With a 7-0 win against the Houston Astros, the Atlanta Braves took the World Series on Tuesday in a remarkable turnaround from a middling performance through midsummer to the championship in November.
By taking six games to dispatch the Astros, the Braves just missed becoming the first Major League Baseball team to win eight consecutive postseason games at home; the team lost Sunday night at Truist Park after leading 4-0 in the first inning.
The teams headed back to Houston's Minute Maid Park with Atlanta leading the series 3-2.
This time there was no come back from Houston.
It was all Braves' bats from the third inning through the seventh. In the third, right fielder Jorge Soler hit a three-run homer.
Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson hit a two-run homer in the fifth. Then Braves' first baseman Freddie Freeman hit a ball to deep left field and Soler, who was on-base, scored for a 6-0 Atlanta lead.
Freeman returned for a solo homer into left field to put the Braves ahead 7-0.
"We’ve had so many ups and downs this year, and for us to be world champions, that is awesome to hear," Freeman said after the game.
Atlanta took advantage of pitching fatigue that was anticipated for both teams, but Houston didn't seem to have the same answer at-bat. Braves pitcher Max Fried lasted six innings and gave up 4 hits and no runs.
"I couldn’t be happier to do it with this group of guys," said Fried, who was credited with the win.
It's Atlanta's first World Series title in 26 years.
Soler was named the World Series MVP, which comes with a Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
"Everybody that’s in the World Series right now is gassed, everybody," Braves manager Brian Snitker said Monday. "Both teams, all the players. It’s been a long year."
The Braves essentially rebuilt its outfield before the July 30 trade deadline and ended the club's National League East-winning season with only 88 wins, the fewest of any playoff team.
But the summer acquisitions — Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario and Soler — have been recognized for putting the Braves on a championship track.
“It’s just such a cool moment for this city," Swanson said after the Braves won Saturday's home game.
Among the Braves' fall heroes has been Kyle Wright, who spent most of the season in the minor leagues. On Saturday he held the Astros to two runs until Atlanta's offense could pounce for a 3-2 victory.
The team's 1995 title win at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was its only World Series crown since its move from Milwaukee to Atlanta 1966.
The Braves march to the championship included beating the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Division Series before defeating the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers for the pennant.