World Series Game 5: Braves vs Astros

By Mike Hayes and Jason Kurtz, CNN

Updated 12:49 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
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12:49 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021

Astros avoid elimination, defeat Braves 9-5 to force Game 6

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros celebrate the team's 9-5 win against the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series on October 31 in Atlanta.
Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros celebrate the team's 9-5 win against the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series on October 31 in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

With his team facing elimination, and that elusive first World Series championship once again seeming to slip away, Houston's veteran manager Dusty Baker revamped his batting order. The result? Nine Astros runs, a critical Game 5 win, and a series that now heads back to Texas.

Shortstop Carlos Correa, bumped up to third in the batting order, came through with three hits and a pair of RBI, while first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who moved up to fifth after hitting seventh in Game 4, had 3 hits of his own and scored two runs. On the evening the Astros tallied a dozen hits, earning a 9-5 victory that, for the time being, extends their season.

The Braves, seeking their first championship in more than a quarter-century, opened the scoring in explosive fashion on Adam Duvall's first-inning Grand Slam. But the Astros quietly chipped away, ultimately drawing even at 4-4 on a Gurriel groundout in the top of the 3rd.

Veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman would put the Braves back in front in the bottom of the frame, launching a massive 460-foot homer into the seats in right-center field. Freeman's blast marked the longest home run by any player in the 2021 postseason, but it also represented the final scoring play of the evening for the home team. The Astros, however, were far from done.

Houston scored three times in the top of the 5th, highlighted by pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez's 2-out, 2-run single which gave the Astros their first lead of the game, 7-5.

The Astros added an insurance run in the 7th on catcher Martin Maldonado's third RBI of the night, and one more in the 8th on a Correa single which plated second baseman Jose Altuve.

On the night Houston used six pitchers, with the Astros bullpen holding Atlanta scoreless for the final six innings of the ballgame.

The loss marks the Braves' first defeat at home this postseason, and if Atlanta is to win the World Series, they'll be forced to do so in enemy territory. Both Game 6, and if necessary Game 7, will be in Houston.

Astros pitcher Jose Urquidy, normally a starter, earned the victory in relief for Houston, while Braves reliever A.J. Minter — who allowed three runs in the pivotal 5th frame — suffered the loss.

Now trailing 3-2, Houston aims to become just the 15th team in MLB history to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a best-of-seven postseason series.

Game 6 is Tuesday night, with the first pitch set for 8:09 PM ET.

12:22 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021

Houston wins Game 5 of the World Series

From CNN's Mike Hayes

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman Jose Altuve celebrate winning Game 5 of the World Series.
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman Jose Altuve celebrate winning Game 5 of the World Series. (David J. Phillip/AP)

The Houston Astros defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series. The final score was 9-5.

Game 6 is set for Tuesday night in Houston, Texas. The Braves lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2.

12:06 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021

We're heading to the bottom of the ninth in Atlanta

From CNN's Mike Hayes

It's Atlanta's last chance in Game 5. They've got plenty of work to do, trailing 9-5.

If the Astros can hold on, the series is heading back to Houston for Game 6 on Tuesday.

12:08 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021

Houston tacks on more in the eighth

From CNN's Mike Hayes

Jose Altuve of the Astros steals second past Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson during the eighth inning of Game 5.
Jose Altuve of the Astros steals second past Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson during the eighth inning of Game 5. (David J. Phillip/AP)

Jose Altuve led off the inning with a hit up the middle. He stole second on a play that was reviewed by the umpires but ultimately Altuve was ruled safe.

Altuve advanced to third on a Michael Brantley grounder. Next man up, Carlos Correa drove him in to extend visitors' lead, 9-5.

It's still 9-5 as the Braves bat in the 8th.

11:26 p.m. ET, October 31, 2021

Astros extend lead on Maldonado's 3rd RBI

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Astros' Kyle Tucker scores past Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud on a single by Martin Maldonado during the seventh inning.
Astros' Kyle Tucker scores past Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud on a single by Martin Maldonado during the seventh inning. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Major League catchers are traditionally lauded for their defensive work.

But with his team facing elimination on a cool Georgia night, Houston backstop Martin Maldonado has done significant damage at the plate.

With his 8th-inning liner to left field, the 35-year-old plated Kyle Tucker and extended the Astros lead to 8-5.

The RBI is Maldonado's third of the evening, as he also drew a bases-loaded walk in the 5th, and brought Tucker home with a second-inning sacrifice fly.

It's currently 8-5 Astros in the bottom of the 7th.

11:12 p.m. ET, October 31, 2021

Maton shuts down the Braves in the bottom of the sixth

From CNN's Mike Hayes

Phil Maton of the Astros delivers a pitch during the sixth inning.
Phil Maton of the Astros delivers a pitch during the sixth inning. (Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Braves pinch-hitter Joc Pederson came up against Houston reliever Phil Maton in the sixth inning with a man on and two out.

Pederson has been smoking hot as a pinch hitter this postseason. Going into tonight he was 3-3 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs in pinch-hit duties during the 2021 playoffs.

Maton got Pederson to pop one up in foul territory down the third base line. Because the shift was on, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman had to run a mile across the infield to get to the pop-up but managed to reel it in for the third out.

Houston still up 7-5 in the 7th.

10:40 p.m. ET, October 31, 2021

Astros take first lead on Gonzalez RBI

By CNN's Jason Kurtz

Marwin Gonzalez of the Astros hits a two-RBI single during the fifth inning.
Marwin Gonzalez of the Astros hits a two-RBI single during the fifth inning. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

A two-out, bases-loaded single by pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez has given the Astros their first lead in Game 5, 7-5.

Facing Braves reliever A.J. Minter with the bases loaded, Gonzalez gently served one up to shallow left field, allowing both Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman to score.

Gonzalez's clutch single came moments after Minter issued a bases-loaded walk to catcher Martin Maldonado, tying the game at 5-5.

After trailing 4-0 in the first inning, the Astros are in front for the first time all evening.

Minter was replaced by right-hander Chris Martin, who struck out Jose Altuve to end the frame.

It's currently 7-5 Astros in the 5th.

10:11 p.m. ET, October 31, 2021

Houston turns to Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the fourth

From CNN's Mike Hayes

Jose Urquidy of the Astros delivers a pitch during the fourth inning.
Jose Urquidy of the Astros delivers a pitch during the fourth inning. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Trailing 5-4, the Astros brought in their Game 2 starter Jose Urquidy to pitch in the bottom of the fourth.

They probably would've liked to start him in Game 6 — but Game 6 isn't happening unless Houston wins tonight.

Urquidy allowed a leadoff single to Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud but then retired the next three batters he faced to keep the game at 5-4.

It remains 5-4 heading to the 5th in Atlanta.

9:53 p.m. ET, October 31, 2021

Framber Valdez's night is over

From CNN's Mike Hayes

Framber Valdez #59 of the Astros is taken out of the game during the third inning.
Framber Valdez #59 of the Astros is taken out of the game during the third inning. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Houston starter Framber Valdez left in the third with a runner on first and two outs. Valdez went 2.2 innings, giving up five runs on four hits by the Braves, including two home runs.

Right-handed reliever Yimi Garcia came in for Valdez and got Adam Duvall to pop up after a hard-fought 12 pitch at-bat to end the inning.

Both starters' nights ended early in Game 5. Tucker Davidson was pulled by Braves manager Brian Snitker in the third.

We're heading to the 4th with Atlanta up 5-4.