BACK TO HOUSTON: Astros overcome Braves’ early burst to win, force Game 6

Houston Astros' Martin Maldonado celebrates after his RBI-single during the seventh inning in Game 5 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ATLANTA – The Houston Astros overcame a 4-0 1st-inning deficit to come back and beat the Atlanta Braves 9-5, prolonging the World Series and necessitating a Game 6 back at Minute Maid Park.

KPRC 2 INSIDER CONTENT: KPRC 2 Sports Anchor/Reporter Ari Alexander’s running blog during the Astros’ Game 5 victory

The Braves had jumped out to their four-run lead off a grand slam by Adam Duvall off Astros’ starter Framber Valdez.

However, the Astros proved they had plenty of fight in them, even while trailing 4-0 after the first inning. Alex Bregman, whose struggles caused him to be dropped from third to seventh in the batting order, got the Astros on the board with a double in the second inning. Martin Maldonado added a sacrifice fly to chop the lead in half.

The Astros would then score two more runs in the next inning off a Carlos Correa RBI double and a run-scoring groundout by Yuli Gurriel. The Braves answered back in their half of the third when Freddie Freeman hit a 460-foot home run off of Valdez to help the Braves retake the lead 5-4.

Valdez would depart in the third inning, and a major key was the Astros bullpen completely shutting out the Braves from that point forward.

The offense would again come through in the fifth inning, when the two-out scoring the Astros had made a regular ALCS habit re-emerged. With the bases loaded and two gone in the inning, Maldonado worked a five-pitch walk to force in a run, tying the game. Then, Marwin Gonzalez, whose previous hit came on October 3, laced a two-run bloop single to stake the Astros to a 7-5 lead.

In the seventh, again with two outs, Maldonado would come through again, this time with a run-scoring single to left field to increase the lead to 8-5. That would help cap off a 3-RBI evening for Maldonado, who had driven in a total of two runs previously in this postseason.

Correa drove in Jose Altuve in the eighth inning to make it 9-5 Houston for the final margin.

The teams will now head to Houston for the remainder of the World Series, starting with Game 6 on Tuesday evening.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!