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Rookie helps Astros tie World Series

Rookie Jose Siri has propelled the Houston Astros to a 7-2 win over the Atlanta Braves to even the World Series at a win apiece.

The career minor leaguer sparked a team whose biggest stars took a while to shine.

Jose Altuve doubled early, homered late and scored twice to break out at the plate.

Siri’s speed and aggressive play created havoc on the bases, leading to a four-run second inning that helped the Astros snap a five-game skid at home in the World Series.

It’s the first time they’ve won a World Series game in Houston since a 13-12 victory over the Dodgers in 10 innings in Game 5 on October 29, 2017.

Altuve hit a leadoff double and scored in the first inning before adding a solo homer in the seventh as the Astros rolled past the suddenly sloppy Braves.

Jose Urquidy gave the Astros five solid innings and Houston’s bullpen, already so important this postseason, did the rest.

A 26-year-old right-hander from Mazatlan, Urquidy became the first Mexican pitcher to make three World Series starts. He was looking to rebound from his Game 3 loss at Boston in the AL Championship Series, when he got just five outs in a 12-3 defeat.

“I was very focused,” said Urquidy, a rookie when he beat Washington in the 2019 Fall Classic. “I love it. I love the feeling.”

Urquidy started 15 of 21 batters with strikes in improving his career Series record to 2-0. He allowed two runs and six hits in five innings with seven strikeouts, throwing 55 of 74 pitches for strikes.

He mixed 38 fastballs, 16 changeups (getting five swings and misses), 12 sliders and eight curveballs, keeping the Braves off-balance other than Travis d’Arnaud’s tying home run in the second inning and Freddie Freeman’s two-out RBI single in the fifth.

The Astros jumped on Atlanta starter Max Fried for seven hits and six runs – five earned – in five innings.

The game was tied at one when Kyle Tucker got things going in the second with a one-out single before advancing to third on a single by Yuli Gurriel.

The speedy Siri, who debuted on September 3, then beat out an infield single to score Tucker and put the Astros on top.

That made Siri the first player to make his debut in September or later and drive in a run in that year’s World Series.

Siri stood at the plate soaking in a moment he thought might never come.

Stuck in the minors since 2013, the excitable 26-year-old outfielder is now a World Siri. Before Wednesday he was most known for almost knocking over 72-year-old manager Dusty Baker en route to celebrating a teammate’s post-season exploits.

The crowd, so quiet a night before, roared as Siri bounded toward the dugout.

A fan in the lower deck displayed a sign that read: “Don’t Poke The Bear” as the Astros rediscovered their potent offense after Tuesday night’s dud of a 6-2 loss.

The series shifts to Atlanta for the first of three games on Friday night.

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