HOUSTON (AP) - Strong pitching and a tsunami of late-inning offense have allowed the Washington Nationals to head home with a two-games-to-none lead in the World Series against the Houston Astros.
The Nats erupted for 10 runs over their last three at-bats and rolled to a 12-3 rout of the Astros. Kurt Suzuki’s solo homer broke a 2-2 tie and ignited the Nationals’ six-run seventh off losing pitcher Justin Verlander and Ryan Pressly.
Adrubal Cabrera and Ryan Zimmerman followed with two-run singles to give Washington a six-run cushion, and the lead continued to grow with Adam Eaton’s two-run blast in the eighth. Cabrera capped his three-RBI night with a run-scoring single later in the eighth, and Michael A. Taylor went deep for a solo shot in the ninth.
Anthony Rendon doubled home a pair just three batters into the game to put Washington ahead. The Astros immediately responded as Alex Bregman ended a 3-for-22 skid with a two-run blast in the bottom of the first off winning pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg struck out seven and worked around seven hits to improve to 4-0 this postseason.
Verlander was reached for four runs and seven hits over six-plus innings to fall to 1-3 in the postseason. Two of his three walks came around to score.
The Nationals have won eight straight since falling behind two games to one against the Dodgers in the NL Division Series.
Game 3 is Friday in Washington when Aníbal Sánchez opposes Houston’s Zack Greinke.