HOUSTON — Cuban outfielder Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and Dominican left-hander Framber Valdez had another superb pitching performance as the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in Game 6 on Saturday. , and crowned champions of the Major League World Series.
For Houston it is the second title in its history, after it won the first in 2017. For its manager Dusty Baker, 73, it is the first in 25 seasons with five teams.
Valdez allowed one run on two hits, walking two and striking out nine batters. In two World Series starts he was 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA (2 earned runs in 12.1 innings) with five walks and 18 strikeouts. In four postseason starts, he went 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 25.0 innings.
During the first five innings of Game 6, Valdez and American right-hander Zack Wheeler engaged in a duel of zeros.
But starting the sixth, outfielder Kyle Schwarber hit a short sinker into Valdez’s strike zone into the right-field seats, his third home run of the series (all off the leadoff in the lineup, the third-most in baseball history). event) and sixth of the postseason.
Schwarber’s homer woke the Phillies up. And also to the Astros.
In the bottom of the same inning, Wheeler, who had limited the hosts to two hits and had five strikeouts, hit Philadelphia’s ninth batter, Puerto Rican catcher Martin Maldonado. Phillies manager Rob Thomson challenged the call, arguing that Maldonado elbowed for the hit, as he had in an earlier game with Aledmys Diaz. Unlike the previous occasion, the replay center in New York found no evidence of such a suggestion.
After second baseman José Altuve grounded out to force Maldonado into second base, shortstop Jeremy Peña singled that sent Altuve to third base with one out.
Then Thomson brought out Wheeler to bring in Venezuelan left-hander Jose Alvarado to face dangerous left-handed hitter Alvarez, who led Houston with 37 homers and a 1.1019 OPS in the regular series but was 9-for-50 in the playoffs.
Alvarez hit a 99 mph sinker fastball over the high center field wall of Minute Maid Park to the delight of most of the 42,948 fans who packed the facility. The 450-foot shot is the longest in the World Series in the era of using Statcast technology, since 2008.
Álvarez’s three home runs gave his team the lead from the sixth inning onward, tying a postseason record with the Los Angeles Angels’ Troy Glaus in 2002.
A hit by Christian Vázquez, who served as designated hitter, drove in the fourth run of the inning for the Astros.
Dominicans Héctor Neris and Bryan Abreu pitched cleanly in the seventh and eighth innings. Abreu concluded the postseason with 11.1 scoreless innings, four hits and 19 strikeouts. Closer Ryan Pressly took it upon himself to end the game to start a huge celebration throughout Houston.