Devenski picks up Giles, bullpen in Game 2

October 26th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- As soon as saw the ball leave Charlie Culberson's bat with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning Wednesday night, he knew it was headed for the seats.

Fortunately for Devenski and the Astros, had hit a two-run home run in the top of the inning, so the Houston right-hander had a little wiggle room.

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"From the reaction of the crowd, to the reaction of the swing, I knew that ball was gone," Devenski said. "I knew after that I had to get the next guy out."

The next guy was , who had taken deep only one inning earlier, yet another blip on the radar for the Astros closer who has struggled this postseason.

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But Devenski wouldn't give in. He got ahead with two quick strikes, but Puig battled back to work the count full, then fouled off a pair of changeups, the sixth and seventh Devenski threw to Puig in the first eight pitches of the at-bat.

"I had to stick with my best pitch," Devenski said. "Brian [McCann] was talking to me, saying, 'You have to go with our best stuff there.'"

Puig swung through the eighth changeup he saw in an epic nine-pitch at-bat, finally bringing an end to one of the most dramatic games in recent memory, a 7-6 Astros victory in 11 innings that featured more twists and turns than any roller coaster at the nearby theme parks.

The Game 2 win evened the World Series at one game apiece as the teams head to Houston for the next three games.

"He's pitched really well all year long; he got some big outs for us down the stretch there," McCann said of Devenski, who had allowed four runs over four innings in his six postseason outings entering Game 2. "We're going to need everybody to close this thing out. Some guys made some big pitches tonight when they had to."

If there's one major concern for the Astros heading back to Houston, it's the state of their closer. Giles looked like he had straightened himself out with a perfect ninth after had tied the game with a stunning home run against , but the right-hander stumbled in the 10th.

and hit back-to-back homers in the top of the inning to give the Astros a 5-3 lead, leaving Giles three outs away from sending series back to Houston knotted up.

Puig led off the 10th with a solo homer to cut the lead to one, but Giles bounced back with a pair of strikeouts, leaving the Astros one out from victory. But Giles never recorded that out.

drew a walk, advancing to second on a wild pitch. followed with an RBI single that shook Dodger Stadium, tying the game and giving Los Angeles new life. It also ended Giles' night as he walked off the mound having allowed at least one run for the fifth time in six postseason outings.

"My confidence level is not damaged at all," Giles said. "I've just got to do a better job, flat out. I'm making no excuses. I need to do a better job. I'm way better than the way I'm pitching right now. I'm not pitching up to my expectations and I'm beating myself up about it, so I need to bounce back for the guys."

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he planned to hand the ball to Giles again the next time his team had a late lead.


"It comes down to finishing the inning and making pitches," Hinch said. "The walk was tough; the walk to Forsythe was a key part of that at-bat or that inning. But he can handle the workload. His stuff is really good. As shown, it was just a difficult game to finish. And we needed guys to pick up the pieces."

Giles was thankful that his teammates did just that Wednesday, from Springer's timely two-run blast to Devenski's game-ending strikeout of Puig, it all added up to a much-needed win that will make the trip home to Houston much nicer for the closer.

"You just have to sweep it away, put it under the rug and just move on," Giles said. "That's all I'm going to do from now on. I have a short-term memory, so right when I leave his clubhouse, it's not a factor anymore. Coming out with the win, that's all that matters at the end of the day."