• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

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Houston Astros top Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in Game 6 to win World Series

Yordan Álvarez blasted a three-run home run to lead the Houston Astros to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series on Saturday, clinching the home team’s second title in six years.

Álvarez’s sixth-inning homer pushed the Astros — then down 1-0 — into the lead at Minute Maid Park, before Christian Vazquez added an RBI single later in the sixth.

Through a translator, Álvarez said in Spanish after the game that the feeling of rounding the bases was amazing.

“When I was rounding second base, I felt the whole stadium moving,” he said. “I think it was all the fans.”

As Álvarez’s 450-foot blast disappeared over the center field wall, Astros starter Framber Valdez jumped and wildly screamed in the dugout as fans in the crowd of 42,948 went into a frenzy waving their orange rally towels.

Houston manager Dusty Baker, who at 73 is now the oldest World Series-winning skipper, said he knew the title was within grasp at that moment.

“It hit me as soon as that ball Yordan hit over the moon out there, that’s when it hit me,” he said.

Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game Six of the 2022 World Series on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston, Texas.
Yordan Álvarez of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game Six of the 2022 World Series on Saturday.Rob Carr / Getty Images

Houston previously won it all in 2017 and returned to the Fall Classics of 2019 and 2021, falling to the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, respectively.

The Astros finished the series winning the final three games after Philadelphia had captured Games 1 and 3.

Cristian Javier and three relievers combined for the second no-hitter in Series history in Game 4.

Justin Verlander finally got his first World Series win in Game 5 thanks to a clutch homer by Jeremy Peña and a leaping catch in the ninth inning by Chas McCormick — the signature defensive moment of this series.

It’s the Astros second World Series win since 2017, but some see that victory as tarnished after a Major League Baseball probe found that the team had used centerfield cameras to monitor signs flashed by the opposing catcher during games at Minute Maid Park. Those signals were then relayed to Astros hitters by banging on trashcans.

The sign-stealing scandal cost then-GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch their jobs.

This World Series win by Houston, in some ways, makes the 2017 scandal look even worse, according to Jacob Pomrenke, chairman of the the Society for American Baseball Research’s (SABR) Black Sox Scandal Research Committee.

“They were always a good team and certainly did not need to do what they did with the cheating scandal,” said Pomrenke, whose panel conducts ongoing analysis and examination of the sport’s greatest scandal, the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

“If you’re going to go to the World Series four time in six years and now win two — with one slightly tainted and one clearly cleaner — it shows they always had the ability to win a championship without getting involved in cheating.”

Many of the team’s current key players were nowhere near Houston in 2017.

The team’s two most fearsome power hitters, Álvarez and Kyle Tucker, broke into the big leagues in 2019 and 2018, respectively. 

The World Series MVP, Pena, is in his rookie campaign at shortstop, having taken over from Carlos Correa, a face of the scandal who left for the Minnesota Twins in free agency before 2022.

And outfielder McCormick broke in with Houston just last year.

Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker celebrates their 4-1 World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston.
Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker, right, celebrates their World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday.David J. Phillip / AP

Houston hired Baker as manager after the scandal and the universally respected skipper now has his first World Series ring after successful but title-less stints with the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.

His 2,093 regular season managerial wins are tops of any skipper not in the Hall of Fame. Before Saturday night, the Cooperstown hopeful Baker also had the most wins of any manager without a World Series ring.

The Astros’ triumph on Saturday might have also exorcised Baker’s notable Game 6 ghosts.

He was at the helm of the Giants in 2002 when they lost the World Series in seven games to the Anaheim Angels. The American League champs staged an improbable rally in Game 6 to force that final game.

The Associated Press contributed.