Sweep time in Washington: Astros storm back for 3-2 series lead

Posted at 10:28 PM, Oct 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-27 23:28:22-04

Redemption was sweet Sunday night for Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros.

As a result, the Astros are a game away from nailing down their second world championship in three seasons.

Cole scattered three hits over seven innings to lead the Astros to a 7-1 Game 5 victory and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

What a difference the weekend made for the Astros, who finished off a stunning sweep of the three games at National Park after losing the first two games in Houston.

The road team has won the first five games of the series. The only other times in the history of the World Series that has happened came in 1906 and 1996.

The Astros can nail down the series victory in Game 6 Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Cole, who was rocked for five earned runs and eight hits in a Game 1 loss to the Nationals, fared much better Sunday night. He struck out nine and walked two in a sterling 110-pitch effort.

The Astros took a quick 2-0 lead in the second on a long home run by Jordan Alvarez.

His blast came against Washington starter and losing pitcher Joe Ross, who was pressed into duty after projected Game 5 starter Max Scherzer couldn't go because of a stiff shoulder.

Scherzer arrived at Nationals Park and reported spasms in his right trapezius muscle, the area behind his shoulder. Manager Dave Martinez made the announcement at roughly 4:30 p.m., about 3½ hours before Sunday's first pitch.

Houston hit Ross hard. The emergency starter was lucky to escape further damage considering five balls in play have been hit at 99 mph or harder. LuckIly for Ross, four of them resulted in Houston outs.

Houston extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning on a two-run blast from Carlos Correa.

Washington charged back in the seventh on a one-out homer by Juan Soto. It was second homer of the series and his second blast against Cole.

Ryan Zimmerman later walked in the inning, but Cole escaped more damage when Victor Robles was called out on strikes. The final out of the inning was a controversial call that prompted the ire of Martinez, the Nationals and their crowd. It was Cole's final pitch of the evening.

Houston added another run in the eighth inning on a two-out RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel. And George Springer added the clincher with a 435-foot two-run homer to left field in the ninth -- his 14th career postseason homer.

Joe Smith allowed a hit in the scoreless eighth inning before closer Ryan Pressly pitched a clean ninth inning to preserve the victory.

It finished off a lost weekend for the Nationals, who were outscored 19-3 and went 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position in the three losses.