Astros start fast, top Dodgers for World Series lead

HOUSTON (AP) — A perfect fit in their own place, the Houston Astros are halfway home.

George Springer and the Astros broke out the bats early this time and kept up their big run at Minute Maid Park in October, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

The ballpark was booming from the start, with cheers, chants and a loud train whistle echoing beneath the closed roof. A sellout crowd stood much of the evening — deep in the heart of football country, with every Houston batter getting either a hit or walk, the fans enjoyed the Friday Night Sights.

Yuli Gurriel homered to begin a four-run burst in the second inning that sent Yu Darvish to the shortest start of his career. Astros curveballer Lance McCullers wobbled, but protected the lead into the sixth. Brad Peacock rose to the occasion with 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief.

Coming off a dramatic rally to win Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, the Astros improved to 7-0 at home this postseason. Jose Altuve & Co. have dominated, too, outscoring the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers 36-10 in that span.

Springer lined a leadoff double in the first and the Astros went on to win a home game for the first time in the World Series. They were swept by the White Sox in 2005, and this win put them two victories from a most elusive championship.