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Bizarre pickoff play contributes to wild finish

Devenski's errant throw strikes umpire, holds runner
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

LOS ANGELES -- The 10th and 11th innings of Game 2 of the World Series included a combined five home runs, seven runs, eight hits, a stolen base, two lead changes … and one errant throw that made an understated impact.

Moments after the Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, advancing to second on a play at the plate, Astros pitcher Chris Devenski turned and fired a pickoff attempt to second base. The throw sailed well wide of the bag, striking umpire Laz Diaz on the leg as Hernandez scampered back to second. Rather than careening into left-center field, the ball bounced to the right side of the infield, where second baseman Jose Altuve retrieved it within seconds.

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LOS ANGELES -- The 10th and 11th innings of Game 2 of the World Series included a combined five home runs, seven runs, eight hits, a stolen base, two lead changes … and one errant throw that made an understated impact.

Moments after the Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, advancing to second on a play at the plate, Astros pitcher Chris Devenski turned and fired a pickoff attempt to second base. The throw sailed well wide of the bag, striking umpire Laz Diaz on the leg as Hernandez scampered back to second. Rather than careening into left-center field, the ball bounced to the right side of the infield, where second baseman Jose Altuve retrieved it within seconds.

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Hernandez remained at second, Chris Taylor flied out and the inning ended. An inning later, the Astros won, 7-6, thanks to George Springer's two-run homer, and they evened the World Series at 1-1.

Video: WS2017 Gm2: Devenski retires Taylor to escape 10th

"Laz was perfectly positioned, right where we wanted him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch quipped.

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It is impossible to say that Devenski's errant throw would have affected the outcome had it not struck Diaz. Sliding back into second base, Hernandez would have had a difficult time clambering to his feet, judging the situation and sprinting to third, all before center fielder Springer retrieved the ball. But it's possible the ball could have gone deep enough into left-center that Hernandez would have had a chance.

And with a runner on third, anything -- a passed ball, wild pitch or infield single -- could have scored Hernandez. Instead, Devenski threw three consecutive off-speed pitches with confidence, including the slider that retired Taylor.

"Hey," Devenski said, "anything can happen in a game if that can happen."

Added Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: "We didn't get a chance to advance, but that's baseball. Things like that happened."

More than anything, Astros players shared a chuckle over the play, knowing Diaz narrowly avoided a more painful fate. Quickly after falling to the ground, Diaz righted himself, suffering nothing more than a dirt stain on his slacks.

"Oh my God, it was crazy," Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said, laughing. "It was odd. I was like, 'Are you OK?' And I made sure he was clean, looking good out there. I was like, 'It's the World Series. Let me make sure you're clean.'"

Video: WS2017 Gm2: Hinch on errant balls throughout Game 2

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros