The Houston Astros used a change in their lineup Sunday to alter their perspective, rallying from a four-run deficit to extend the World Series. Marwin Gonzalez had a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth inning and Martin Maldonado drove in three runs as the Houston Astros earned a 9-5 victory over the host Atlanta Braves in Game 5 to pull within 3-2 in the series. Facing elimination and trailing early after a first-inning grand slam from the Braves’ Adam Duvall, the Astros’ offense roared to life after a pair of lackluster games at Atlanta left them in a 3-1 series hole. Houston manager Dusty Baker moved Carlos Correa to the No. 3 spot in the lineup. A struggling Alex Bregman was dropped to No. 7. Yuli Gurriel was batting fifth. Correa drove in two runs, Bregman drove in Houston’s first run of the game and Gurriel had three hits. “It was a great team effort all the way around,” Bregman said on MLB Network. “We got punched in the mouth early with the grand slam and then came back, found a way to win and now we’re headed back home.” Houston scored multiple runs in the second, third and fifth innings, with Maldonado’s bases-loaded walk in the fifth tying the score 5-all before Gonzalez dumped his two-run single to left against Atlanta left-hander A.J. Minter (1-1) for a 7-5 lead. “People love playing for (Baker), he’s a great guy,” Maldonado said. “He’s going to be a Hall of Famer. He’s always talking to the players, making us laugh and when we’re struggling, he’s always there for us.” The Astros became just the fourth team to rally from a four-run deficit and win in a World Series elimination game, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and the first since the Angels did it in Game 6 in 2002 against the Giants. Freddie Freeman had a solo home run for the Braves, who have two more chances to wrap up their first World Series title since 1995 when the matchup shifts to Houston. Game 6 is Tuesday, with a potential Game 7 on Wednesday. The Astros need consecutive victories to become the first team since the 2016 Chicago Cubs to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win the championship. Duvall’s opening-inning slam came off Astros left-hander Framber Valdez, following singles from Jorge Soler and Austin Riley, as well as a walk from Eddie Rosario. It was Duvall’s second home run of the World Series and third of the postseason. “I was looking for something that started up because I know if he gets it down, it’s going to be a tough pitch to hit,” Duvall said. “I saw it up and put a good swing on it. ... We tried to take our A swings every at-bat and take good at-bats.” The Astros scored a pair of runs in the second on a Bregman double and a sacrifice fly from Maldonado. It was just the second hit for Bregman in the series and it came after he was dropped to seventh in the lineup. The Astros tied the game 4-all in the third, getting an RBI double from Correa and a run-scoring ground out from Gurriel. Correa also drove in a run in the eighth. Freeman gave Atlanta a 5-4 lead with a mammoth 460-foot home run in the third. It was his first home run of the series and fourth of the postseason. The Astros’ go-ahead rally against Minter in the fifth started with two singles and an intentional walk to Bregman before Maldonado and Gonzalez delivered. Left-hander Tucker Davidson, with just five games of regular-season experience, was the surprise starter for the Braves, giving up four runs (two earned) over two-plus innings. Jose Urquidy (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the Astros to earn the victory.
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