George Springer ends slump emphatically, as Astros’ late power leads to key victory

first_img WATCH: Corey Seager puts Dodgers ahead with 2-run HR Afterward, the Astros leadoff hitter sat in the same press conference room where Hinch had spoken before the game, and said the vote of confidence meant everything to him. Dodgers vs. Astros is a World Series for baseball’s Information Age Dodgers’ Joc Pederson breaks out of long drought with Game 2 home run Adrian Gonzalez rejoins Dodgers after return from Italy Photos: Los Angeles Dodgers split, lose to Houston Astros in Game 2 of the 2017 World Series Whicker: Astros’ late win gives this World Series some fire Astros outlast Dodgers in drama-filled Game 2 to even World Series LOS ANGELES — Long before the Houston Astros took the field for Game 2 of the World Series, A.J. Hinch was speaking to the media, but he may as well have been talking directly to George Springer.The Astros manager was asked about the slumping Springer, who had struck out four times the night before, and he said he didn’t even think he was slumping.“I think his swing is great,” Hinch said.Hours later, Springer would reward his manager for his confidence, hitting the eventual game-winning homer, one of four homers the Astros hit against the Dodgers’ seemingly impenetrable bullpen in a series-saving 7-6, 11-inning victory. After Chris Devenski recorded the final out, the Astros returned to a happy clubhouse on their way to a happy flight home to Houston, where they have not lost in six games this postseason.“When that last out is made, you finally breathe,” Springer said. “That’s an emotional high to low to high again. But that’s why we play the game. And that’s the craziest game that I’ve ever played in, and it’s only Game 2.”ROAD STRUGGLESThe Astros lost five of their first six road games this postseason, before Wednesday night, which is difficult to explain for a team that won 101 games during the regular season. The Astros even scored more runs on the road than at home during the regular season.Before Game 2, Hinch was asked whether his young team might be shrinking under the glare of ballparks like Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium.Hinch said it’s the pitchers, not the ballparks.“There are some names like (Chris) Sale and (CC) Sabathia was really good against us,” he said. “It’s convenient because of the short, small-sample size. We’re not spooked by it. The youngest guy on our team is (Alex) Bregman, and he’s having a good stretch.”Hinch said that a night after Bregman, 23, created their only run with a homer. In Game 2, he had a single and a double in his first two trips. The Astros, however, boasted the top scoring offense in the majors during the regular season. They didn’t expect to be held down indefinitely.“We’re not really in awe of anybody,” Maybin said. “We like what we have.”Added Hinch: “We didn’t come to L.A. thinking we couldn’t beat them. We obviously proved we can put some good at-bats together against good pitching.”The Astros broke the Dodgers’ scoreless streak with Carlos Correa’s RBI single against Kenley Jansen in the eighth. They still trailed 3-2, though, when Marwin Gonzalez led off the ninth with a homer that truly changed the series. “For him to have my back and say that, ‘You’re still going to hit first and you’re still going to set the tone for us,’ it slowed me down,” Springer said. “I was doing things I don’t normally do. For him to have my back means the world to me.”Springer started the game with a walk, added a single in the third, a double in the ninth and the game’s decisive blow in the 11th, a two-run homer against Brandon McCarthy.“We like him up there in every situation,” said Cameron Maybin, who singled and stole second ahead of Springer’s homer. “He’s nothing short of amazing. Just another amazing moment from that guy.”Video: Analysis & interviews from wild Game 2It was one of several amazing moments for an Astros team that, for seven innings, had been held to one run. They couldn’t get anything going against the Dodgers, and as the game dragged into the late innings, their season seemed to be hanging in the balance.Not only did the Astros trail 3-1, facing a 2-0 deficit in the series if they didn’t rally for a win, but they were facing a Dodgers bullpen that had not allowed a run in 28 innings, a postseason record.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Miller: Dodgers and Astros go back and forth to give us a series “That woke us up for sure,” Correa said.Maybin added: “When he came through with that one, that really sparked our dugout. You could feel the energy.”The Astros added two more homers in the 10th, by Jose Altuve and Correa, only to see the Dodgers tie the game in the bottom of the inning. In the 11th, Springer hit a two-run homer that provided a lead they were able to hold. Watch Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe score the tying run in the 10th inning The 5 thrilling extra-inning at-bats that helped the Dodgers extend Game 2 last_img

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