Houston could not get anything going offensively

Astros shutout by Braves as Atlanta takes World Series Game 3 and a 2-1 series lead

Astros' Luis Garcia leaving the mound in 2021 World Series Game 3
With Houston's offense unable to get on the board in World Series Game 3, Luis Garcia's short one-run night was enough to earn him the loss against the Braves. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With Houston's offense unable to get on the board in World Series Game 3, Luis Garcia's short one-run night was enough to earn him the loss against the Braves.

Home games bring with them an intangible advantage in sports. It's why in an otherwise perfectly even matchup, the home team will be favored. In the playoffs, that's amplified, especially in the first game of the series at a given stadium. Atlanta overcame that headwind in Game 1 in Houston, stealing the energy from Minute Maid Park with a lopsided victory on the road. In Game 3, the Astros hoped to return the favor at Truist Park in Atlanta.

Instead, they would do little to deter the home crowd's excitement throughout the night, having an abysmal night at the plate to waste a decent outing by their pitching. Meanwhile, the Braves flirted with a no-hitter while grabbing the victory to take the 2-1 series lead over Houston.

Final Score: Braves 2, Astros 0

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 2-1

Winning Pitcher: Ian Anderson

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Garcia's rough command results in early exit

After both pitchers kept the opposition off the board in the first two innings, the Braves struck first off of Luis Garcia in the bottom of the third. He issued a leadoff walk to start the threat, with a single to follow, putting a runner in scoring position. After a strikeout for the first out, Atlanta would get an RBI double by Austin Riley to take a 1-0 lead. Garcia went on to load the bases with another walk but escaped the jam with just the one run allowed.

With the first three innings taking him 70 pitches to get through, Garcia entered the bottom of the fourth with a short leash. That became evident as, after two outs on two pitches, Dusty Baker popped out of the dugout to make a move to Blake Taylor for a left-on-left matchup to wrap up the inning, ending the night for Houston's starter with just three and two-thirds innings in the books.

Atlanta takes a no-hitter to the eighth

Meanwhile, Atlanta was getting a no-hitter from Ian Anderson. Despite three walks and a hit batter over the first four innings, he didn't allow a hit or a runner past second base in that span. Anderson retired Houston 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, and in the bottom half, Yimi Garcia took over out of the Astros' bullpen. He kept the game separated by one run, getting through the inning by erasing a walk and a single. He returned in the bottom of the sixth, getting two outs before another pitching change brought in Brooks Raley, who got the third out.

Still seeking their first hit of the game, Houston had no luck against Atlanta's first reliever in the top of the sixth, nor did they get anything going in the top of the seventh. A pinch-hitting Aledmys Diaz ended the no-hit bid in the top of the eighth, leading the frame off with a bloop single before being pinch-ran for by Jose Siri. After two outs, Siri would take off to steal second, inducing a throwing error that allowed him to advance to third and put him 90 feet away from tying the game. He'd get left there, though, as Atlanta held the one-run lead.

Astros drop Game 3

In the bottom of the eighth, Kendall Graveman came in as Houston's six arm of the night, trying to match those before him in keeping the game close. After two quick outs, though, Travis d'Arnaud would double Atlanta's lead with a 437-foot homer to center, making it 2-0 before Graveman would end the inning. Although Alex Bregman would start the top of the ninth with a leadoff single, the next three batters would go down in order, giving the Braves a one-game advantage in the series heading to Game 4.

Up Next: The second of three games in Atlanta will be another 7:09 PM Central start for Game 4 on Saturday. Neither manager has announced their team's starter yet, though Dusty Baker has stated that it will likely be Zack Greinke for the Astros.

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Kiper has the Texans bolstering their defense in Round 2. Composite Getty, Wiki Commons image.

In Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest two-round mock, he provided insights into potential draft picks and areas of concern for the Texans as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft. The Texans currently have two picks in the second round.

When considering the Texans' needs, he selected Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton with the No. 42 overall pick and Michigan cornerback Mike Sainristil with the No. 59 pick.

Kiper praised Newton for his exceptional performance as a defensive tackle, noting his impressive 7.5 sacks last season, the most among FBS defensive tackles.

With the departure of Maliek Collins, Newton could fill a crucial void in the Texans' defensive line, providing much-needed pass-rushing ability from the interior.

Another prospect Kiper identified as a potential target for the Texans is Michigan slot cover corner Mike Sainristil.

Kiper hailed Sainristil as the best slot cover corner in the draft, citing his impressive statistics from the previous season, including 6 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. With the Texans' re-signing of veteran corner Desmond King, there is still uncertainty about King's role on the roster, according to Kiper, opening the door for Sainristil to make an impact.

Despite his relatively smaller stature at 5-foot-9, Sainristil's playmaking ability and versatility make him an attractive option for the Texans' secondary. Draft expert Lance Zierlein thinks Sainristil would be a good fit in Houston.

As the draft approaches, all eyes will be on the Texans' front office as they make critical decisions that will shape the future of the franchise.

*AI assisted.

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