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Astros beat Braves in World Series Game 5 to avoid elimination, return to Houston

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Astros beat Braves in World Series Game 5 to avoid elimination, return to Houston
Houston Astros center fielder Kyle Tucker (30) scores against Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud during the seventh inning on a single by Martin Maldonado in Game 5 of the World Series at Truist Park in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday night. Photo by Kate Awtrey-King/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The Houston Astros staved off elimination with a 9-5 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night at Truist Park in Atlanta.

Facing a 3-1 series deficit, the Astros overcame Braves outfielder Adam Duvall's grand slam in the first inning to stay alive in the Fall Classic. Houston roared back with three runs in the fifth and held on late to force another game in the championship series.

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Game 6 of the best-of-seven series is set for Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

"We celebrated it. We got excited, and that's what you do when you hit home runs," Duvall said. "But it's a long game. That happened in the bottom of the first. It's a nine-inning game, and they didn't quit. They kept fighting.

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"We weren't able to get it going again and keep the pressure on, and that's hat's off to their pitchers. They kept us there when they needed to."

Down 4-0 after Duvall tagged Houston starter Framber Valdez, the Astros started to chip away at the Braves' early lead. Alex Bregman hit an RBI double and Martin Maldonado followed with a sacrifice fly that brought the score to 4-2 in the top of the second.

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson's error helped the Astros tie the game in the third. Houston second baseman Jose Altuve reached base on the mistake and Michael Brantley walked, leading Braves manager Brian Snitker to yank starter Tucker Davidson.

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Astros shortstop Carlos Correa greeted reliever Jesse Chavez with a double to center that scored Altuve. Yuli Gurriel's run-scoring groundout tied it at 4-4.

In the bottom-half of the inning, Braves star first baseman Freddie Freeman broke the tie with a 460-foot home run that equaled the longest of his career.

The Astros, however, responded with a three-run fifth to grab a 7-5 lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Correa and Gurriel singled and a two-out intentional walk to Bregman loaded the bases. Braves reliever A.J. Minter walked Maldonado to tie the score, and Marwin Gonzalez plated two runs with a single to left-center field.

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Maldonado added an RBI single in the top of the seventh and Correa capped the victory the next inning with another run-scoring single.

"I'm just glad we get to go back to Houston," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "That was our goal today."

Davidson lasted just two innings and allowed four runs -- two earned -- on two hits for the Braves, who had been 7-0 at home in the postseason. He struck out one and walked three.

Minter was credited with the loss after allowing three runs over his one inning of work.

Valdez gave up five runs on four hits across 2 2/3 innings for the Astros. Reliever Jose Urquidy pitched an inning, conceding only one hit to earn the win.

No team has clinched the World Series at home since the 2013 Boston Red Sox. For the Astros to accomplish the feat, they must win twice at Minute Maid Park.

The last MLB club to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the World Series was the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians in 2016.

Baker said rookie Luis Garcia likely will start on three days' rest for the Astros in Game 6. The Braves are expected to start left-hander Max Fried, who would be fully rested for the matchup.

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Moments from Game 4 of 2021 World Series

The Atlanta Braves' dugout erupts after teammate Jorge Solar (bottom left) hits a go ahead homer against the Houston Astros during Game 4 of the World Series at Truist Park in Atlanta on Saturday. Photo by Kate Awtrey-King/UPI | License Photo

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