Updated at 5 a.m. ET Thursday
The Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 12-3 in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series in Houston.
The Nationals broke through what had been a pitchers’ duel with six runs in the seventh inning as Washington sent 10 batters to the plate.
The Nats opened the game by scoring two runs with a walk and a single, followed by a double by third baseman and Houston native Anthony Rendon off of Astros ace Justin Verlander.
“This is my city. I love Houston,” Rendon said, according to The Associated Press. “We were going to try to just steal one game and we just happened to steal two, and we’ve got to take care of business at home.”
The Astros came back in the bottom of the first frame with two runs off of Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg on a home run by third baseman Alex Bregman after left fielder Michael Brantley had singled.
Both starters — Verlander and Strasburg — settled into a groove after the first inning, each allowing no runs for five innings.
But the wheels came off for the Astros in the top of the seventh inning starting with a solo homer by catcher Kurt Suzuki. They walked three batters, including the Astros’ first deliberate walk of the season, of the young star Juan Soto, loading the bases with two outs.
But that was followed by three singles and defensive lapses by the Astros which produced six runs that stunned the Houston crowd. As the seventh inning ended, many in the crowd began heading for the exits.
The Nationals added two more runs in the top of the eighth inning on a homer by right fielder Adam Eaton and another run in the ninth on a solo shot by center fielder Michael Taylor.
The Astros scored one run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo homer by catcher Martín Maldonado. But by then the game was all but over.
Astros manager AJ Hinch made no excuses.
“We have a really good team,” Hinch said, according to the AP. “Clearly, the Nats have outplayed us – bottom line. They came into our building and played two really good games. We’re going to have to try to sleep off the latter third of this game.”
By taking two games in Houston, the Nationals managed to do something few would have predicted: they beat the Astros’ two aces — Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander — on consecutive nights.
The Nationals now lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 as the series heads for Washington, D.C. Friday night. Nationals Park will host the first World Series game to be played in the nation’s capital since 1933.