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Atlanta Braves hold off Houston Astros in Game 3, take 2-1 World Series lead

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Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud (R) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday at Truist Park in Atlanta. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/184f86fdb8919ad6822642840141fd2d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud (R) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday at Truist Park in Atlanta. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Behind a stellar outing from right-hander Ian Anderson and a rock-solid bullpen, the Braves blanked the Houston Astros 2-0 on Friday night at Truist Park in Atlanta to take a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

Anderson and the Atlanta bullpen took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, with the Braves allowing just two hits in what could be a pivotal Game 3 victory. Of the 60 previous times the Fall Classic was tied at one game apiece, the winner of Game 3 went on to win the World Series 39 times -- including six of the last nine.

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Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday night in Atlanta.

The Braves' offense got going in the third inning when left fielder Eddie Rosario drew a lead-off walk. All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman then singled before Austin Riley lined a double down the left-field line that scored Rosario.

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Jorge Soler walked, but Astros starter Luis Garcia stranded the bases loaded when Braves outfielder Adam Duvall fouled out to first and Travis d'Arnaud struck out.

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Both offenses stalled until the eighth, when d'Arnaud blasted his second home run of the World Series to extend the Braves' lead to 2-0. The 437-foot shot off Astros reliever Kendall Graveman traveled over the center-field wall and gave Atlanta breathing room entering the ninth.

Anderson pitched five innings and didn't allow a hit. He recorded four strikeouts and walked three to earn the win.

A.J. Minter replaced Anderson in the sixth and struck out two batters in his lone inning of work. Luke Jackson then got the ball and pitched a spotless seventh.

Tyler Matzek entered the game in the eighth and allowed the Astros' first hit. Pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz led off the inning with a blooper single that dropped between Rosario and Dansby Swanson.

Matzek settled down and stranded a runner at third after retiring three straight batters.

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"I just didn't want to let the boys down," Matzek said.

Tasked with getting three outs to lock down the victory, Braves closer Will Smith allowed a lead-off single to Alex Bregman -- the Astros' second and final hit of the contest -- before retiring the next three batters he faced for his first save of the series.

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The Braves, who stranded nine runners in the win, improved to 6-0 this postseason at Truist Park, where they have won 11 of their past 12 games. Atlanta also halted its five-game home losing streak in the World Series.

Zack Greinke is expected to start for the Astros in Game 4. The Braves will have two straight bullpen games after losing Game 1 starter Charlie Morton to a broken leg.

Moments from Game 2 of 2021 World Series

Houston Astros Jose Altuve celebrates after hitting a solo home run to give the Astros a 7-2 lead in of Game 2 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Wednesday. Photo by Maria Lysaker/UPI | License Photo

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