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Phillies draw first blood


It’s incredible.


LOS ANGELES (AFP) — J.T. Realmuto belted the game-winning home run in the top of the 10th inning Friday as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Astros 6-5 in Game 1 of the World Series in Houston.

The Phillies, who were the last National League team to qualify for the playoffs, erased a 5-0 deficit against Houston’s two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Justin Verlander to hand the Astros their first defeat of this post-season.

Realmuto, who also unleashed a game-tying two-run double off Verlander in the fifth inning, said the game exemplified Philadelphia’s never-say-die spirit.

“It’s incredible,” the catcher said. “The way we fought back in that game after being down five-nothing, that’s a Phillies win right there.”

Kyle Tucker homered twice for the Astros, who roared into Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven championship series after going 7-0 in the American League playoffs.

He led off the bottom of the second with a solo homer off Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola, smacking a changeup to deep right field. Houston added another run in the inning when Martin Maldonado’s ground ball single scored Yuli Gurriel.

Tucker added a three-run blast in the next inning to push the Astros’ lead to 5-0, becoming the first Houston player with multiple homers in a World Series game.

Jeremy Pena had doubled to deep right field to lead off the inning and reached third base on Yordan Alvarez’s ground out. Alex Bregman walked and Tucker returned to the plate where he smashed a fastball from Nola 395 feet to the right center field seats.

Verlander hadn’t allowed a baserunner through three innings when the Phillies finally broke through in the fourth when he gave up a one-out single to Rhys Hoskins. Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos followed with back-to-back base hits and Hoskins scored.

Alec Bohm’s line drive double to left field drove in Harper and Castellanos as Philadelphia cut the deficit to 5-3.

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