Back-to-back homers put Braves in front
The Atlanta Braves had earned home field back from the Houston Astros by taking the first game of this World Series on the road, meaning if they just win all three of their home games they win the series. They got it done in Game Three thanks to great pitching, which was led by Ian Anderson and his five no-hit innings. On Saturday it was all about their chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, but their pitching heading into the game was a bit of a mess.
They ended up giving the start to Dylan Lee, who had pitched all of two regular season major-league innings before the postseason. That’s for his career, not just 2021. And it didn’t work. Lee threw 15 pitches, striking out one but letting three more reach to load the bases and force his manager to go to the bullpen one out into the game. Houston had a chance to really lay down the hammer early, but they’d manage just one run in the inning. They’d get another in the fourth on a solo homer from José Altuve, but otherwise Kyle Wright was awesome in relief of Lee, allowing just the one run over 4 2⁄3 innings of work.
But on the other side, Atlanta’s offense was struggling even more, and they were totally shut down by Zack Greinke and company for the first five innings. Finally they’d get on the board in the sixth when Austin Riley brought home Eddie Rosario with a base hit. The Braves had a chance for more, but settled to cut the deficit down to one. And then in the following inning, Dansby Swanson tied it up with a solo shot the other way out to right field before Jorge Soler came up as a pinch hitter and went to left field for a solo shot of his own, and the back-to-back homers made it a 3-2 game in favor of the Braves.
The second homer was a catchable ball on a line out to left field, but with the NL’s lack of DH the Astros were forced to put Yordan Alvarez in left and it came back to bite them. And sure enough, in the next inning as the Braves bullpen continued their lights out performance, Rosario made a great catch on a similar ball hit out that way by the Astros. That was a big out, and one of six after the homers to hold Atlanta’s lead and put them up 3-1 in the series.
Connor Seabold starts in Arizona
Down in the desert, it has been a tough go for pitchers, and Seabold was no exception on Saturday. The righty started for Scottsdale and allowed three runs over four innings of work, giving up two homers and a double while also walking three. He did strike out four between all of that as well. Seabold was the only Red Sox pitcher for the day, but three positions players started. Triston Casas started at first base in this one, going 2-5 with a couple of singles and a run while striking out three times. Kole Cottam went 0-3 with a walk while starting at DH, and Christian Koss went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout while playing third base.