2022 World Series: Astros offense comes to life in Game 4 win

PHILADELPHIA — Kyle Tucker was dancing from second base after his first double to right field. It was the second inning and the Astros were pressing Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola.

Yuli Gurriel, in the box, sent a routine ground ball to Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm. Tucker, with Bohm sucking the ball right in front of him, pretended to stay in second. Then, as soon as Bohm fired the ball first, Tucker took off for third. Gurriel was out early, and Tucker’s wheels and one-on-one play allowed him to slip safely into third.

“Points are hard to come by,” Tucker said of his thought process during that game. Yuli getting kicked out early would be a takedown with a guy on third So anything we can do to try to take the extra 90 feet, we’ll try to do that, and be aggressive with it, but still be smart with that.”

Houston scored no runs this inning; Nola ended up escaping a few traffic jams before the floodgates opened. But that aggressiveness from Tucker advancing to third represented how badly the Astros wanted to tie the World Series again, just like they did after falling 1-0 behind.

“It’s the theme: we get punched in the face game one, then we win game two, we get punched in the face game three, then we win game four,” the outfielder said. of the Astros Chas McCormick. “So tomorrow is going to be a dogfight. It’s a really big game tomorrow.”

The Astros finally ended their 16-inning scoreless drought in the fifth inning. They collected three consecutive singles on Nola to charge the bases with no one. Phillies manager Rob Thomson, continuing his aggressive management of the bullpen in this series, fired Nola in favor of one of his best relievers, southpaw Jose Alvarado, with dangerous slugger Yordan Alvarez at the plate.

Alvarado’s first pitch of the night drilled Alvarez. And that’s how the Astros put a run on the board for the first time since the fifth inning of their Game 2 win over the Phillies on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

“We had a good mindset every time at bat,” Tucker said. “We were very competitive in the box tonight.”

Although the scoreless drought uncharacteristically ended on a bases-loaded hit per pitch, what came next was, well, typical Astros.

Behind in the count, 0-2, Alex Bregman showed his fast bat and jumped on Alvarado’s 100 MPH lead for a two-run right double that extended the Astros’ lead to 3-0 . Then Tucker’s sacrificial volley to center field fired another run on the board. Gurriel’s RBI single to left field completed the offensive barrage, putting the Astros ahead, 5-0, at fifth. No home runs needed; it was old school and a contagious little bullet.

Astros take 5-0 lead after Alex Bregman’s two-run double and Yuli Gurriel’s RBI single

Astros take 5-0 lead after Alex Bregman's two-run double and Yuli Gurriel's RBI single

The Houston Astros took the lead in Game 4 after scoring five runs in the top of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies with RBIs from Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel. The World Series is now tied 2-2.

“It was kind of a passing round,” Bregman said. “Guys putting together good quality bats, swinging on pitches that were good to hit, each guy not trying to do too much, just staying to himself.”

By the time 27 strikeouts entered the books, those five runs were more than enough for the ‘Stros to win. Led by Houston’s most impressive starter, 25-year-old right-hander Cristian Javier, and the three relievers who followed him, the Phillies were untouched by the Astros.

The 45,693 people at Citizens Bank Park were silenced in an eerily quiet baseball stadium that just 24 hours earlier was shaking with electricity. But the Astros lineup that showed up in Tuesday’s Game 3 loss was swinging recklessly and chasing pitches without putting pressure on Phillies pitchers. To eliminate that feeling, Houston’s game plan on Wednesday was simple: attack early and gather better batsmen.

In Game 4, the Astros’ Ruthless identity returned. It’s the Astros who haven’t wasted a golden opportunity to score. It was the Astros who not only punished mistakes, but also quality shots. It was the Astros who, after being shut out the night before, even got back to the World Series at 2-2 and in doing so ensured that MLB’s final and most important game of the year would come home. . lawn in Houston.

Jeremy Peña gives his perspective from shortstop during the Astros’ no-hitter combined

Jeremy Peña gives his perspective from shortstop during the Astros' no-hitter combined

Houston Astros shortstop Jeremy Peña describes what the team’s combined no-hitter looked like from his perspective.

Still, the Astros have only scored those five runs in their last 21 innings played. In Thursday’s deciding Game 5, the Houston batters will look to continue adding to that total against Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard.

“Overall, we did a great job putting together some great batsmen and rocking out on some great pitches today in general,” Bregman said. “I know we only scored five points, but I think our swing decisions were much better.”

Deesha Thosar is an MLB Writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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