HOUSTON – Framber Valdez pitched a seventh-inning shutout and Alex Bregman hit a two-run home run as the host Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Saturday in Game 2 of the World Series.

The Astros are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series with Game 3 scheduled for Monday in Philadelphia.

Valdes (2-0) labored a bit through his first three innings, found his rhythm in the fourth and fifth and recorded the biggest strikeouts of the game as Philadelphia tried to put together a rally in the sixth.

The Phillies collected a baserunner in each of the first three innings, with Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm working one-out singles in the first and second before Kyle Schwarber recorded a one-out single in the third. Valdez walked every baserunner and didn’t allow anyone to reach scoring position, but he needed 55 innings to complete three scoreless frames.

Valdes left the team in order in the fourth in the 11th inning and faced the bottom of the fifth when he got Matt Virling to ground into a 6-4-3 double play before getting a third strike on Edmund Sosa.

In the sixth, after Houston went up 5-0, Valdez faced a threat.

After erasing a five-run deficit and winning the first series 6-5, the Phillies set the stage for a comeback when Schwarber and Hoskins hit back-to-back singles to open the sixth. But Valdez answered by striking out JT Realmuth before getting Bryce Harper to ground into a 4-6-3 double play with an inning left.

Nick Castellanos doubled to lead off the seventh and later scored, but that was the only score against Valdez, who allowed four hits and three hits while striking out nine in 6 1/3 innings. Valdez threw 104 pitches, 70 hits, and nine swings and misses on 42 curveballs.

After tagging Phillies starter Aaron Nola for five runs in Game 1, the Astros did the same to Phillies right-hander Zach Wheeler (1-2) on Saturday.

Houston became the first team in World Series history to open a game with three consecutive extra-base hits as Jose Altuve, Jeremy Pena and Jordan Alvarez doubled in a row to give the Astros a sudden 2-0 lead.

Alvarez followed with a gutsy base run, moving from second on Kyle Tucker’s flyout to center field and then scoring when Sosa made an errant throw to first to Julius Gurriel, who ended up on the ground.

Wheeler held the Astros to three runs until the fifth when Bregman hit a 2-0 slider 405 feet to left-center field to score Alvarez and extend the lead to 5-0.

Wheeler allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks over five innings.

The Phillies continued to press, putting runners on the corners against Astros reliever Rafael Montero with two outs in the eighth for Harper, whose popup to shallow right field nearly dropped before Pena made the catch.

Astros closer Ryan Pressley allowed an unearned run in the ninth.

–By Moses Kapenda Bauer, Field Level Media