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Nationals Hammer Astros, Take 2-0 Series Lead

They won 12-3 in Houston
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2019 12:29 AM CDT
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Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander tries to make a play on a ball hit by Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Houston.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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(Newser) – Stephen Strasburg's time had come. Famously held out of the postseason seven years ago, Strasburg delivered on the biggest stage of all Wednesday night. The right-hander outdueled fellow ace Justin Verlander, overcoming a shaky start to give the Washington Nationals a 12-3 win over the Houston Astros and a commanding 2-0 lead in the World Series. Kurt Suzuki hit a tiebreaking homer in what became a messy six-run seventh inning, and the Nationals headed back home to Washington for three games—if needed. Adam Eaton paraded around the bases pointing to the Houston crowd after a late home run as the Nationals won their eighth in a row, the AP reports. They've won 18 of 20 overall dating back to the regular season.

The 31-year-old Strasburg had waited years for this chance. Back in 2012, he was about two years removed from Tommy John surgery when Nationals brass decided protecting his elbow was more important than pitching him in the playoffs, so he was shut down late in a season full of promise. Making his Series debut, Strasburg allowed a two-run homer to Alex Bregman in the first before throwing five shutout innings. He allowed seven hits and struck out seven. Game 3 is Friday night when Aníbal Sánchez opposes Houston's Zack Greinke in the first World Series game in the nation's capital since 1933. Only three of the previous 25 teams to lose the first two games at home under the 2-3-2 format have come back to win the Series. No one has done it since the 1996 New York Yankees.

(Read more World Series stories.)

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