Atlanta Braves outfielder Adam Duvall (R) is congratulated by teammate Eddie Rosario after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning in Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Photo by Maria Lysaker/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Braves got off to a historic start at the plate and never looked back, earning a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Braves, playing in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1999, showed composure on the championship stage and continued their hot postseason hitting to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Astros.
Game 2 of the series is set for Wednesday night in Houston.
Jorge Soler, who returned to the lineup after a stint on the COVID-19 injured list, kicked off the night with a solo homer to left field in the opening inning to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. He became the first player ever to hit a home run in the first plate appearance of the World Series.
Later in the inning, Austin Riley scored Ozzie Albies with a double to deep center field, extending the Braves' lead to 2-0.
Soler came through again for the Braves in the top of the second by scoring Travis d'Arnaud on a fielder's choice. Holding a 3-0 lead, Adam Duvall launched a two-run homer in the top of the third to boost Atlanta's advantage to 5-0.
The fast start at the plate marked a significant milestone for the Braves, who became the first team in World Series history to score runs in each of the first three innings of Game 1.
The early 5-0 lead also allowed the Braves' bullpen to comfortably settle in after starter Charlie Morton was forced to exit with a fractured fibula in the bottom of the third.
Morton appeared to suffer the leg injury after getting hit by a 102.4 mph comebacker off the bat of Astros slugger Yuli Gurriel to start the bottom of the second.
The 37-year-old pitcher retired the next two batters he faced in the inning, then returned for the third and struck out Astros second baseman Jose Altuve before exiting the game. The veteran right-hander was in visible pain while delivering the last pitch to Altuve and eventually headed to the dugout after talking with a team trainer.
Morton, who threw 16 pitches on the broken leg, was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the series. He is expected to return for spring training in 2022.
Braves manager Brian Snitker turned to reliever A.J. Minter after Morton's departure. Minter was credited with the win, allowing just one run on three hits over 2 2/3 innings.
Minter gave up his lone run in the bottom of the fourth, when Chas McCormick scored Kyle Tucker on a fielder's choice.
Freddie Freeman put the Braves ahead 6-1 with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Yordan Alvarez bashed a triple and came around to score on a Carlos Correa groundout.
The Astros, however, were unable to close the gap any further. Braves closer Will Smith entered in the ninth and issued a walk before retiring the next three batters he faced.
Astros starter Framber Valdez earned the loss after giving up five runs and eight hits in two innings. He recorded two strikeouts and walked one.
Braves left-hander Max Fried is expected to start Game 2, while the Astros will send right-hander Jose Urquidy to the mound.
Atlanta Braves players celebrate their win over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the MLB World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Tuesday. Photo by Maria Lysaker/UPI | License Photo