Rookie Jose Urquidy eased the burden of a bullpen game, dominating over five scoreless innings on Saturday night as the visiting Houston Astros evened the 2019 World Series at 2-2 with an 8-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Game 5 is set for Sunday in Washington.
Robinson Chirinos hit a home run for the second consecutive game, and Alex Bregman hit a grand slam and drove in five runs as the Astros picked up their second straight victory after losing the first two. Bregman and Michael Brantley each had three hits.
The Astros planned on stringing together appearances from their relievers in Game 4, using the 24-year-old Urquidy to kick things off. Instead, the right-hander gave his team some length, allowing just two hits and no walks while striking out four. Five more relievers finished off the final four innings.
After four World Series games, no team has won at home. The last time the road team won the first four games of a World Series was in 1996, when the Atlanta Braves faced the New York Yankees, who won the final two games of the series.
The Astros' victory Saturday ensures the series will head back to Houston for a Game 6 on Tuesday. Game 7, if necessary, would be Wednesday in Houston.
Bregman drove in his first run of the game in the first inning on a single to center field, Houston's third straight single. Yuli Gurriel made it four in a row with an infield single for a 2-0 lead. Chirinos hit a two-run home run to left off Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin for a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
Corbin (1-3 this postseason) gave up four runs on seven hits over six innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. Nationals starters have gone at least five innings in each of the team's 14 postseason games.
Juan Soto put the Nationals on the scoreboard in the sixth inning with a run-scoring groundout before Bregman crushed his grand slam to left field in the seventh off right-hander Fernando Rodney.
Urquidy (1-0), the third Mexican-born pitcher ever to start a World Series game, had just nine career appearances and two victories before the playoffs started. His five innings Saturday were more than the 4 1/3 innings he pitched in his two previous playoff appearances combined.
Urquidy's 15 outs and 67 pitches in Game 4 were key after the Astros needed 4 1/3 innings from five relievers in their Game 3 victory.
--Field Level Media