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Pirates’, Braves’ benches empty in the first inning

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The Pirates’ and Braves’ benches emptied in the bottom of the first inning at SunTrust Park on Monday evening. With a runner on third base and two outs, Pirates starter Joe Musgrove threw a fastball that grazed the uniform of Josh Donaldson. As Donaldson walked to first base, Musgrove appeared to be saying something. Donaldson took exception, turning towards Musgrove while yelling at him. Players spilled onto the field, causing a brief delay in the game.

Donaldson and Musgrove were ejected, as was Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. The Pirates, already short on starting pitching, had to go to the bullpen with two outs in the first inning. Alex McRae took over for Musgrove, striking out Nick Markakis to end the inning.

There is no known preexisting beef between the Pirates and Braves other than the Buccos’ announcer making some regrettable comments about Ronald Acuña Jr. We will likely have to wait until after the game to know exactly what happened. Ostensibly, Musgrove thought Donaldson could’ve gotten out of the way of the pitch, but he wasn’t exactly diplomatic in sharing his opinion.

Nationals, Astros lineups for World Series Game 2

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The Nationals, believed by oddsmakers to be big underdogs in the World Series against the Astros, won arguably their toughest matchup last night by plating five runs against Gerrit Cole in a 5-4 win in Houston. They’ll take a 1-0 series lead into Wednesday night’s action featuring a duel between Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander. Here are the lineups for the two sides.

Nationals

SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
DH Howie Kendrick
2B Asdrúbal Cabrera
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Victor Robles

SP Stephen Strasburg

No changes here. Manager Dave Martinez is rolling out the same exact lineup as he had in Game 1.

Astros

CF George Springer
2B José Altuve
LF Michael Brantley
3B Alex Bregman
1B Yuli Gurriel
DH Yordan Álvarez
SS Carlos Correa
C Robinson Chirinos
RF Josh Reddick

SP Justin Verlander

Likewise, Astros skipper A.J. Hinch has hardly changed his lineup. The only difference is Chirinos is doing the catching tonight as opposed to Martín Maldonado.

Springer notably did not give maximum effort on an RBI double he hit off of the wall in right-center field, thinking it was a home run. He could’ve had a triple. Springer and Hinch discussed it over the phone late last night, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller reports. Hinch didn’t seem too concerned about it.