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Atlanta Braves rally past Houston Astros to take a commanding 3-2 series lead

DANSBY Swanson and Jorge Soler hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning as the Atlanta Braves rallied for a 3-2 victory over the visiting Houston Astros on Saturday in Game 4 of the World Series to move one victory away from the title.

Swanson’s one-out home run to right field tied the game 2-all before Soler followed four pitches later with a pinch-hit homer to left as the Braves rallied against Astros right-hander Cristian Javier (0-1).

The Braves, who are 7-0 at home in the postseason, can wrap up their first championship since 1995 with a victory in Game 5 at Atlanta on Sunday.

Jose Altuve hit a home run for the Astros, while Zach Greinke pitched four shutout innings for the Astros, who are in danger of falling in the World Series for the second time in three seasons.

The Astros looked like they would break the game open early when they loaded the bases in the first inning against Braves opener Dylan Lee on an Altuve single and walks to Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez.

After recording just one out, Lee was replaced by right-hander Kyle Wright, who retired Correa on a ground out with Altuve scoring for a 1-0 Astros lead.

Wright escaped further trouble in the first and was charged with his only run of the game when Altuve crushed a home run to center field in the fourth inning for a 2-0 Houston lead. It was Altuve’s second home run of the World Series and fifth of this postseason.

It was also the 23rd postseason homer of Altuve’s career, breaking a tie with the New York Yankees’ Bernie Williams and moving him alone into second place all-time. Manny Ramirez had 29 career postseason home runs.

The Braves began to storm back in the sixth inning. An Eddie Rosario double and walk to Freddie Freeman chased Astros left-hander Brooks Raley, with right-hander Phil Maton giving up a two-out RBI single to Austin Riley as Atlanta pulled within 2-1.

Javier struck out Adam Duvall to start the bottom of the seventh before Swanson hit his first home run of the postseason. Soler, who had just two at-bats in the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers while on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) list, followed with his second homer of the series as Atlanta went up 3-2.

Braves left-hander Tyler Matzek (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the victory. Right-hander Luke Jackson pitched a scoreless eighth and left-hander Will Smith pitched the ninth for his second save of the World Series and the sixth of the postseason. — Reuters

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