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Six summers ago, I walked into a downtown Chicago hotel room to the sight of Dusty Baker ironing his pants in his boxers and a T-shirt. Baker was managing the Washington Nationals, and I had stopped by his hotel for an interview in June 2016 about his career and a budding rivalry with the Chicago Cubs. After such a painful ending in Chicago 10 years earlier, Baker really wasn’t interested in ...

Dusty Baker has been here before. It’s hard not to think of the last time the Astros’ manager was up 3-2 in the Fall Classic as he leads the team back to Houston Saturday night for Game 6 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies needing just one win for a championship. In 2002, Baker’s San Francisco Giants entered Game 6 against the Anaheim Angels up by the same margin. The Giants squandered a five-run lead in a 6-5 loss in the sixth game before the Angels won the title with a 4-1 win in Game 7. Twenty years later in his third trip to the World Series, Baker is still looking for that elusive championship after a quarter-century as a major league manager.

Justin Verlander overcame an early jolt to grit out the World Series win that long eluded him, rookie Jeremy Peña hit a go-ahead home run and the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 to head home with a 3-2 lead. Buoyed by late defensive gems from Trey Mancini and Chas McCormick, the Astros moved to the brink of their second championship — the other was a scandal-tainted title in 2017. Houston went ahead just four pitches in against Noah Syndergaard on Peña’s run-scoring single. Then Philly’s Kyle Schwarber homered leading off the bottom half, harkening to the five-run lead Verlander wasted in Houston’s opening 6-5, 10-inning loss.

The Astros and Phillies travel Friday to Texas, where Game 6 of the World Series will be played a night later. Houston is on the brink of its second title after winning 3-2 in Philadelphia on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Fall Classic. The Astros' 2017 championship was later tainted by a cheating scandal. Trey Mancini and Chas McCormick buoyed the Astros with clutch defensive plays in Game 5. Mancini preserved a slim lead in the eighth inning with what seemed like the play of the game, smothering Kyle Schwarber’s sharp grounder at first base to strand two runners. Then McCormick made the play of a lifetime, leaping into a chain-link fence in right-center to snag J.T. Realmuto’s smash in the ninth.


Game 3 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros has been postponed because of rain with the matchup tied 1-1, pushing the entire Fall Classic schedule back one day. The rainout moved Game 3 to Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park, when the weather was supposed to be all clear. Game 4 will now be played Wednesday and Game 5 is set for the scheduled travel day on Thursday night. Game 5 will compete with the NFL game that has, of all teams, the Philadelphia Eagles in Houston against the Texans. There will now be a travel day Friday, with Game 6 has been rescheduled for Saturday and Game 7 would be Sunday. All games will start at 8:03 p.m. ET.

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