Houston Astros close in on second World Series with road win in Philadelphia

The Houston Astros moved to within one win of claiming a second World Series after they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies on the road to lead 3-2.

The difference in the 3-2 victory at Citizens Bank Park was Houston rookie Jeremy Pena.

The 25-year-old had three hits in four at-bats with two RBIs and a go-ahead homer, as he became the first rookie shortstop in the league’s history to record a hit in five straight World Series games.

His fourth-inning solo homer helped the Astros seize the lead, with the statistics on the side of the visitors: In previous Series tied 2-2, the game-five victor has won 31 of 47 times.

Houston team-mate Justin Verlander pitched solidly through five innings and allowed just four hits along with one run, while also striking out six and walking four.

Kyle Schwarber’s lead-off homer on Verlander’s second pitch of the night marked Philadelphia’s biggest hit, with only three other Phillies managing hits.

The Astros can win the series, which would be their second after a scandal-tainted triumph in 2017, with victory on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.