WORLD SERIES GAME 3

Astros-Dodgers preview: McCullers and Darvish square off in a key pitching matchup

It's Game 3 of the World Series. MLB.com

The Astros and Dodgers play Game 3 of the World Series today. Here is a preview of the game. Check back during the game for inning by inning updates:

When: 7:20 p.m.

Where: Minute Maid Park.

TV: Fox Sports.

Streaming: Fox Sports Go.

Pitching matchup: Lance McCullers vs. Yu Darvish.

Series: Tied 1-1.

The breakdown:  The Astros have momentum after Wednesday night's amazing win. They Astros send out McCullers, who had a great start in New York in Game 4 of the ALCS then pitched four dominant innings of relief in Game 7 to clinch the AL pennant. The Astros will face a familiar face as the Dodgers send out Yu Darvish, whom they acquired from the Rangers earlier this year. In Darvish's two starts against the Astros this year as a Ranger he was part of a 7-1 loss where he allowed three runs and also a 6-1 win where he allowed just one. For his career, Darvish is 5-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 14 starts against Houston. A key for the Astros could be George Springer, who can be streaky and appears to be heating up.

Series schedule 

                    Time/Date            Site/Result              Pitchers

Game 1        Tuesday                    Dodgers 3, Astros 1    Kershaw (W), Keuchel (L)

Game 2        Wed.                          Astros 7, Dodgers 6   Devenski (W), McCarthy (L)

Game 3       Today                         Minute Maid Park      McCullers vs. Darvish 

Game 4        Sat., 7:20 p.m.         Minute Maid Park      Morton vs. TBA

Game 5        Sun., 7:20 p.m.        Minute Maid Park     TBA

Game 6*       Oct. 31 , 7:20 p.m.  Dodger Stadium         TBA

Game 7 *      Nov. 1, , 7:20 p.m.   Dodger Stadiun          TBA

*-if necessary. 

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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