What you need to know about Game 2 of the World Series:

How the game was decided

The Astros scored four runs in the second inning and stayed in command of the game the rest of the way, beating the Braves 7-2 on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston to even the World Series at one game apiece.

ExploreThe AJC's complete coverage on Game 2

Braves starter Max Fried allowed six runs on seven hits in five-plus innings, and the Braves’ defense wasn’t nearly as airtight as usual.

The Astros, MLB’s highest-scoring team during the regular season, looked more like themselves at the plate after a quiet Game 1. They got strong pitching from their starter, Jose Urquidy, and their bullpen.

Damaging inning

The game disintegrated for the Braves in the bottom of the second inning, when the Astros parlayed five hits (all singles, none particularly hard hit), a botched defensive play, a wild pitch and some daring base running into the four-run rally and a 5-1 lead against Fried. It was an ugly inning for the Braves, an uplifting inning for the Astros.

For the Braves, the low point came after a Martin Maldonado single through the left side of the infield with runners on first and second bases. The runner on second, Yuli Gurriel, scored on the hit. The runner on first, speedy rookie Jose Siri, raced to third when the Braves left that base uncovered, and he scored as left fielder Eddie Rosario’s throw to the uncovered base rolled away.

Caption
Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, left, is removed from the mound by manager Brian Snitker during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday October 27, 2021, in Houston, Tx. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, left, is removed from the mound by manager Brian Snitker during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday October 27, 2021, in Houston, Tx. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com
Caption
Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, left, is removed from the mound by manager Brian Snitker during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday October 27, 2021, in Houston, Tx. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Fried’s night

Fried rebounded from the second-inning mess by retiring the Astros in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. He was lifted after the first two batters in the sixth reached base on a walk and a single.

Dylan Lee, who made his major-league debut Oct. 1, came in to pitch for the Braves, and an inherited runner scored on a couple of ground balls. An error by Ozzie Albies complicated the inning, but Lee and a third Braves pitcher, Jesse Chavez, got out of it without further scoring.

Fried has a 1-2 record and a 5.40 ERA this postseason, having allowed 13 runs and 26 hits in 21-2/3 innings over four starts.

Altuve bounces back

Astros leadoff hitter Jose Altuve, who uncharacteristically was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in Game 1, fared much better in Game 2.

He produced the Astros’ first run by leading off the bottom of the first inning with a double off Fried and scoring on a sacrifice fly. Then he produced the Astros’ final run by hitting the first pitch thrown by Drew Smyly, the fourth Braves pitcher, for a solo homer to left in the seventh.

Houston’s pitching

Urquidy worked five good innings, holding the Braves to two runs on six hits. He struck out seven, walked none and departed with the Astros leading 5-2.

Four relievers combined to hold the Braves to one hit and no runs the rest of the way. Cristian Javier and Phil Maton handled the sixth and seventh innings. Ryan Pressly, normally the closer, pitched the eighth with a five-run lead, getting through the heart of the Braves’ batting order. Kendall Graveman worked the ninth.

Caption
Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud hits a solo home run during the second inning against the Houston Astros in game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday October 27, 2021, in Houston, Tx. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud hits a solo home run during the second inning against the Houston Astros in game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday October 27, 2021, in Houston, Tx. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com
Caption
Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud hits a solo home run during the second inning against the Houston Astros in game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday October 27, 2021, in Houston, Tx. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Breaking a slump

It had been a quiet postseason offensively for Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who entered Wednesday’s game 7-for-35 with no extra-base hits. But in the second inning, he slammed a solo home run to left field on a full-count fastball from Urquidy to briefly tie the score 1-1.

D’Arnaud scored both of the Braves’ runs. He led off the fifth inning with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out single to left by Freddie Freeman.

Also notable ...

-- Lee and Kyle Wright, both of whom spent almost all of the regular season in the minors, found themselves pitching in a World Series game. Wright struck out the side in the eighth (Siri, Maldonado and Altuve).

-- Until Wednesday, Fried had never pitched against the Astros, and Urquidy had never pitched against the Braves.

-- The seven runs approximated the Astros’ average per game in this postseason (6.7).

-- Rosario’s postseason hitting streak ended at 11 games, while Albies extended his streak to 11, dating to Game 2 of the NLDS.

-- Altuve’s double and homer were his 36th and 37th career postseason extra-base hits.

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