HOUSTON – That’s one: The Braves stunned the Astros 6-2 in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. It was their first victory in a World Series game since Oct. 21, 1996. They need three more wins to claim their first championship since 1995.

“I wondered before we got here what I’d feel like,” manager Brian Snitker said. “When the game started, I felt like it was a baseball game, and you kind of get so tunnelled into what you’re doing that you forget where you’re at. It’s just another baseball game, a really loud baseball game. Then so much happened really quick that I didn’t have a chance to do anything other than that. But it was nice. I’m glad, obviously, we won the game.”

The day wasn’t all rosy. Starter Charlie Morton left in the third inning with a fractured right fibula sustained when he took a liner off his foot in the previous frame. Morton is out for the World Series, a brutal blow for a team that relied heavily on its veteran starter to reach this point. It’s another bout of adversity for these Braves, who once again will move forward without a key contributor.

The good of Tuesday: Slugger Jorge Soler, who missed part of the past series because of a positive COVID-19 test, opened the game with history. He became the first player to homer in the first plate appearance of the World Series, smacking the third pitch he saw – a sinker that didn’t sink from starter Framber Valdez – into the Crawford Boxes in left field.

“I’m very happy obviously,” Soler said via team interpreter Franco Garcia. “Me and my family were both very happy. I didn’t know that (history) was a thing until I was told a little later on in the game. I wasn’t thinking about anything like that. I was just trying to get an at-bat and just make contact.”

The Braves continued showing their aggressive nature in the first frame. Second baseman Ozzie Albies reached on an infield single and stole second base (notably awarding America free tacos through Taco Bell’s annual “Steal a base, steal a taco” promotion).

Third baseman Austin Riley ripped a 115.8 mph double – the hardest hit ball of his career – into left center to score Albies, giving the Braves a two-run advantage.

Soler’s groundout scored the third run an inning later. Outfielder Eddie Rosario, coming off winning the National League Championship Series MVP, opened the third with a single. Outfielder Adam Duvall followed with a two-run blast to the Crawford boxes, putting the Braves up 5-0.

“We obviously swung the bats there early pretty well,” Duvall said. “Doing that on the road, getting those first at-bat jitters out of the way, it’s big. Obviously, this is a long series. It’s going to be a dogfight.”

Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton walks off of the mound with an athletic trainer as manager Brian Snitker (43) checks in on pitcher as he exits Game 1 of the World Series during the third inning Tuesday Oct. 26, 2021, in Houston. Morton suffered a broken fibula pitching against the Astros. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

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Credit: Curtis Compton

The Astros pulled Valdez after he recorded just six outs. Of the 12 balls the Braves put into play against the lefty, six left the bat at over 100 mph. Three others had an exit velocity in the mid-90s. The Braves’ punishing offense – the one that caught fire against the Dodgers’ excellent pitching – tormented Valdez and chased him after 52 pitches.

Each Braves starter had a hit, the third time in their history that’s happened in a World Series contest. Like a season ago, the Braves’ lineup benefited from the designated hitter (which was Soler). It allowed the Braves to use Soler, Duvall, Rosario and Joc Pederson in their lineup. The quartet of July acquisitions combined for six hits, including two homers, and four RBIs.

Back to the bad: Morton, staked to an early lead, was rolling. He allowed one hit over 2-1/3 innings, including escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first when his command temporarily eluded him. Morton took a 102-mph liner from Yuli Gurriel in the second inning.

He completed the inning and struck out Jose Altuve to open the third, but the 37-year-old then indicated the swelling had reached a point he couldn’t continue. An X-ray revealed Morton’s postseason run was over. In a testament to his toughness, he recorded his last three outs – two strikeouts – on a broken leg.

“When the inning was over, we met and talked about what’s going on,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “He said, ‘Oh, that one got me good.’ He was kind of walking a little funny. I didn’t think it was broken. I just thought he took a line drive off of his leg. But to go out there and strike out the next guy with a broken leg, it blows my mind.

“It’s definitely a tough, tough break for us. I can’t wait to see him and give him a hug.”

A.J. Minter spared the Braves disaster by covering 2-2/3 innings. Minter, who twice covering two innings during his NLCS appearances, allowed one run on three hits, struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. The lefty prevented the Braves from burning through their bullpen early.

Over his past three outings, Minter has pitched 6-2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. He’s struck out eight without issuing a walk. Minter went from a player demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett in the summer to one mowing down the Dodgers and Astros in October.

Luke Jackson bounced back from his disappointing NLCS, recording five pivotal outs and showcasing his trademark slider in doing so (the Astros whiffed on three of seven swings against the pitch). Tyler Matzek followed Jackson, recording the next four outs. Rosario made an excellent throw fielding a ball off the wall to nab Gurriel on a would-be double that ended the eighth inning. Will Smith pitched a scoreless ninth.

“Every single person in that bullpen has a huge heart, has huge fight,” d’Arnaud said. “And there’s nothing more you want as a catcher is to know that everybody loves each other and everybody picks each other up and they’re not afraid of anyone.”

While Morton’s injury dampers the mood, the Braves already have ensured at least a split in Houston. Regardless of Game 2′s result, they now have the opportunity to close out the World Series at Truist Park next week.

Game 2 will feature Braves lefty Max Fried against Astros righty Jose Urquidy at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday.