The Atlanta Braves won their first World Series title since 1995 after defeating the Houston Astros in six games in MLB's showpiece.

After missing out on their first chance to close out the World Series against the Houston Astros on Sunday, the Atlanta Braves are confident heading into Game 6. 

As the teams prepare to reconvene at Houston's Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, Braves manager Brian Snitker said his side are not feeling any ill effects from their 9-5 home defeat in Game 5. 

Atlanta need just one more victory to win their first World Series since 1995, and Snitker insists the players are showing no signs of letting the pressure affect them. 

"We're in the World Series right now. There's no pressure," Snitker told a news conference Monday. "Like I say, it's pressure in the NLCS when you're trying to get here. We all want to finish this off, but there's no pressure.

"We're one of two teams remaining in our sport, and [I haven't] sensed any kind of pressure out of these guys internally. The only time I hear about that is in this [press conference] room. In that room out there, I never hear it."

Six teams have blown a 3-1 World Series lead in a seven-game series, but it has only happened once in the last 36 years: the 2016 Cleveland Indians against the Chicago Cubs. 

The Braves will feel good about their chances of avoiding a similar fate primarily because they can expect to get significant innings out of their starting pitchers in Game 6 and, if needed, the decisive Game 7. 

Thanks to a lack of depth in their rotation exacerbated by the loss of veteran Charlie Morton to a broken leg suffered in Game 1, the Braves have had to start relief pitchers each of the last two games. 

Dylan Lee faced just four batters in Game 4 before Kyle Wright picked up the slack with an impressive 4.2 innings of relief work, while Tucker Davidson recorded only six outs on Sunday. 

The Braves will send Max Fried to the mound Tuesday, giving him another chance against the Astros after a rough start in Atlanta's Game 2 defeat.

"I expect to see Max on top of his game tomorrow," Snitker said. "I expect that every time he goes out. I mean, this guy probably, since the All-Star break, is one of the best pitchers in the game. So that's kind of the version of Max that I expect to see tomorrow."

Fried also got knocked around in his NLCS Game 5 start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the 27-year-old said he views what will be his final start of the season as a chance at redemption. 

"Any time that you go out there and you don't perform the way that you want, you don't win, you want to go back out there and redeem yourself," Fried said.

"I'm ready to go out there and leave it all on the field. It's probably going to be my last outing of the year, so there's nothing to hold back."

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker says his side "don't know how to quit" after fighting back from conceding a first-inning grand slam to force a Game 6 in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves raced to a 4-0 lead from Adam Duvall's first-inning grand slam as they looked to clinch the World Series on home soil at Truist Park leading the series 3-1.

The Astros, who were world champions in 2017, American League (AL) winners in 2019 and fought back from a 3-0 deficit in last year's AL Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays to force a Game 7, responded with back-to-back two-run inning, before a three-run rally in the fifth inning to take the lead.

"We've been through many of these battles," Baker said at the post-game news conference. "They don't know how to quit.

"They're always looking for an edge or an opening. Fortunately tonight we took advantage of some."

Carlos Correa, who was part of the title-winning 2017 team, had three hits and two RBIs for the game, while Martin Maldonado came up with three RBIs. The Astros catcher was the first player in history to drive in runs with a hit, walk and sacrifice fly in a postseason game.

Maldonado's improbable contribution came after the Braves appeared on their way to securing their first World Series since 1995 after Duvall's first-inning grand slam.

"I always say, if it's going to happen, let it happen early," Baker said about the grand slam. "You don't want it to happen in the middle of the game or toward the end of the game."

The home crowd was electric after Duvall's grand slam, demanding a curtain call, but he insisted they did not get carried away.

"We celebrated it, we got excited and that's what you do when you hit home runs, but it's a long game," Duvall said.

"That happened in the bottom of the first. It's a nine-inning game, and they didn't quit."

Braves manager Brian Snitker added: "We knew we had a long, long way to go in that game and anything could happen. It would have been great if we could have kept adding on. We just weren't able to do that."

The Houston Astros delayed the Atlanta Braves' World Series celebrations after flexing their muscles in Game 5, winning 9-5 in come-from-behind fashion.

Atlanta had the chance to clinch their first World Series title since 1995 on home soil, but the Astros spoiled the party to stay alive in MLB's showpiece.

The Braves led 4-0 after the opening-inning grand slam before the desperate Astros – led by Martin Maldonado's three RBIs – rallied to put Atlanta's celebrations on ice.

Atlanta still lead the best-of-seven matchup 3-2 and can claim their fourth World Series away to the Astros in Game 6 in Houston on Tuesday.

 

In MLB history, teams ahead 3-1 in a best-of-seven World Series have a 40-6 record. According to Stats Perform, clubs in that situation are 11-1, with the 2016 Cleveland Indians (against the Chicago Cubs) the only franchise to lose the series having held a 3-1 advantage.

Adam Duvall of the Braves became the first player in World Series history to hit a go-ahead slam in a potential clinching game.

But Houston's offence came up big with two runs apiece in the second and third innings before a three-run fifth-inning helped the Astros move 7-5 clear.

The Astros – also fuelled by a resolute bullpen – made sure of the win via runs from Kyle Tucker and Jose Altuve in the final two innings as Houston became the first ever team to trail by four-plus runs on the road in the World Series and win by four-plus runs, per Stats Perform.

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from clinching the World Series, but manager Brian Snitker insisted "I've been around too long to get ahead of myself".

Atlanta can claim their first MLB championship since 1995 by winning on Sunday thanks to Saturday's rallying 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning as the Braves overturned a 2-0 deficit at home to Houston in Game 4.

Snitker – the 2018 National League Manager of the Year – is remaining grounded, despite the Braves standing on the cusp of a drought-ending title.

"I just want to win tomorrow," Snitker said post-game. "I'd rather be up three than down three, I guess. But I've been around too long to get ahead of myself."

 

Jose Altuve put the Astros 2-0 ahead after scoring in the opening inning and homering in the fourth before Swanson and Soler took centre stage.

After Eddie Rosario scored in the sixth inning, Swanson levelled the contest with a solo homer in the seventh and Soler put the Braves ahead one batter later as Atlanta hit back-to-back home runs in a World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Soler became the fourth pinch-hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the World Series and first since Ed Sprague in 1992, after Swanson became just the second Braves shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series after Johnny Logan in 1957.

"At the beginning of the year, I wasn't part of this team," Soler, who was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in July, said. "The organisation traded for me.

"Obviously, I'm grateful to be here. It truly means a lot to be able to be here with this group of guys."

Swanson added: "I feel like we were just kind of -- not dead all day, but I feel like they did such a good job of keeping us at bay for so long and we didn’t have too many opportunities.

"Then we were able to make something happen there in that inning. Man, just tremendous."

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from their first World Series championship since 1995 after rallying past the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game 4.

Atlanta hammered their way to within touching distance of a fourth World Series title thanks to back-to-back home runs from Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler on Saturday.

Swanson levelled the contest with a solo homer in the seventh inning before Soler put the Braves ahead one batter later as Atlanta hit back-to-back home runs in a World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Soler became the fourth pinch-hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the World Series and first since Ed Sprague in 1992.

 

The Astros had led 2-0 on the road courtesy of star Jose Altuve's fourth-inning solo hit after he opened the scoring in the first.

But Eddie Rosario sparked Atlanta's rally in the bottom of the sixth inning before Swanson – just the second Braves shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series after Johnny Logan in 1957 – and Soler took control in the seventh, finishing the job.

Atlanta's Dylan Lee became the first pitcher to make his first major league start in the World Series and he struck out one batter while giving up one run in 0.1 innings.

Astros veteran Zack Greinke pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three before team-mate Cristian Javier gave up two homers in the seventh.

 

Astros at Braves

The Braves can wrap up the World Series with a win over the Astros in Atlanta on Sunday.

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker has defended his decision to pull rookie pitcher Ian Anderson after five innings on a no-hitter in their 2-0 World Series Game 3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday.

Anderson tossed down four strikeouts across five no-hit innings before Snitker opted to pull him, rotating his bullpen over the next four inning with A.J. Minter taking over in the sixth inning.

Atlanta were leading 1-0 after Austin Riley's third-inning RBI single, when Snitker pulled Anderson, with Travis d'Arnaud adding an insurance solo home run in the eighth inning to help them to a 2-1 series lead.

The Braves combined for seven no-hit innings, which was the second longest no-hit bid in a World Series game since Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956. 

Right-hander Anderson was just the second rookie to toss at least five no-hit innings in a World Series game but was denied a bid at a no-hitter.

"He'd thrown a lot of pitches at the top half of that lineup," Snitker said during his post-game news conference.

"Getting ready to go back out when he did, I thought in the fourth inning he had to really work to get through that. He had a really good fifth inning. Then I told him, and he was like 'are you sure, are you sure?'. I was like, 'Ian I'm going with my gut'."

Anderson admitted he wanted to continue but understood Snitker's decision, praising the Braves' bull pen.

"You want the chance to compete especially on the biggest stage like this is," Anderson said.

"I knew he wasn’t going to budge. It's hard to, you've got guys like [Tyler] Matzek, Minter and Luke [Jackson] and Will [Smith] at the back end coming in. You can't blame him for going to those guys."

Matzek, who allowed the first hit in the eighth inning, revealed that neither Minter or Jackson realised they were bidding for a no-no.

"Luke Jackson didn't know. Minter didn't know," he said. "After I got through my inning, they went up said and 'hey did you know you gave up the first hit' and I said 'yeah I did know, I paid attention'. They were like 'oh, I just wanted to come in and get out'.

"Our job stayed the same. It's to go out there and get the three outs in your assignment and get off the field and let the next guy do his job. We're just focused on doing that and it worked out."

The two hits conceded were the fewest ever conceded in a World Series game by a team that used five pitchers.

Astros manager Dusty Baker backed his side to respond after being shut out in Game 3, ending with only two hits for the game.

"Nobody can hit all the time," Baker said. "The more those guys get out, the more they're one at-bat away from a hot streak. That's how hitters think."

Rookie pitcher Ian Anderson tossed down five no-hit frames as the Atlanta Braves strangled the Houston Astros 2-0 to win Game 3 and claim a 2-1 lead in the World Series on Friday.

The Astros failed to register one hit until the eighth inning, finishing the game with only two as Austin Riley's third-inning RBI double and Travis d'Arnaud's eighth-inning solo home run earned Atlanta the win.

The Braves' defensive performance was the key, keeping the Astros scoreless led by Anderson across five innings which included four strikeouts, with A.J. Minter, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith all playing their roles across an inning each on the hill.

Anderson becomes just the second rookie to toss at least five no-hit innings in a World Series game. Atlanta becomes the first team to not allow a hit through seven innings of a World Series game since the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 in 1967.

Eddie Rosario, who brought up his 21st hit of the postseason, scored from Riley's third-inning RBI double to give Atlanta the advantage.

The strong defensive game continued, with Astros rookie starter Luis Garcia having six strikeouts across three and two-third frames, while Kyle Tucker produced a spectacular outfield diving catch in the sixth inning.

The Braves took a combined no-no to the eighth inning before Aledmys Diaz knocked a single to left field to end the bid, but the Astros could not capitalise.

Braves catcher d'Arnaud added insurance as he registered home runs in back-to-back World Series games with his eighth-inning solo blast.

The winner of Game 3 in the World Series has gone on to win it all in 39 of last 60 series after being tied at 1-1, including 13 of last 17 instances.

 

Astros at Braves

Houston will look to level the World Series when they meet again at Truist Park on Saturday.

Jose Altuve admits equalling Bernie Williams for career postseason home runs means a lot but says it only matters as long as the Houston Astros are winning.

Altuve brought up his 22nd career postseason home run in the seventh inning to cap the Astros' 7-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 to level the World Series on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old drew level with Williams in equal second on the overall majors list for postseason homers, behind only Manny Ramirez on 29.

“To hit 22 homers in the playoffs and tie [Williams] – always every time that my name is mentioned, before it was Derek Jeter, now it's Bernie Williams – it means a lot to me," Altuve told reporters.

"It makes me keep going out there, hitting homers to help my team, to keep accomplishing things like this. As long as we win, everything's good.”

Altuve scored the opening run of Game 2, with Alex Bregman driving him home in the first inning, finishing the game with two hits, two runs and one RBI. He had gone zero-for-five in Game 1.

The second baseman is hitting at .200 with four home runs, eight RBIs and 10 hits this postseason but team success is the main objective.

"For me, stats in the playoffs don’t matter, as long as you're winning," Altuve said.

"You could be zero-for-20 but if you get the big hit, that's what playoffs are about. I went zero-for-five last night but I didn’t care, I show up, I tried to get good pitches to hit.

"I'm glad I helped my team win tonight."

Five right-handed Astros hitters had six hits, five RBIs and one home run between them on Wednesday.

Houston have scored five or more runs in 10 games this postseason, which is tied for the second most in a single postseason, trailing only the 2015 Kansas City Royals with 11.

The Houston Astros have levelled the World Series after a four-run second inning and another Jose Altuve postseason home run to win 7-2 over the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 on Wednesday.

The Braves had won Game 1 at Houston's Minute Maid Park 6-2 on Tuesday, but the Astros showed intent opening up a 5-1 lead after two innings.

Altuve's seventh-inning solo blast extended the lead to 7-2, taking him to 22 postseason homers, equalling Bernie Williams for second in majors history.

The Astros second baseman, who has four home runs this postseason, trails only Manny Ramirez for postseason homers with 29.

Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy played a strong role with seven strikeouts with two runs across five innings, outpitching Braves starter Max Fried who allowed seven hits and five earned runs.

Urquidy becomes the fourth Astros pitcher to have seven or more strikeouts and no walks in a World Series. Eddie Rosario, who came into the game with 20 hits this postseason, had an off-night with no hits.

Altuve scored the opening run from Alex Bregman's first-inning sacrifice fly, before Travis d'Arnaud's second-inning home run tied the game up.

Houston blew the game open at the bottom of the second inning, with Jose Siri's RBI single followed by Martin Maldonado's single allowing Yuli Gurriel and Siri to get home, the latter after an Eddie Rosario fielding error. Michael Brantley's base hit drove in Maldonado too.

The Astros had five hits in the second inning, which matched their most ever in an inning in a World Series game, having had five hits in the second inning in Game 3 in 2017.

Freddie Freeman's single got d'Arnaud in for his second run in the fifth inning, before Ozzie Albies mistake on second base allowed Yordan Alvarez to score in the sixth inning, before Altuve's homered to left field in the seventh inning.

 

Astros at Braves

Both sides will travel on Thursday as the series moves to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday.

The Atlanta Braves have replaced injured pitcher Charlie Morton with left-hander Tucker Davidson on their World Series roster.

Morton was forced out of the 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 1 on Tuesday after he was struck in the lower right leg by Yuli Gurriel's comebacker in the second inning.

The 37-year-old right-hander initially stayed in the game, but was withdrawn in the third inning, with X-rays later revealing a series-ending broken right fibula.

Davidson had a 3.60 ERA with 18 strikeouts in four big league starts this season, occurring back in May and June.

The 25-year-old has not appeared in postseason games and missed much of the regular season with left forearm inflammation.

Morton had a 3.34 ERA, with 216 strikeouts with a 14-6 record across the 2021 MLB season.

Atlanta Braves star Jorge Soler conceded Charlie Morton's injury had taken the shine off his team's 6-2 triumph over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series.

Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense.

X-rays revealed the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula, ruling him out of the remainder of the series.

Soler, who hit the third pitch of the game for a home run, said of Morton's setback: "It was extremely challenging for us.

"We saw him getting treatment and getting worked on. He went back out there to pitch on that broken leg.

"It was really challenging and emotional for us to have to see him in the game being hurt, our World Series opener, starter."

In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

"The energy was amazing and electric, especially after we took a 1-0 lead after that home run," said Soler.

"I feel extremely grateful to be here and be a member of this organisation. I feel like Atlanta opened its arms for me. They traded for me, and they gave me opportunity to play every day.

"So as far as I'm concerned, I'm extremely grateful to the organisation, to the fans who have definitely supported us, and like I said, I'm very happy to be here."

Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game.  

Game 2 is on Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

The Atlanta Braves had the best possible start and held on from there to take Game 1 of the World Series from the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday. 

Jorge Soler hit the third pitch of the game for a home run and the Braves scored in each of the first three innings to build what proved to be an insurmountable lead out of the gate at Minute Maid Park. 

In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game. 

His opposite number, Charlie Morton, also failed to make it out of the third, but his departure came through injury rather than ineffectiveness. 

Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense. X-rays would reveal the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula. 

Losing Morton for the remainder of the series will be a blow to Atlanta, but they cannot complain about the all-around effort that allowed them to break a string of eight consecutive World Series game losses dating to their last Fall Classic appearances in 1999 and 1996. 

Every batter in the Braves' starting lineup had at least one hit by the sixth inning and four relievers managed to keep Houston under control after Morton's injury. 

Atlanta also scratched out a late run thanks to some aggressive baserunning by Dansby Swanson in the eighth and got out of the bottom of that inning when NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario threw out Yuli Gurriel at second base as he tried to stretch a drive off the outfield wall into a double. 

Game 2 is Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Morton suffered a broken leg in the second inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros – but did not leave the game until the following inning. 

The Braves said X-rays showed Morton fractured his right fibula and he will miss the rest of the World Series. 

Yuli Gurriel led off the bottom of the second inning for the Astros with a hard one-hopper up the middle that deflected off Morton's lower right leg to Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman for an out. 

Morton struck out the next batter, Chas McCormick, then got Martin Maldonado to line out to end the inning. 

Morton came back out for the third inning, but grimaced as he struck out Houston leadoff man Jose Altuve and bent over to rub his lower right leg before leaving the game. 

The 37-year-old right-hander threw 16 pitches after breaking his push leg, two of them 96 mph fastballs. 

Morton, who helped lead the Astros to a World Series title in 2017, was the Braves' most reliable starter this season, going 14-6 with a 3.34 ERA as he led MLB with 33 regular-season starts. 

Entering the World Series, Morton had allowed six earned runs across three postseason starts this year. 

 

The Houston Astros brushed off any suggestions that they are using 2017's sign-stealing scandal as motivation ahead of their World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

Houston will host the Braves in Game 1 on Tuesday, with the Astros featuring in the third World Series in five seasons.

Houston's 2017 World Series title remains shrouded in controversy the Astros were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams on the way to winning the championship, as well as for part of 2018.

General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by the team after they were initially suspended.

The Astros have since regularly been greeted with jeers and boos in road games but manager Dusty Baker, who was appointed in 2020, insisted they were not out to prove people wrong.

"I don't think that's their main source of motivation," Baker told reporters on Monday. "I think people are trying to make it as their main source of motivation. That doesn't motivate you nearly as much as thriving to win and thriving for excellence.

"I think this team is way past that because they know they can play. You can only be driven by 'I'll show you,' or you can only be driven by negative motivation so far."

Houston infielders Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are both holdovers from the 2017 roster but reiterated Baker's stance.

"I don't think the outside noise motivates us at all," said Correa, who has hit .297 with five RBIs and 11 hits this postseason.

"The guys inside [the clubhouse] - we motivate ourselves to just be better every single day, and you see the results on the field.

"I don't think we're playing here in the World Series because we're motivated to prove to people that we're a really good team."

Altuve, who hit .278 with 31 home runs and 83 RBIs across the regular season, said he had not considered the sign-stealing scandal in the lead-up to the World Series.

"I haven't thought about that, but I think we have the same mindset we always have, just going out there and try to win," Altuve said.

"This is a pretty special team. Everybody just talks about winning. We all want to win. There's not a single guy who talks about something else."

Correa and Altuve were both crucial in offense for the Astros in 2017, recording 14 RBIs in the postseason, with both hitting two home runs in the World Series.

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