Astros manager Baker after Altuve's postseason breakout: 'His track record speaks for itself'

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The Houston Astros levelled up the World Series with Saturday's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, but Jose Altuve's breakout performance may be the joker in the pack they need.

Altuve had a three-hit game, starting with a lead-off double as the Astros piled on three first-inning runs at Minute Maid Park to square the series after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 on Friday, losing 6-5.

The second baseman is second on all-time postseason home runs list (23), but has struggled this postseason, averaging .171 with only seven hits from 41 at-bats, no RBIs and no home runs.

Altuve had been mired in a none-for-25 slump earlier in the postseason but has simplified his approach with Astros manager Dusty Baker sticking with him.

"If I say it every day, he's gotta have one of these days," Baker told reporters. "It's just how I feel about Altuve.

"His track record speaks for itself. He swung the bat great today. It's a good feeling to get him to lead off like he's been doing all year in the first inning. Boy it was great to see."

Alex Bregman added a two-run home run in the fifth inning to open up a 5-0 lead, but he praised Altuve for setting the tone.

"It was awesome," Bregman said. "I feel like that one swing of the bat to start off the game got the crowd into it, got our dugout into it, got our offense going."

"Early in the playoffs, I was swinging at everything and then getting slowly better at swinging at my pitch," Altuve said. "Yeah, I got a hit on a pitch almost above my head today. But it's a hit, so it's good."

The Phillies produced a sensational rally to win Game 1 after trailing 5-0 so Baker was rapt to square up the World Series at 1-1 before it heads to Philadelphia for Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.

"It was almost a mathematical must [to win]," Baker said. "It's tough when you lose the first two games at home. But I've been on the other side of the things.

"It's good for the city, good for our fans that they went home happy after last night."