HOUSTON -- All that stands between the Astros and their first World Series championship are two more wins, and they have two chances at home -- where they're unbeaten this postseason -- to get it done.Behind another loud home crowd inside Minute Maid Park, where the roof has been closed
HOUSTON -- All that stands between the Astros and their first World Series championship are two more wins, and they have two chances at home -- where they're unbeaten this postseason -- to get it done.
Behind another loud home crowd inside Minute Maid Park, where the roof has been closed for most of the season and all of the playoffs, the Astros beat the Dodgers, 5-3, in Game 3 of the Fall Classic on Friday night to take a 2-1 Series lead and improve to 7-0 in the postseason before their orange-clad fans.
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They'll send Charlie Morton to the mound on Saturday in Game 4, where a victory would put them in position to clinch in Sunday's Game 5. If not, the Series would return to Dodger Stadium for Games 6 and 7, if necessary.
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"This place is loud, this place is wild," Astros center fielder George Springer said. "There's 40-plus thousand on top of you. The stands are close to the field, so it's a different vibe I would think for a lot of teams."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave credit to the Houston crowd for creating a difficult atmosphere.
"Obviously, the crowd is into it, very educated, very enthusiastic," he said.
The Astros are the second team in Major League history to start a postseason with seven consecutive home victories. The 2008 Phillies went 7-0 at Citizens Bank Park en route to winning the World Series title. Overall, Houston is the eighth team to win at least seven home games during a playoff run, with each of the previous seven capturing a championship, most recently the 2015 Royals (7-1). The '02 Angels (8-1) are the only club to win eight home games in a postseason.
"The energy in the building is second to none," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "They're loud from the very beginning. There's energy during batting practice. There's great enthusiasm around our fan base with this team. They've fallen in love with this team.
"Any time you get the comforts of home, whether you're going for a home-cooked meal or coming home for a home game here at Minute Maid Park, there's something special about it. And our players respond to it. We're very comfortable here."
After losing all three games at rowdy Yankee Stadium in the American League Championship Series, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said he appreciates how intimidating a playoff environment can be for a visiting team.
"It's crazy how the fans are rallying behind us," he said. "Here, I can't have a conversation with [second baseman Jose] Altuve from shortstop to second base because he won't be able to hear me. In L.A. [in Games 1 and 2], we would sing and tell jokes in between pitches because it was easy to talk. Here you can't do that. It's pretty special to see what the fans are doing for this team."
The Astros clinched the ALCS with a Game 7 victory over the Yankees in Houston a week ago. A chance to close out the World Series without going back to L.A. has the Astros full of anticipation.
"This city wants it," designated hitter Evan Gattis said. "It's been loud. It's incredible."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.