[Breaking news update, published at 11:37 p.m. ET]
The Houston Astros won the franchise’s second World Series title on Saturday after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park.
Both starting pitchers were trading zeros through the first five innings. The Phillies got the scoring started in the top of the sixth inning with a Kyle Schwarber solo home run off Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez, who was able to limit the damage before being pulled after the sixth. Valdez finished with nine strikeouts and only allowed two hits and a run.
After allowing two baserunners, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler was pulled from the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarado gave up a three-run home run to Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez to give Houston the lead. Houston would tack on one more run on a Christian Vazquez single.
Astros closer Ryan Pressly came in to close out the game and make sure the home crowd in Houston went home celebrating a World Series victory.
After falling behind 2-1 through the first three games of the World Series, Houston evened up the series after throwing a combined no-hitter in Game 4. Game 5 saw Astros ace Justin Verlander collect his long-awaited first career World Series victory after pitching five innings with six strikeouts and giving up one run.
The Astros win was the first time since 2013 that a team claimed the title at its home field.
Houston has twice witnessed heartbreak since the team’s first title in 2017. The team appeared in the Fall Classic in 2019 against the Washington Nationals and 2021 versus the Atlanta Braves, both resulting in losses.
The win in 2017 came with a lot of questions and controversy.
Following the win, Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane fired then-manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the MLB had suspended them both for a season without pay for a sign-stealing scandal.
Major League Baseball found the club illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season.
The team forfeited its regular first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and paid a $5 million fine.
The Astros kept their title – but, to many non-Houston fans, it remains shrouded in scandal.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
[Original story, published at 7:30 a.m. ET]
The Houston Astros will look to capitalize on home advantage as it prepares to face the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series on Saturday.
The Astros take a slender 3-2 lead into the game but have a golden opportunity of clinching the series in its home stadium, Minute Maid Park.
If the Astros win, it would be the first time since 2013 that a team claims the title at their home field – but it hasn’t always been a happy hunting ground for the Astros.
In both 2019 and 2021, the franchise watched as its opponents celebrated winning the series in Houston – first the Washington Nationals and then the Atlanta Braves.
“One more win and we get to lift that trophy over our heads,” Astros pitcher Ryan Pressly told reporters ahead of the game.
“But the job’s not done right now. We’ve just got to keep going out there, having good at-bats, putting good quality pitches together, and let the chips fall where they may.”
As favorites coming into the series, the Astros will feel confident continuing their two-game win streak but will face a Phillies team determined to make their mark.
Philadelphia rallied to within one run in Game 5 and had postseason star Bryce Harper at bat in the bottom of the ninth, but a sensational catch at the wall by Astros outfielder Chas McCormick helped preserve Houston’s victory as the clock struck midnight.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson says his team will keep fighting in Houston and he knows how quickly things can change in baseball.
“Sometimes you go through times when you don’t hit with runners in scoring position and then, three days later, everybody’s getting hits,” he told reporters after the latest loss.
“So we’ve just got to keep battling, that’s all.
“Approach is the same that we’ve had. Just come out the next day and go get them. Prepare, compete. These guys will show up, I can guarantee it. They will fight until the end.”