The Latest: Cole pitches Astros to 3-2 Series lead over Nats
WASHINGTON, DC – The Latest on Game 5 of the World Series (all times local):
The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series.
Cole looked exactly like the stud who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.
Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout.
Rookie Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa hit early two-run homers off emergency starter Joe Ross as Houston won its third straight at Nationals Park. Scherzer beat Cole in the opener, but was scratched just 3½ hours before game time because of an irritated nerve near his neck that could finish him for the Series.
With the road team winning every time so far, Houston heads home with a chance to claim its second title in three years. Justin Verlander gets the first try when he starts against Stephen Strasburg in Game 6 Tuesday night at Minute Maid Mark.
Yuli Gurriel poked an RBI single up the middle to give the Houston Astros a 5-1 lead over the Washington Nationals after eight innings of Game 5.
George Springer led off with a double off Daniel Hudson, who retired Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman before Gurriel came through.
Reliever Joe Smith worked around a leadoff single from Yan Gomes to set down the Nationals in the bottom half.
Juan Soto hit his second home run of the World Series, cutting the Houston Astros' lead to 4-1 after seven innings of Game 5.
Soto, who turned 21 on Friday, hit a 98-mph fastball from Gerrit Cole just over the wall in right-center field. Soto also took Cole deep in Game 1 when the Nationals beat him in Houston.
It was the Nationals' first homer in three World Series home games.
Cole then walked Ryan Zimmerman. After a mound visit from manager AJ Hinch, the right-hander stayed in to face Victor Robles, who struck out looking. Robles thought the pitch was outside and tossed his bat, gloves and helmet down the first-base line in the direction of plate umpire Lance Barksdale.
Fans voiced their frustration over the Nationals' futility at home by loudly booing the umpire.
Gerrit Cole has retired eight straight batters for the Astros, who are nine outs away from taking a 3-2 lead in the World Series over the Nationals.
Houston leads Washington 4-0 after six innings. The Astros lost Games 1 and 2 at home before rebounding to take the next two at Nationals Park.
The last time the World Series began with five consecutive road wins was 1996, when the New York Yankees ended the trend in Game 6 to finish off the Atlanta Braves.
Cole has thrown 84 pitches, allowing two hits and striking out seven.
Gerrit Cole is cruising through five innings for the Astros as they seek to return to Houston with a 3-2 World Series lead over the Washington Nationals.
Cole, a leading candidate for the AL Cy Young Award, has allowed two hits and one walk through five innings, striking out five. The Astros lead 4-0.
Nationals starter Joe Ross allowed four runs on five hits in five innings. All the damage came on two-run homers by Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa. He was replaced by Tanner Rainey in the sixth.
Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give the Houston Astros a 4-0 lead over the Washington Nationals in Game 5.
Joe Ross hung a 2-2 slider and Correa connected for a no-doubt shot to the seats in left field, quieting a crowd that had been chanting in support of the surprise starting pitcher. Ross took the mound after Max Scherzer was scratched with a neck injury.
Ross has allowed four runs on five hits through four innings.
Gerrit Cole has had little trouble with a Nationals lineup that beat him in Game 1, part of Washington's run of eight straight playoff wins. He has allowed two hits in four innings.
President Donald Trump was met with loud, sustained boos and chants of "Lock him up!" from fans at Nationals Park when he was shown on the in-stadium video screen after the third inning of Game 5.
The boos ended only after the video screen cut to a shot of U.S. service members waving to the crowd and then showed a message thanking the military. Trump is attending the game with five wounded veterans.
Then, as Nationals starter Joe Ross took the mound to warm up for the fourth inning, fans started chanting, "Lock him up!" in an apparent reference to ongoing impeachment proceedings against the president. Pro-Trump crowds have frequently chanted "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton at the president's campaign rallies.
Trump was attending his first major league game since he took office in January 2017. He did not throw out the ceremonial first pitch and arrived with no fanfare just as the game began.
Trump, who campaigned on a promise to "drain the swamp," is deeply unpopular in the Washington area. He received 4% of the vote in the District of Columbia and lost both Maryland and Virginia in 2016.
Rookie slugger Yordan Álvarez helped the Astros jump on the Washington Nationals again, lining a two-run homer into the first row of seats in right-center to give Houston a 2-0 lead after two innings of Game 5.
The Astros lost the first two games of the World Series at home but are looking to return to Houston up 3-2. Houston also got early 2-0 leads in Games 3 and 4.
Álvarez played left field, his first start since Game 2. He was the designated hitter in the AL park. He hit 27 homers in 87 regular season games but had not gone deep in his previous 71 at-bats dating to Sept. 21.
At 22 years, 122 days, he became the youngest Cuban-born player to homer in the World Series.
Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick singled to open the bottom of the second for Washington, but Gerrit Cole struck out Ryan Zimmerman and got a double-play grounder from Victor Robles.
Nationals fans looking for something to cheer for are rallying around spot starter Joe Ross, who took the mound for Game 5 after Max Scherzer was scratched with a neck injury.
Ross walked leadoff batter George Springer but got red-hot José Altuve to bounce into a double play on the first pitch. He retired Michael Brantley on a grounder into the shift in right field to end his first inning.
Fans chanted "Let's go Joe!" to support Ross, who has only pitched once in the playoffs, a two-inning relief stint in Friday night's loss.
The Nationals are the first team since the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies to use five starting pitchers in the World Series.
Astros starter Gerrit Cole retired the Nationals in order in the first.
President Donald Trump is attending his first major league game as president, arriving Sunday night at Nationals Park just before the first pitch of Game 5 of the World Series.
The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros are tied at two games apiece.
Trump emerged from his motorcade wearing a dark suit and tie. He took a seat in a lower-tier box to the left of home plate. Five wounded veterans are among those watching the game with the president.
Trump's entourage includes Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas.
The president's arrival was not shown on in-stadium video monitors, but fans near the president turned and took pictures of him.
Washington-based celebrity chef Jose Andrés got a big cheer when he lobbed the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park.
Andrés is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump's immigration policies and his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He was chosen by the team to toss the first ball. Andrés, a native of Spain, pumped his fist after the ball barely crossed home plate on the fly.
Trump is attending Game 5, the first time he has been to Nationals Park since he took office. He planned to arrive after the game began to minimize disruption to fans trying to enter the stadium. The stands were full of red towel-waving fans before the first pitch despite enhanced security at entrance gates that included explosive-sniffing dogs, Secret Service officers and Transportation Security Agency employees.
Sgt. Major Bob McDonald of the U.S. Army Chorus sang the national anthem.
Max Scherzer says he can't lift his right arm and needed help from his wife to get dressed because of a muscle spasm and pinched nerve in his neck.
Scherzer was scratched as the Washington Nationals' starting pitcher for Game 5 of the World Series against the Houston Astros. Joe Ross will take his place.
Scherzer says his neck spasms started over the last few days and he got treatment in an effort to be ready to pitch. But he says he woke up Sunday morning and couldn't get out of bed. He had to fall out of bed and push himself up with his left arm.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner had a cortisone shot in hopes of being ready for a possible Game 7.
Scherzer says he texted Ross to let him know he would be starting.
"I'm as disappointed as I possibly can be not to be able to pitch tonight. It's Game 5 of the World Series," Scherzer said. "I've pitched through so much crap in my career that that would be easy to pitch through at this point. This is literally impossible to do anything with."
Rookie Yordan Álvarez was back in the Astros' starting lineup for Game 5 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals.
Álvarez, who hit 27 homers in 87 regular season games, was batting sixth and playing left field. He was the designated hitter in Games 1 and 2 but was benched as the series moved to the NL ballpark.
Catcher Robinson Chirinos, who homered in Games 3 and 4, was benched for the Astros. Martin Maldonado was behind the plate with Gerrit Cole pitching in a repeat of the Game 1 battery.
With scheduled starter Max Scherzer scratched for Washington with spasms near his neck, his preferred catcher Kurt Suzuki was on the bench for the second straight night. Suzuki has a right hip flexor injury, but manager Dave Martinez said he would be available for Game 6. Yan Gomes started at catcher.
Shortstop Trea Turner led off for Washington, followed by right fielder Adam Eaton, third baseman Anthony Rendon, left fielder Juan Soto, second baseman Howie Kendrick, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left fielder Victor Robles, Gomes and pitcher Joe Ross.
For Houston, George Springer led off and played center field, followed by second baseman José Altuve, right fielder Michael Brantley, third baseman Alex Bregman, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, Álvarez, shortstop Carlos Correa, Maldonado and Cole.
Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg could tell it was a big game by the pooches.
President Donald Trump was set to attend Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park. As part of protocol, the clubhouses were swept as a precaution.
"I think everybody is excited. It's the president of the United States," Strasburg said.
"So there's obviously beefed up security," he said. "So usually the dogs that are sniffing in our clubhouse are these nice Labs that are super friendly. And today there was a German shepherd that I didn't really feel comfortable petting."
Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start in Game 5 of the World Series because of spasms near his neck.
Washington manager Dave Martinez made the announcement 3½ hours before the first pitch Sunday night.
Joe Ross was scheduled to start in place of Scherzer. Gerrit Cole starts for Houston, with the Series tied 2-2.
Martinez said Scherzer felt the spasm near his neck and trapezius muscle on his right side Saturday and woke up Sunday and texted the team trainer that "he was really hurting."
Martinez said Scherzer was "locked up" and "he was in a bad place."
"He's very upset," Martinez said.
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