2021 World Series: Atlanta Braves title win after beating Houston Astros 3-2

Dansby Swanson (right) and Jorge Soler (left) shot back-to-back Astros reliever Cristian Javier, who suffered defeat

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from their first World Series title since 1995 after beating the Houston Astros 3-2 and taking a 3-1 lead in the seven-game series.

Jose Altuve’s 23rd Homer in the playoffs in the fourth inning gave Houston a 2-0 lead.

But Atlanta fired back in the sixth when Austin Riley led Eddie Rosario.

And the hosts’ comeback was complete when Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh, which proved to be decisive.

Having been on track to at least ensure the series returns to Houston for Game 6, the Astros are now facing elimination down the road – on Halloween.

Without a recognized starting fourth pitcher, Atlanta opted for a “lifters game”external link – where a battery of backup pitchers runs the business – rookie Dylan Lee thus became the first pitcher to make his first major league start in the World Series.

But Lee was pulled after registering just one at Truist Park, having loaded the bases for Carlos Correa to lead to Altuve for the opening round.

The Astros had six-time All-Star Zack Greinke, recently back from injury, to start, and he gave them four scoreless innings and a hit of his own – but failing 11 baserunners ultimately cost Houston dearly.

Closer Will Smith, who did not concede a earned run in the 2021 playoffs, became the Braves’ sixth pitcher used and pulled the visiting team in the ninth to put Atlanta on the brink of another title.

Game 5, the last game in Atlanta, is Sunday night.

Game 1: Houston 2-6 Atlanta Game 5 (at Atlanta): Sun, Oct. 31
Game 2: Houston 7-2 Atlanta Game 6 * (at Houston): Tue Nov 2
Game 3: Atlanta 2-0 Houston Game 7 * (in Houston): Wed. Nov. 3
Game 4: Atlanta 3-2 Houston *if necessary
Former US President Donald Trump makes 'tomahawk cut' gesture at Truist Park during game
Former US President Donald Trump was in Truist Park for Game 4 – and was seen on camera joining in the ‘chop tomahawk’, a move popular with Braves fans but which has been criticized as degrading and racist by some Native American groups
Garrett Stubbs, receiver for the Houston Astros
During the coronavirus pandemic, MLB teams transported a ‘taxi squad’ of reserve players ready to join the list of 26 players in the short term – and after reserve receiver Jason Castro tested positive for Covid -19 Saturday, third-choice wide receiver Garrett Stubbs joined the Astros roster

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