The Latest: Álvarez homer puts Astros ahead 2-0 in Game 5


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

8:49 p.m.

Rookie slugger Yordan Álvarez helped the Astros jump on the Washington Nationals again, lining a two-run homer into the first row of seats in right-center to give Houston a 2-0 lead after two innings of Game 5.

The Astros lost the first two games of the World Series at home but are looking to return to Houston up 3-2. Houston also got early 2-0 leads in Games 3 and 4.

Álvarez played left field, his first start since Game 2. He was the designated hitter in the AL park. He hit 27 homers in 87 regular season games but had not gone deep in his previous 71 at-bats dating to Sept. 21.

At 22 years, 122 days, he became the youngest Cuban-born player to homer in the World Series.

Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick singled to open the bottom of the second for Washington, but Gerrit Cole struck out Ryan Zimmerman and got a double-play grounder from Victor Robles.


8:28 p.m.

Nationals fans looking for something to cheer for are rallying around spot starter Joe Ross, who took the mound for Game 5 after Max Scherzer was scratched with a neck injury.

Ross walked leadoff batter George Springer but got red-hot José Altuve to bounce into a double play on the first pitch. He retired Michael Brantley on a grounder into the shift in right field to end his first inning.

Fans chanted “Let’s go Joe!” to support Ross, who has only pitched once in the playoffs, a two-inning relief stint in Friday night’s loss.

The Nationals are the first team since the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies to use five starting pitchers in the World Series.

Astros starter Gerrit Cole retired the Nationals in order in the first.


8:17 p.m.

President Donald Trump is attending his first major league game as president, arriving Sunday night at Nationals Park just before the first pitch of Game 5 of the World Series.

The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros are tied at two games apiece.

Trump emerged from his motorcade wearing a dark suit and tie. He took a seat in a lower-tier box to the left of home plate. Five wounded veterans are among those watching the game with the president.

Trump’s entourage includes Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas.

The president’s arrival was not shown on in-stadium video monitors, but fans near the president turned and took pictures of him.


7:55 p.m.

Washington-based celebrity chef Jose Andrés got a big cheer when he lobbed the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park.

Andrés is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He was chosen by the team to toss the first ball. Andrés, a native of Spain, pumped his fist after the ball barely crossed home plate on the fly.

Trump is attending Game 5, the first time he has been to Nationals Park since he took office. He planned to arrive after the game began to minimize disruption to fans trying to enter the stadium. The stands were full of red towel-waving fans before the first pitch despite enhanced security at entrance gates that included explosive-sniffing dogs, Secret Service officers and Transportation Security Agency employees.

Sgt. Major Bob McDonald of the U.S. Army Chorus sang the national anthem.


6:20 p.m.

Max Scherzer says he can’t lift his right arm and needed help from his wife to get dressed because of a muscle spasm and pinched nerve in his neck.

Scherzer was scratched as the Washington Nationals’ starting pitcher for Game 5 of the World Series against the Houston Astros. Joe Ross will take his place.

Scherzer says his neck spasms started over the last few days and he got treatment in an effort to be ready to pitch. But he says he woke up Sunday morning and couldn’t get out of bed. He had to fall out of bed and push himself up with his left arm.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner had a cortisone shot in hopes of being ready for a possible Game 7.

Scherzer says he texted Ross to let him know he would be starting.

“I’m as disappointed as I possibly can be not to be able to pitch tonight. It’s Game 5 of the World Series,” Scherzer said. “I’ve pitched through so much crap in my career that that would be easy to pitch through at this point. This is literally impossible to do anything with.”


5:36 p.m.

Rookie Yordan Álvarez was back in the Astros’ starting lineup for Game 5 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals.

Álvarez, who hit 27 homers in 87 regular season games, was batting sixth and playing left field. He was the designated hitter in Games 1 and 2 but was benched as the series moved to the NL ballpark.

Catcher Robinson Chirinos, who homered in Games 3 and 4, was benched for the Astros. Martin Maldonado was behind the plate with Gerrit Cole pitching in a repeat of the Game 1 battery.

With scheduled starter Max Scherzer scratched for Washington with spasms near his neck, his preferred catcher Kurt Suzuki was on the bench for the second straight night. Suzuki has a right hip flexor injury, but manager Dave Martinez said he would be available for Game 6. Yan Gomes started at catcher.

Shortstop Trea Turner led off for Washington, followed by right fielder Adam Eaton, third baseman Anthony Rendon, left fielder Juan Soto, second baseman Howie Kendrick, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left fielder Victor Robles, Gomes and pitcher Joe Ross.

For Houston, George Springer led off and played center field, followed by second baseman José Altuve, right fielder Michael Brantley, third baseman Alex Bregman, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, Álvarez, shortstop Carlos Correa, Maldonado and Cole.


5:25 p.m.

Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg could tell it was a big game by the pooches.

President Donald Trump was set to attend Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park. As part of protocol, the clubhouses were swept as a precaution.

“I think everybody is excited. It’s the president of the United States,” Strasburg said.

“So there’s obviously beefed up security,” he said. “So usually the dogs that are sniffing in our clubhouse are these nice Labs that are super friendly. And today there was a German shepherd that I didn’t really feel comfortable petting.”


4:45 p.m.

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start in Game 5 of the World Series because of spasms near his neck.

Washington manager Dave Martinez made the announcement 3½ hours before the first pitch Sunday night.

Joe Ross was scheduled to start in place of Scherzer. Gerrit Cole starts for Houston, with the Series tied 2-2.

Martinez said Scherzer felt the spasm near his neck and trapezius muscle on his right side Saturday and woke up Sunday and texted the team trainer that “he was really hurting.”

Martinez said Scherzer was “locked up” and “he was in a bad place.”

“He’s very upset,” Martinez said.


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Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez hits a two-run home run during the second inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)