless through seven innings en route to a 2-0 win. Braves pitcher Ian Anderson, as well several other relievers, pitched brilliantly as Atlanta’s runs came from an Austin Riley double and a Travis D’Arnaud home run.

In game four, a late Atlanta rally saw them beat Houston 3-2. The Astros led 2-0 through five innings thanks to another Altuve home run, his 23rd career postseason home run, and a strong start from pitcher Zack Greinke. A two-out single by Riley brought a run in the sixth for the Braves, and back-to-back home runs by Dansby Swanson and Soler gave them the lead in the seventh.

The Astros, facing elimination, won game five 9-5 to send the series back to Houston. After allowing a first-inning grand slam to Adam Duvall, the Astros clawed their way back with explosive offense. Martin Maldonado drove in three runs on the night, while pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez contributed with one more. Greinke had a pinch hit single in this game as well, an oddity since he is a pitcher.

The Braves won the series in game six in Houston, as the Braves dominated 7-0 thanks to a strong start by Fried. Soler, Swanson, Duvall, Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman all had home runs this game as Astro bats fell silent. After the game, Soler won the World Series Most Valuable Player award, thanks to his offensive contributions.

Looking to next season, the Braves will look to be even more dangerous, as Ronald Acuña Jr. will return to the lineup from injury, although they may lose Freddie Freeman to free agency. As for the Astros, superstar shortstop Carlos Correa will hit free agency, but Houston will welcome the return of ace pitchers Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr.

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