HOUSTON (AP) — Juan Soto is a youngster going deep in the World Series.
Soto’s long solo homer in the fifth inning in Game 6 on Tuesday night was his third in the Series, and fifth this postseason.
The Nationals left fielder, whose 21st birthday was Friday on the same day as Game 3, broke a tie with Miguel Cabrera for the most home runs in a single postseason by a player younger than 22.
Soto will have a chance to add to that since Washington forced a Game 7 with the 7-2 win over the Houston Astros. His homer broke a 2-2 tie and put the Nationals ahead to stay.
Cabrera was a 20-year-old rookie for the 2002 World Series champion Marlins when he hit four homers that postseason. But only one of his long balls came in the World Series.
Soto, who also homered in Games 1 and 5, is only the fifth player 22 or younger to hit multiple homers in a World Series. The others were Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle (four) and Jimmie Fox (two), and Tony Kubek (two) and Andruw Jones (two).
The Houston Astros won 107 games during the regular season to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
They are now heading into Game 7 of the World Series and haven’t won at home yet in the Fall Classic.
Their three-game losing streak at Minute Maid Park matches their longest at home this year — the Astros also lost three in a row from Sept. 10-12. They had a nine-game home losing streak in 2018.
FIRST 5-0 FINISH?
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg worked into the ninth inning to win in this World Series for the second time and improve to 5-0 this postseason.
With it being unlikely Strasburg would pitch in Game 7, he would become the first pitcher in big league history to ever go 5-0 in a single postseason.
Hall of Famer Randy Johnson was 5-1 for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. Francisco Rodriguez was 5-0 in 2002 with the Angels before losing in Game 4 of the World Series.
Strasburg has a six-game postseason winning streak, dating back to Game 4 of the 2017 NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs. He has a 1.66 ERA in that stretch, with 59 strikeouts and four walks in 43 1/3 innings.
The Nationals are the first team to use five different starters in the World Series since the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980.
That hadn’t been the plan for Washington until Game 1 starter Max Scherzer had to be scratched from Game 5 and Joe Ross started instead. Stephen Strasburg, Aníbal Sánchez and Patrick Corbin also started in this series for Washington.
Scherzer is scheduled to now start Game 7 on Wednesday night.
As for those 1980 Phillies, who beat the Kansas City Royals in six games, their five starters were Bob Walk, Steve Carlton, Dick Ruthven, Larry Christenson and Marty Bystrom.
The roof at Minute Maid Park would have been closed anyway, but it’s a good thing the home park of the Astros does have that retractable dome overhead.
It was raining Tuesday in Houston, and wet weather would have had an impact on batting practice and pregame activities.
On Wednesday, when Game 7 will be played, the forecast calls for widespread rain and thunderstorms throughout the day and into the night.
OFF THE BEST
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman homered off Strasburg for the second time in this World Series.
Bregman has 10 career postseason homers, and all of those long balls have come off All-Star pitchers. He has two homers each off Strasburg and Chris Sale.
The only MLB player with more postseason homers before turning 26 is Bregman’s teammate Carlos Correa with 11.
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