World Series 2021: Atlanta Braves beat Houston Astros 6-2 in game one but lose Charlie Morton to injury


Atlanta Braves' Jorge Soler (right) celebrates his leadoff home run
Jorge Soler’s home run was the first time that the very first batter in a World Series had hit a leadoff homer

The Atlanta Braves came out swinging early to beat the Houston Astros 6-2 in the opening game of the World Series.

Jorge Soler hit a home run from the game’s third pitch, and soon drove in another run before Adam Duvall’s two-run homer in the third inning put them 5-0 up at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

The Astros recorded eight hits but managed to strand nine baserunners.

A fractured fibula has ruled Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton out of the rest of the best-of-seven series.

Morton, a 2017 World Series winner with Houston, received a warm welcome on his return to Texas but was struck by a line drive from former team-mate Yuli Gurriel in the second inning and was forced off the field in the third. He would have been expected to start game five if required.

Astros starter Framber Valdez’s night had already ended after Duvall’s home run, leaving both teams needing more than six innings from their bullpens.

Having failed to score when Morton loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, it took until the fourth inning for the hosts to get on the board when an error by Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson helped Chas McCormick drive in a run.

Swanson atoned when he sprinted home on Freddie Freeman’s sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 6-1, but although Carlos Correa drove in Yordan Alvarez, Houston could not conjure the rally they needed.

They have now lost five successive World Series games at home – following the remarkable 2019 series when all seven games were won by the visitors as the Washington Nationals won 4-3.

Game two takes place on Wednesday evening, again in Houston.

Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez
Astros starter Valdez faced 15 batters and gave up eight hits – the shortest World Series game one start since 2005 when Houston’s Roger Clemens left after two innings with a sore hamstring
Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Morton is helped off the field as manager Brian Snitker looks on
Braves starter Morton suffered a fractured fibula after being hit by a line drive in the second inning – but still managed to retire three more batters before exiting in the third

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