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Houston Astros even up World Series with 8-1 win over Washington Nationals in Game 4

All the excitement that accompanied the Washington Nationals home from Houston, where they took the first two games of the World Series, was gone by the time Alex Bregman hit a grand slam in the 7th tonight to make it an 8-1 game in the Astros’ favor.

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game Four Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin gave up two runs on four consecutive singles over a seven-pitch stretch in the first, then gave up a leadoff walk and a two-run homer to back-to-back batters in the top of the fourth as the Houston Astros jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 4 of the World Series.

Astros’ rookie starter/opener Jose Urquidy took the mound with a two-run lead, had a four-run lead after four, and tossed five scoreless innings on 67 pitches, holding the Nationals to just two hits.

It was 4-1 in the seventh when Alex Bregman hit a grand slam off Fernando Rodney which blew things open in what ended up an 8-1 win which tied the World Series up at 2-2.

Corbin vs the Astros: Patrick Corbin tossed a scoreless inning of relief in his official World Series debut in Game 1 with the Astros, striking out two of the four batters he faced in a 21-pitch appearance, but tonight the 30-year-old left-hander was making his first start, with a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Corbin’s relief appearance was his fourth out of the bullpen this month, along with starts in Game 1 of the NLDS (6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER vs LAD) and Game 4 of the NLCS (5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER vs STL).

The timing this time around, Corbin said, worked out well for him to be ready to take the mound in a starting role again.

“This time [it] worked out pretty well for us being able to throw Game 1 and then having three full days off,” he explained. “Being available for [Game] 2 but kind of worked out great not being able to get in there. I didn’t throw at all. So I was able to do my same routine, everything that I would have done. A little ways from my last start, too. Everything feels great, ready to go.”

The Astros were ready too, and they connected for four straight one-out singles in the top of the first inning, jumping out to a 2-0 lead with the hits by José Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel over a span of seven pitches.

A walk to Carlos Correa loaded the bases with one down, but a weak ground ball to third off Robinson Chirinos’s bat started and inning-ending 5-3 DP.

Corbin held the Astros to two runs through three, but a leadoff walk and two-run home run in the first two plate appearances in the fourth made it a 4-0 game, with Carlos Correa and Robinson Chirinos combining to add to the lead.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 96 P, 59 S, 8/0 GO/FO.

Urquidy vs D.C.: A.J. Hinch announced his decision last night to use José Urquidy as the first pitcher out of the ‘pen in a starter-by-committee outing tonight in Game 4.

What went into his choice to turn to the 24-year-old rookie as the “opener”?

“A couple things,” Hinch explained. “The lineup, it’s not just a one-size-fits-all strategy when you’re facing different teams. These guys offer something a little different than the previous decisions we’ve made when you just look at the balance they have at the top of their order.

“With [Trea] Turner, to [Adam] Eaton, to [Anthony] Rendon, to [Juan] Soto. You take the first four hitters, when you think about starting a game, and if you’re going to go bullpen, you’d better have somebody that’s pretty good at a little bit of everything.

“Those are four distinctly different guys. As opposed to the Yankee series, they were all right-handed, it was a nice matchup for Brad Peacock.”

Urquidy made nine appearances, and seven starts, for the Astros in the regular season, with a 3.95 ERA, 3.68 FIP, seven walks, and 40 Ks in 41 IP.

Given a 2-0 lead to work with before he took the mound, Urquidy threw three scoreless on 38 pitches, limiting the Nationals to just two hits, and the Astros added two runs in the top of the fourth to go up 4-0 before the right-hander came back out with a 14-pitch frame to complete four scoreless on 52 pitches, and a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth ended his outing after 67 pitches overall.

José Urquidy’s Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 67 P, 45 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Turn-On: Trea Turner started the night with a 25-game on-base streak going, which went back to September 17th. Turner had a .312 AVG over that stretch, with nine doubles, six home runs, 13 RBIs, seven walks, four stolen bases, and 21 runs scored, and the Nats were 20-5 in those games.

He was 0 for 3 through six, and he was 0 for 4 after he grounded out with two on to end the seventh, and 0 for 5 when he grounded out again to end the ballgame.

BULLPEN ACTION: Josh James took over for the Astros in the bottom of the sixth, with the score still 4-0 in the visitor’s favor, and issued a leadoff walk to pinch hitter Gerardo Parra, and one out later, another walk to Adam Eaton, before he was done, with Will Harris taking over with runners on first and second. Anthony Rendon reached on a grounder back to the mound, loading the bases, and a run scored on a Juan Soto groundout to first, 4-1.

Howie Kendrick stepped in with runners on second and third and two down, and went down swinging at a 90 MPH 2-2 cutter for out No. 3.

Tanner Rainey came out of the bullpen for the Nationals in the top of the seventh, and gave up back-to-back walks to Kyle Tucker and George Springer before popping up José Altuve for the first out of the frame.

Fernando Rodney took over at that point, with Michael Brantley at the plate, and gave up a base-loading single to center, and Alex Bregman hit a grand slam to left on an 0-1 fastball in the next at bat, making it an 8-1 lead.

Three walks around a groundout after the grand slam loaded the bases back up, and the Nationals went to the pen again. Wander Suero took over and struck Kyle Tucker out to mercifully end the inning.

Hector Rondon gave up a one-out single by Victor Robles and a two-out walk to Asdrúbal Cabrera before the Astros went to the pen again for Brad Peacock, who got a groundout from Trea Turner to end the threat and keep it an 8-1 game.

Javy Guerra worked around one and two-out singles for a scoreless top of the eighth.

Peacock came back out in the bottom of the eighth inning and an error on an Anthony Rendon groundout and a walk to Juan Soto put two on with one out.

Howie Kendrick K’d swinging in the next at bat, and Ryan Zimmerman sent a fly to right, and it was still 8-1 Astros after eight.

Robinson Chirinos doubled off Javy Guerra with one down in the top of the ninth, but he got thrown out at the plate by Juan Soto trying to score on a line drive single to left field by Jake Marisnick, who took second on the throw home. Yordan Alvarez popped out to foul territory in left to end the inning.

Chris Devenski worked around a walk in the bottom of the ninth and the World Series was knotted up after four, with the home team losing in each of the first four games.

Final Score: 8-1 Astros

World Series tied at 2-2