2019 World Series: Nationals Crush Astros, 12-3, Take Commanding Lead In Game 2

The past two nights in Houston, the Washington Nationals took a hit parade on the vaunted Astros pitching staff in the 2019 World Series. The Nationals in Game 2 Wednesday night clubbed Astros starter Justin Verlander, drubbed the Astros relief staff and convincingly won, 12-3. The Nationals, more importantly, took a 2-0 Series lead and head back home.

The best-of-7 series now shifts to Washington for the next two games and a possible Game 5 if necessary. Game 3 will be Friday at 8.07 p.m. ET on Fox network. Game 4 will be Saturday at the same time, and a possible Game 5 would be Sunday.

As a road team, the Nationals scored 17 runs in the first two games, the most by any road team since the New York Yankees scored 20 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. The Pirates came back to send it to a Game 7 at home that year, when Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run to win it for Pittsburgh.

On Wednesday night in Texas, the Nationals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Anthony Rendon hit a two-run double off the left-field wall. The Astros tied the game in the bottom frame when Alex Bregman sent a ball soaring over that same wall.

The teams were at a stalemate for nearly five full innings. The Astros looked ready to break through when Carlos Correa went into a lengthy battle with Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg, fouling off several pitches with two on and one out in the bottom of the sixth. Correa popped to second base, but stretched Strasburg to 106 pitches for the night. However, the 2-2 tie extended into the seventh, when things would change.

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki broke the tie with a solo homer in the top of the seventh, which led to Verlander's exit from the game. The Nationals scratched out hits and runs, and took advantage of Astros miscues, to take an 8-2 lead going into the stretch at Minute Maid Park.

Washington Nationals 2019 World Series
Michael A. Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning in Game Two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Nationals posted three more runs in the eighth inning and another run in the ninth on a Michael Taylor home run to make it 12-2. The Astros scored one run in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg struck out seven and allowed just two earned runs in six innings. Justin Verlander struck out six and allowed four earned runs in six innings.

Washington has not hosted a World Series since 1933 when the then-Senators played in the American League and lost to the New York Giants. Washington also hosted World Series games in 1924 and 1925, winning it in 1925.

Washington did not have a team for several decades before the old Montreal Expos left Canada for America's capital. The Nationals this season were 19-31 in late May, and they had to claw their way back just to get a wild card spot in the playoffs this postseason. The Astros are looking to win their second World Series in three years after knocking off the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games during the 2017 Fall Classic.

2019 World Series: Nationals Crush Astros, 12-3, Take Commanding Lead In Game 2 | Sports