The Latest: Bregman RBI helps Astros narrow Braves lead

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Game 5 of the World Series (all times local):

9 p.m.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros answered quickly in the second inning, scoring twice to trim their deficit to 4-2 against Atlanta.

AL batting champion Yuli Gurriel singled off surprise starter Tucker Davidson with one out, and Kyle Tucker walked. Bregman drove an RBI double up the right-center alley and spurred on the Houston dugout from second base after a much-needed clutch hit.

Bregman had been 1 for 14 in this World Series with five strikeouts. Houston was hitless in its previous 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, and 4 for 31 overall.

Martín Maldonado followed with a sacrifice fly before pitcher Framber Valdez struck out looking.

Valdez, after giving up Adam Duvall’s two-out grand slam in the first, settled down to work a 1-2-3 second with the help of an outstanding defensive play by shortstop Carlos Correa.

Down 3-1 in the best-of-seven Series, the Astros need a comeback win to send this Fall Classic back to Houston for a Game 6 on Tuesday night.

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8:35 p.m.

Adam Duvall hit a first-inning grand slam off Framber Valdez, and the Atlanta Braves took a 4-0 lead over the Houston Astros as they tried to finish off the World Series in five games.

Back in the leadoff spot for Atlanta, Jorge Soler reached on a bad-hop single to left leading off. Freddie Freeman flied out and Albies grounded into a forceout.

Austin Riley singled, and when left fielder Yordan Alvarez threw to third even though he had no chance to catch the speedy Albies, Riley continued to second.

Eddie Rosario walked, loading the bases, and Duvall drove a first-pitch 95.4 mph fastball on the low, outside corner to the opposite field.

Right fielder Michael Brantley backtracked but ran out of room, and the ball soared over the 16-foot brick wall in right and into the second row of seats in front of the Chop House restaurant,

It was just the third first-inning slam in Series history, following Elmer Smith in Game 5 in 1920 and Bobby Richardson in Game 3 in 1960.

Valdez was facing the Astros for the second time in the Series after losing the opener.

Rookie Tucker Davidson pitched around a walk to throw a scoreless first inning for the Braves, his first major league action in 4 1/2 months.

Added to the roster on Wednesday after Charlie Morton broke a leg in the opener, Davidson entered with just five major league appearances — the last June 15.

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8:15 p.m.

Both teams took batting practice for the first time in Atlanta this weekend, and the sky was clear for World Series Game 5 as the Braves tried to win their first title since 1995.

Tucker Davidson, a 25-year-old left-hander who last pitched in the major leagues in June 15, started Jose Altuve with a called strike. The 138 days since Davidson’s previous appearances were the most for a Series pitcher, topping the 126 days by teammate Kyle Wright before Game 2.

The game-time temperature was 52 degrees. Greg Maddux, a leader of the 1995 Braves, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Standing well in front of the rubber, Maddux’s offering sailed high.

Atlanta led 3-1 in the best-of-seven Series. Of the 48 previous times a team held a 3-1 lead, 41 went on the win the championship. The last team to overcome a 3-1 deficit was the 2016 Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians, winning Game 5 at home and the final two on the road.

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4:30 p.m.

The Houston Astros have reworked their lineup for Game 5, dropping the slumping Alex Bregman from his usual third spot to seventh. Carlos Correa moves into the third slot.

Bregman is 1 for 14 in the World Series, and Houston trails Atlanta three games to one. The Astros have desperate for a big hit this week — they’re hitless in their last 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Second baseman Jose Altuve will lead off, followed by right fielder Michael Brantley, Correa at shortstop, left fielder Yordan Álvarez, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, center fielder Kyle Tucker, Bregman at third base, catcher Martín Maldonado and pitcher Framber Valdez.

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4:05 p.m.

Rookie left-hander Tucker Davidson will start Game 5 of the World Series for the Atlanta Braves against the Houston Astros on Sunday night in his first major league appearance in four months.

The Braves are trying to clinch their first championship since 1995. They led the series three games to one.

The 25-year-old Davidson watched the series opener on Tuesday on television from a hotel in suburban Atlanta, then was summoned to join the Braves the next day in Houston after Charlie Morton’s right leg was broken by a comebacker.

Davidson had not pitched against big league hitters since June 15, when he allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings against Boston. He went on the injured list the next day with left forearm inflammation and didn’t pitch in another game until Oct. 3 facing Jackson for Gwinnett at Triple-A. He threw 40 pitches over three innings, allowing one run and three hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

Davidson enters 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in five career big league starts, one in 2020 and four during the first half of this season.

He is the third rookie to start for the Braves in the matchup.

Ian Anderson pitched five hitless innings for the victory in Friday night’s 2-0 win. Dylan Lee lasted just one out Saturday in his first big league start, and Atlanta rallied in the seventh inning for a 3-2 win.

Atlanta’s batting order had right fielder Jorge Soler moved up to the leadoff spot against left-hander Framber Valdez, whom he homered against leading off Game 1.

Left fielder Eddie Rosario was moved to the fifth spot.

First baseman Freddie Freeman hit second, followed by second baseman Ozzie Albies, third baseman Austin Riley, Rosario, center fielder Adam Duvall, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, shortstop Dansby Swanson and Davidson.

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