World Series: Phillies head home to Philadelphia now tied 1-1 with Astros

The World Series takes a day off Sunday as the Phillies and Astros travel to Philadelphia, with Game 3 on tap for Monday night.

The Series is tied at a win apiece after Houston's Framber Valdez carved up Philly with his curveball in Game 2, preserving an early five-run lead in a 5-2 victory.

Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez all doubled as Houston took a two-run advantage four pitches in against Zack Wheeler. A throwing error by shortstop Edmundo Sosa allowed another run in the first, and Alex Bregman added a two-run homer in the fifth.

Still, the wild-card Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park having stolen home-field advantage. They'll start right-hander Noah Syndergaard in Game 3 against Houston righty Lance McCullers Jr.

It won't quite be a day off for fans in Philadelphia. The 6-0 Eagles are set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers, keeping the city at the center of the sports world.


Game 3: Monday in Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m., FOX

Game 4: Tuesday in Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m., FOX

Game 5: Wednesday in Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m., FOX

Game 6 (if necessary): Friday in Houston, 8:03 p.m., FOX

Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday in Houston, 8:03 p.m., FOX


Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson says he isn’t concerned about Framber Valdez’s unusual hand rubbing during Game 2, downplaying speculation on social media that the left-hander was up to something fishy.

Videos circulating on the internet showed Valdez repeatedly rubbing his left thumb across his right palm, then rubbing the ball between pitches. Valdez pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning of the Astros’ 5-2 victory, which evened the Series at a win each.

Thomson said Philadelphia’s dugout noticed what Valdez was doing but had no concern that he was adding a foreign substance to the ball.

"Yeah, we did… it’s all over Twitter," he said. "The umpires check these guys after almost every inning, and if there’s something going on, MLB will take care of it."


For the first time in a sluggish postseason, Jose Altuve looked like himself in Game 2 of the World Series.

Altuve led off the game with a rally-sparking double, singled in the fifth, then showed off his preternatural bat-to-ball skills in the seventh, slashing at a fastball thrown forehead-high for another single.

The last one had the 5-foot-6 sparkplug chuckling after reaching first base. Houston was happy to see that smile.

The 2017 AL MVP had been curiously quiet this month, opening the playoffs with a career-worst 0-for-25 slump and entering Game 2 a paltry 4 for 37 this postseason.

"Boy, it was great to see," manager Dusty Baker said.


Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber took two meaty cuts in the eighth inning of Game 2 — sending the balls a combined 756 feet — and got nothing to show for it.

With a runner at first and no outs, Schwarber pulled reliever Rafael Montero’s 96 mph fastball down the right-field line, a towering shot near the pole. After some initial confusion, right field umpire James Hoye appeared to signal fair ball, and the Phillies leadoff hitter trotted around the bases.

The six umpires then came together to discuss the play. They went to a replay review, which showed the ball hooked just foul — just as Astros fans in that corner had been signaling since the 2-2 pitch soared 403 feet.

When Schwarber got back in the box, he got another 96 mph fastball. He hit another deep shot, this one 353 feet and caught by right fielder Kyle Tucker with his back against the wall.


Astros catcher Martín Maldonado was forced to switch bats Saturday night after it was determined the model he swung in the opener was no longer allowed in the majors. Maldonado went 1 for 3 with an RBI single in Game 1, a 6-5 Houston loss in 10 innings to Philadelphia.

The bat he used in that game — a Marucci AP5 — was an Albert Pujols model. In 2010, Major League Baseball changed bat specifications for safety purposes, trimming the diameter of the barrel from the long-standing 2.75 inches to 2.61 inches.

The move to slightly slimmed-down bats was designed to reduce the risk of them breaking into multiple pieces. As part of the move, players already in the majors and using bigger bats could continue to swing them.

Maldonado made his big league debut in 2011 and therefore couldn’t use any of the bats that had been grandfathered in.