HOUSTON — J.T. Realmuto homered in the 10th inning and the Philadelphia Phillies, saved by right fielder Nick Castellanos’ sliding catch, rallied past the Houston Astros 6-5 Friday night in the World Series opener.
Down 5-0 early against Astros ace Justin Verlander, the Phillies became the first team in 20 years to overcome a five-run deficit to win a World Series game.
They can thank Castellanos for getting the chance. Known much more for his bat than glove, rushed in to make a terrific grab on Jeremy Peña’s blooper with two outs in the ninth inning and a runner on second.
Realmuto, who hit a tying, two-run double in the fifth off Verlander, completed the comeback when he led off the 10th by sending a fastball from Luis García into the seats in right field.
Kyle Tucker homered twice for the Astros, who had been 7-0 in this postseason.
Houston had a chance in the 10th when Alex Bregman doubled with one out. After Yuli Gurriel drew a two-out walk, David Robertson bounced a wild pitch that put runners on second and third.
Pinch-hitter Aledmys Díaz was then hit by a 2-0 pitch from David Robertson — but plate umpire James Hoye ruled that Díaz leaned into the pitch and didn't permit him to go to first to load the bases.
Díaz grounded out on 3-1 pitch to end it.
The last team to blow a 5-0 lead in the World Series was the 2002 San Francisco Giants, who squandered their chance in Game 6 to close out the Angels and win the title under manager Dusty Baker.
Baker saw it happen again this time as manager of the Astros.
Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler opposes Framber Valdez when the series continues Saturday night.