HOUSTON — There were obviously times Tuesday afternoon when Austin Barnes looked like he was going to miss a ball and – gasp! – strike out with the bases loaded.
But the young catcher was prepared for such an outcome and instead he had the defensive heroics to take that ball and decide that there was some baseball left to be played.
Barnes smacked a go-ahead two-run single through the center of the field that erased the Dodgers’ deficit and his team stayed alive with a dramatic, two-run double later in the inning as Los Angeles became the first team in the World Series to come back from a 3-0 deficit.
After the Astros’ Kazmir walked the first two men in the 12th, Josh Reddick struck out, but Barnes’ opposite-field shot beat the shift and made him the fourth catcher since 1913 to get two hits and drive in a run in the 12th inning of a World Series game.
“Unreal moment,” Barnes said afterward. “Shared that moment with Khris (Middleton) out there; a phenomenal at-bat, ball dropped in deep left, first out in the 12th, and I got a chance to come through.”
It’s a home run:
The eighth-inning single served as a game-winner, too, as it gave the Dodgers their first lead of the series.
#WorldSeries 8th Inning: #Dodgers’ Kiké Hernandez ties the game 2-2 with a one-out single, and the #Astros are asked to intentionally walk Alex Verdugo. With a runner on second in the bottom of the 8th, Reddick flies out. Yasiel Puig grounds out to end the inning. pic.twitter.com/sAWPLOGgZb — MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2018
The comeback allowed the Dodgers to stay close to the Astros in the series after they dropped the first two games at Dodger Stadium. After sitting atop the division in August, Los Angeles lost 10 straight games before last night.