WASHINGTON (AP) — The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series.
Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout.
Cole looked exactly like the stud who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.
Slumping rookie Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa hit early two-run homers off emergency starter Joe Ross, George Springer added another postseason drive and Houston won its third straight at Nationals Park.
Scherzer beat Cole in the opener, and was the Nats’ best hope to slow Houston.
But he was scratched just 3 1/2 hours before gametime because of an irritated nerve near his neck, an injury that could finish him for the Series.