World Series Game 4 certainly did not start the way the Nationals manager Davey Martinez had hoped. He wanted early runs, just not by the Astros.
Facing left-hander Patrick Corbin in the first, Houston connected on four straight singles, highlighted by an RBI base knock by Alex Bregman and an infield single from Yuri Gurriel that scored another run. Corbin wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a double play ground out to third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Houston scored two runs and pounded out four hits, forcing Corbin to throw 26 pitches in the first inning.
A good sign in the second was Corbin, albeit with the 8-9-1 hitters, recording a 1-2-3 frame. Then in the third, he let the Astros have it with his slider, striking out Gurriel to end the inning.
The Nats struggled against José Urquidy early on. Rendon smacked a single to left field in the first inning, but Juan Soto’s hot shot line drive was caught by third baseman Bregman to end the frame. In the second inning, Urquidy struck out Howie Kendrick and Victor Robles.
The Nats got a promising start in the third inning when Yan Gomes laced a double down into the left field corner. But Urquidy again managed to record three outs. Adam Eaton’s soft line drive was caught by Carlos Correa in short left field to end the inning.
Through three innings, the Astros lead the Nats 2-0.
Update: In the fourth, Robinson Chirinos belted a two-run homer to left field off of Corbin, his third homer of the postseason.
Mid-fourth, the Astros lead the Nats 4-0.
Update II: The Nationals loaded the bases in the sixth with one out. Juan Soto grounded out to first base to score pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra for the Nats’ first run. Howie Kendrick struck out against Will Harris to end the threat.
After six innings, the Astros lead the Nats 4-1.
Corbin lasted six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Update III: In the seventh, Bregman hit a grand slam off Fernando Rodney.
Mid-seventh, the Astros lead the Nats 8-1.
Update IV: In the ninth against Chris Devenski, Robles flew out to left field. Gomes struck out. Pinch-hitter Brian Dozier walked. Turner grounded out to second base to end the game.
Final score: Astros 8, Nats 1.
The best-of-seven series is even at two games apiece.