Houston gets back into the series with a win on the road

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: Houston takes World Series Game 3 in D.C. to get back on track

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After falling into a 2-0 hole with losses in both Games 1 and 2 in Houston, the Astros had to get things back under control with a win in Game 3 to avoid going down 3-0. They accomplished that mission, getting a 4-1 victory by getting a much better offensive night, including performing better in scoring opportunities. Here is a recap of World Series Game 3 from D.C.:

Final Score: Astros 4, Nationals 1.

Series: Nationals lead 2-1.

Winning Pitcher: Josh James.

Losing Pitcher: Anibal Sanchez.

Houston strikes first

With their offensive woes on display in the first two games, George Springer tried to quickly turn the tide with a leadoff infield single in the top of the first inning of World Series Game 3. Jose Altuve nearly scored him with a long drive to center field, but instead would be the first out on a terrific running catch by Victor Robles. Springer would steal second, but be stranded as the first runner in scoring position. They would get on the board in the top of the second, getting a one-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on a bloop single by Josh Reddick, making it 1-0.

The next two batters would reach base, bringing up Zack Greinke, who would put down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third for George Springer, who would groundout to strand both runners. Altuve led off the top of the third with a double and was able to advance to third as Juan Soto would have trouble with the ball in the left-field corner. That set up Michael Brantley for an RBI infield single, extending the early lead to 2-0.

Greinke holds the lead but unable to complete five innings

Meanwhile, Zack Greinke was able to work in and out of trouble through the first three innings. He worked around a two-out double in the bottom of the first, then after allowing back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the second, was able to get a strikeout and double play to strand both runners. He faced another jam in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with two outs before getting a pivotal strikeout to leave all three Nationals on base.

Washington would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth, getting a leadoff walk that would score on a one-out RBI-triple by Victor Robles to cut Houston's lead in half at 2-1. Houston was able to get the run right back in the top of the fifth as Altuve and Brantley combined for a score with a one-out double then RBI-single, making it 3-1.

Greinke would continue into the fifth, but after two outs and putting runners on second and third after a two-out double, would see his night ended as Houston went to Josh James, who would get the final out of the inning. Greinke's final line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

Chirinos homers as Houston's bullpen holds on to the lead

In the top of the sixth, Robinson Chirinos pushed Houston's lead to three runs with a one-out solo home run, making it a 4-1 game. Kyle Tucker would pinch-hit in the pitcher's spot next, and after a lengthy at-bat against Anibal Sanchez, was able to work a walk to end Sanchez's night and cause Washington to dip into their bullpen. Tucker stole second and was able to advance to third on an errant throw, but despite the Astros loading the bases would not be able to add any more to their lead.

Brad Peacock took over on the mound for the bottom of the sixth, but after back-to-back one-out walks was lifted in favor of Will Harris, who would finish off the inning. He would return for the bottom of the seventh and be able to retire the Nationals in order, getting five big outs for his team, heading to the eighth with a 4-1 lead. Houston tasked Joe Smith with the bottom of the eighth, and he was able to work around a one-out single to send the game to the ninth.

The Astros then turned to their closer, Roberto Osuna, in the bottom of the ninth to hold on to the three-run lead. He would do so as Houston would avoid going down 3-0 in the series and would instead make it a much more competitive 2-1 deficit heading to Game 4.

Up Next: World Series Game 4 will get underway on Saturday with another 7:07 PM Central start time. The Nationals will start Patrick Corbin, who before his one-inning relief appearance in Game 1 of this series last started a game in NLCS Game 4 where he went five innings during which he allowed four earned runs. The Astros will give the nod to Jose Urquidy, who last pitched out of the bullpen in ALCS Game 6, where he went 2.2 innings while allowing a solo home run.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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