Gerrit Cole dominant as Astros defeat Nationals 7-1 in World Series Game 5


After emerging victorious over the Nationals 7-1 in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night, the Astros are one win away from their second championship in three years. Gerrit Cole dominated on the mound while Yordan Álvarez, Carlos Correa, and George Springer each contributed a two-run homer in the winning effort.

Joe Ross got the start for the Nationals, filling in for the injured Max Scherzer. He was better than his final line indicated. The Astros got on the board against him in the second inning when Yuli Gurriel reached on an infield single with one out and Álvarez slugged a two-run home run to center field. All things considered, it wasn’t a bad pitch. Ross hit his target with a 95 MPH sinker, but Álvarez just put a good swing on it.

Álvarez, who didn’t start in Games 3 or 4 due to the absence of the DH rule, continued to swing a hot bat in the fourth inning, keeping the inning alive with a two-out single. Carlos Correa promptly brought him home with a two-run homer of his own to make it 4-0. All told, Ross threw 78 pitches across five innings, allowing the four runs on five hits and a pair of walks with one strikeout.

The Nationals had Cole’s number in Game 1 of the World Series, but not so much in Game 5. Cole held the opposition scoreless through six innings. Juan Soto finally put the Nationals on the board with a solo homer to center field with one out in the seventh. Cole was able to make it out of the seventh inning without any further damage, though he did have a bit of help from home plate umpire Lance Barksdale. That was Cole’s final inning of work, ending the night on the hook for one run on three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts on 110 pitches.

Joe Smith took over for Cole in the eighth. He worked around a leadoff Yan Gomes single with a strikeout, a line out, and a foul pop out to send the game to the ninth inning.

Just for good measure, George Springer hit the Astros’ third two-run homer of the night, ripping a no-doubt shot to left field off of Daniel Hudson, upping the score to 7-1. Closer Roberto Osuna had been warming up, but the added insurance turned the dial to Ryan Pressly for the bottom of the ninth. Pressly made quick work of the middle of the Nats’ lineup to put the game in the books, getting Anthony Rendon to line out to right field, Soto to strike out, and Howie Kendrick to ground out.

The World Series heads back to Houston for Game 6 — and Game 7, if necessary. The two clubs will take Monday off to travel before resuming play on Tuesday. Stephen Strasburg will oppose Justin Verlander.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”