Blum's homer moves White Sox one win away from title
HOUSTON (Ticker) --
became the latest unlikely World Series hero for the
Chicago White Sox
Blum belted a home run in the top of the 14th inning as the
took a commanding three games to none lead in the World Series with a 7-5 victory over the
in the longest game in the history of the Fall Classic.
Chicago can clinch its first world championship since 1917 on Wednesday, when
takes the mound against
"This means we are one win away, and I never expected to win a game like this one on the road,"
"Brandon has pitched well and he will be out there in the biggest game of his life," Astros catcher
said. "He will be in front of what is basically his home fans. But it doesn't matter (who is out there) at this point. We
need to win them all."
have put the Astros in that position thanks to late home runs from a pair unexpected sources.
, who did not homer in 507 at-bats in the regular season, ended Game Two with a game-winning blast off Astros closer
"The thing about this team is every day it's somebody different,"
said. "That's the good thing about managing a team like this."
Picked up at the July trade deadline, Blum lined a 2-0 fastball from
(0-1), the seventh pitcher used by Houston, into the right field seats to snap a 5-5 tie.
"It means the world right now, even more if we go in and close this out tomorrow," said Blum, who played for Houston from
2002-03. "It's the stuff dreams are made of. I've had about a hundred of these at-bats in my backyard with my younger brother.
But to do it on this stage and in this situation makes this year incredibly worthwhile."
Blum hit just .200 with one homer in 95 at-bats with the
during the regular season and had just one previous at-bat in the playoffs.
"It surprised me," Guillen said. "Thank God he did it at the right time because I was running out of pitchers."
After Blum's blast, Astacio yielded a pair of infield singles before walking
to force in another run.
"It's disappointing, but they told me to keep my head up and that these things just happen in baseball," Astacio said through
an interpreter. "I just have to get past this and keep moving forward."
(1-0), the eighth pitcher used by Chicago, pitched 1 2/3 innings for the win.
With a runner on second, Ausmus reached on shortstop Uribe's error with two outs in the bottom of the 14th, but Game Two starter
came on and got
to pop out for his first career save.
The game lasted 5 hours, 41 minutes, easily surpassing the previous mark of 4:51 in Game One of the 2000 World Series between
New York Yankees
and Mets. It also matched Game Two of the 1916 World Series between the
Boston Red Sox
and Brooklyn Robins as the longest Fall Classic contest in terms of innings.
"This game seemed like it took forever," Chicago starter
said. "To have to come back in (the clubhouse) and watch the team battle like that was great."
Houston also played the longest game in postseason history earlier this month, an 18-inning triumph over Atlanta in Game Four
of the National League Division Series.
Chicago erased a 4-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth inning against Houston starter
, who had won his previous three postseason starts. The uprising was higlighted by A.J. Pierzynski's two-run double to deep
center field that gave Chicago a 5-4 edge.
"My fastball just got up a little bit that inning," Oswalt said. "I thought I threw some pretty good pitches and they flared
one here or there and then they got one through the hole. I threw a pretty good slider to (Jermaine) Dye and he put it right
behind second. Then I left a pitch up to (Pierzynski) and they made a pretty big inning out of it."
Garland made the lead stand, but the Astros tied it against the
's bullpen in the eighth, with
ripping an RBI double off
- Houston's only hit after Lane's solo homer in the fourth.
"I don't know how you win a ballgame when you can't hit the ball," Astros manager
said. "We didn't even hit the ball good except for Jason. We managed to stay in the ballgame, but we might have played 40
innings and it didn't look like we were going to get a runner across the (plate)."
Both teams had chances to win the game in the late innings.
Lidge struck out
with a runner on second and two outs in the ninth, and Houston had runners on the corners before
and Ensberg around an intentional walk to
in the bottom of the frame.
In the 11th, Podsednik led off with a single and stole second but was stranded.
"They left a lot of guys on base, so did we," Guillen said. "We had a lot of opportunities and we didn't score. We didn't
execute as well. I think we got a lot of chances."
The Astros got a pair of runners on base against
in the 11th but failed to push across the winning run.
Overall, Chicago's relievers walked 10 batters in seven innings.
"It's a tough loss," Garner said. "I'd like to put on a better show. It's embarrassing to play like this in front of our
hometown. It was not a good game for us tonight."