Jorge Soler has left the building, gives Braves lead over Astros in Game 6

The 2021 World Series has returned to Texas after the Houston Astros overcame a four-run deficit to the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 and held off elimination. The Braves enter Game 6 on Tuesday leading 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

The Astros’ season may have been saved by a Martin Maldonado “Little League bunt” with the bases loaded in the fifth against Braves reliever A.J. Minter. Maldonado got up on the plate, much like a Little Leaguer would to try and throw the pitcher off. It worked, with Maldonado drawing a game-tying walk.

The Astros, thanks to Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth to keep their season going.

The Braves turn to Max Fried in Game 6 as Atlanta tries to close it out and win its first World Series title since 1995. Fried has lost his last two postseason starts and given up 11 earned runs in 9.2 innings over those two games. Luis Garcia, who started and lost Game 3 for Houston, will start on short rest.

Here are the best moments and plays from Game 6:

Freeman sends one flying

In what could be his last home run as a member of the Braves, Freddie Freeman made sure that it counted, putting a potential dagger in the Houston Astros and inching Atlanta closer towards winning the World Series. With two outs in the seventh inning, Freeman hit an 85.5 mph slider from Ryne Stanek to left-center field for a round-tripper that made the score 7-0 in Atlanta’s favor. Freeman is in the last year of his eight-year, $135 million contract and hit .300/.393 with 31 homers and 83 RBI this season. He has spent the entirety of his 12-year career with the Braves.

Braves keep piling on the points

Atlanta extends the lead. The Braves started the inning off with an Ozzie Albies walk and a Travis d’Arnaud strikeout before shortstop Dansby Swanson crushed a 94.6 mph fastball off of Cristian Javier, hitting it 108.8 mph for 411 feet, extending the Astros lead to 5-0. The Astros replaced Javier with Blake Taylor who got Eddie Rosario to ground out before walking Jorge Soler. Atlanta then further extended the lead with a Freddie Freeman double on a fly ball that bounced off the left-center field fence, scoring Soler and extending the lead to 6-0. Houston replaced Taylor with Phil Maton, who got Austin Riley to fly out to center field and struck out Kyle Tucker, but too little too late as the Braves extended their lead in the potential World Series clincher. Soler’s smash gives the Braves an early lead.

Soler Smash gives Braves the early lead

Jorge Soler blasted one onto the train tracks and into the … Soler System with his third-inning homer that put Atlanta on top 3-0. Garcia started off Soler with a cutter in the dirt followed by another cutter that Soler swung through to even the count at 1-1. Garcia followed up with balls on a four-seamer and a cutter to make it 3-1 before throwing a strike to bring the count full. After Soler fouled off two pitches, an 80.5 mph slider and a 96 mph four-seamer, Soler blasted an 83.4 mph cutter on the eighth pitch of the at-bat onto the train tracks at Minute Maid Field, hitting the ball 109.6 mph for a distance of 446 feet, putting Atlanta in the driver’s seat of Game 6 with a 3-0 score.

Astros get celebrity support

The Astros are looking to force a Game 7, and they have support from some popular celebrities. NFL running back Adrian Peterson made his prediction for Games 6 and 7, and hip-hop artist Travis Scott was at Minute Maid Park to hype up the crowd pregame.

Advice for a new father

Before focusing on Game 6, Correa received some timely parenting advice. He and his wife are expecting their first child soon, and former MLB first baseman Kevin Millar offered him some tips on how to handle diaper duty on his show “Intentional Talk.” Millar has four children of his own, so he probably knows a thing or two about changing diapers.

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