Houston could not get anything going offensively
Astros shutout by Braves as Atlanta takes World Series Game 3 and a 2-1 series lead
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
THAT BALL IS BLASTED!
Travis d'Arnaud solo shot gives the @Braves a 2-0 lead! #WorldSeries | #BattleATLpic.twitter.com/Vr6oLOz2Fw
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 30, 2021
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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