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Astros ride big second inning to defeat Dodgers 5-3 in Game 3 of the World Series


The Astros once again emerged victorious in a close, hard-fought battle against the Dodgers. This time they took Game 3 at home by a 5-3 margin and now hold a 2-1 series lead with two more home games remaining.

Dodgers starter Yu Darvish couldn’t make it through the second inning, as the Astros put up a four spot on five hits and a walk. For a recap of that action, which resulted in the shortest outing of Darvish’s career,¬†check out our in-game post from earlier. Darvish gave up six hits and a walk overall with no strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings, throwing 49 pitches in the process. The Astros tacked on another run in the fifth inning on an Evan Gattis single and a throwing error by reliever Tony Watson.

Astros starter Lance McCullers didn’t look nearly as dominant as he did when he hurled four scoreless frames in relief in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Yankees. In the third inning, McCullers walked the first three batters he faced, but lucked into a ground ball double play from Corey Seager, which did plate the Dodgers’ first run.¬†McCullers again ran into trouble in the sixth, walking Seager to lead off the frame, then giving up a double to Justin Turner. After striking out Cody Bellinger, manager A.J. Hinch brought in Brad Peacock. Yasiel Puig knocked in another run with a ground out. With Chase Utley batting, Peacock uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Turner to score, making it a 5-3 game. The right-hander saw his way out of the inning by getting Utley to pop out. Both runs were charged to McCullers, who gave up three in total on four hits and four walks with three strikeouts across 5 1/3 innings, utilizing 87 pitches.

Peacock then worked a scoreless seventh and eighth. He remained in the game for the ninth as Hinch opted to stick with the hot hand rather than closer Ken Giles. It was the right call. Peacock struck out Yasiel Puig, got Utley to hit a tapper back to the mound, then got Yasmani Grandal to fly out to right field to end the game in a 5-3 victory for the Astros. In 3 2/3 innings of relief, Peacock did not allow a hit and walked one while striking out four on 53 pitches. That is a yeoman’s effort.

The World Series continues on Saturday with Game 4 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Alex Wood will start for the Dodgers opposite the Astros’ Charlie Morton.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.

MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”