HOUSTON, Texas —The Houston Astros reveled in vengeance Wednesday night in Game 2 of the 2021 World Series as they quickly secured five runs in the first two innings to help captivate a 7-2 win Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
José Urquidy, José Altuve and José Siri all have one thing in common. Yes, all of their names are José. But they were all able to invigorate the Astros roster that desperately needed to hop on a plane to Atlanta with a win in their back pocket.
Minute Maid Park erupted as a four-run second inning gave the Astros a heightened sense of confidence to tie the series at one. That confidence would secure itself on the mound, where México native José Urquidy would toss five innings, allowing only two runs — which is expected, as he’s allowed two runs or fewer in 27 of his last 33 regular-season appearances on the mound — on six hits and blanking seven batters to claim victory.
Despite struggling in his only start in the ’21 postseason in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, the 26-year-old righty would tamper down the upbeat flow the Braves possessed after they solidified Game 1 24-hours prior. After earning the Game 2 win, Urquidy became the first Méxican-born player in Major League Baseball history to have two World Series wins on his resume.
“I’m very, very happy, very proud,” Urquidy said after his historic win. “More than anything, just happy that the team won today, happy for the guys, and we’ve made it a really good series now. So just really happy and really proud of the work and getting prepared of what’s coming next.”
The flow of the game vibed with the rhythm that Urquidy set in his five-inning outing. But the game’s tempo ignited in the bottom of the second inning at the heels of Siri, who scored the Astros’ fourth run from first base on an overthrown play from left fielder Eddie Rosario.
“I’m an aggressive player. I’m always looking for the opportunity to take the extra base. So that’s just what I was doing in that situation, was trying to be aggressive and get to the next one. I was just really excited for the situation, but not nervous.”
Cristian Javier entered the game to relieve Urquidy in the sixth inning and gave a lights-out performance that didn’t allow any wiggle room for the Braves offense to score on pitching errors.
José Altuve climbed up the history books as he went 2-for-5 with a solo home run to tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The solo blast was Altuve’s fourth home run of the 2021 postseason and tied New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams with the second-most home runs in postseason history (22).
“Great hitter … To hit 22 homers in playoffs and tie him — always every time that my name is mentioned next to — before, it was Derek Jeter. Now it’s Bernie Williams. It means a lot to me. It makes me keep going out there, hitting homers to help my team, to keep accomplishing things like this.”
The Astros have faced an astronomical amount of adversities, along with scrutiny — most notably for the core group with a winning tenure that began in 2017. Altuve, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, and Alex Bregman have taken on the challenge of stimulating each setback with a vast amount of grit to save them from drowning in a puddle of public opinions. Their heart has grown three sizes since being exiled in the minds of baseball fans — with the exception of Astros fans. They continue to prove why you should never count them out.
Even with all the distractions, each player found ways to climb up a list so very few players get to ink their names on, the All-Time postseason’s list. You can’t help but be impressed by the historical accomplishments that are made every game.
“I think sometimes we fit each other, seeing stuff like everything we’ve been through, everything we accomplished together,” Altuve explained. “Before we start this World Series, we were a little impressed about making the third appearance in the last five years and playing so many games together. Because Yuli, Alex, Carlos, and I, we played a lot of games together, and that means a lot. We don’t talk about history because there’s a lot of great infielders, great players. Maybe one time we will, and you never know. But I’m happy to get to play with those guys and just keep winning games.”
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