Washington: An explosive Jose Altuve hitting performance powered Houston back into World Series contention on Friday as the Astros beat Washington 4-1 to snap the Nationals’ eight-game winning streak.
Altuve smacked two doubles and scored twice while Robinson Chirinos blasted a solo home run, cutting the Nationals lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.
Only three teams in history have won the World Series after dropping the first two games at home as Houston did, the most recent being the 1996 New York Yankees. No team has recovered from an 0-3 hole to win the title.
“A win for us was huge tonight to prove this series is not over,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
“Coming to a new venue, certainly an unbelievable environment, getting back in the series, putting a little bit of momentum in our clubhouse and our dugout, will go a long way.”
Hinch praised Altuve’s batting efforts that produced pivotal runs for the Astros.
“Jose has been fantastic for us,” he said. “Tonight he was a catalyst for us. Jose is the heart and soul of what we do.”
Nationals manager Dave Martinez also saw Altuve as the critical hitter in the outcome.
“He’s one of the best. I love the way he plays the game,” Martinez said.
“We gave him good pitches. That’s probably one of the best hitters in the game. He just made hits.”
The loss ended an eight-game Nationals win streak, matching the longest one-year playoff run in MLB history.
Washington had outscored foes 56-19 in the span, part of an 18-2 overall run since September 23.
The Astros won an MLB-best 107 games but have been tested by an upstart club that began the season 19-31 and battled into the last week of the season just to reach the playoffs.
A vocal sellout crowd of 43,867 watched the first World Series game played in Washington since 1933, nine years after the original Senators won the city’s only crown, a feat recalled in black and white highlights on the stadium video screen.