Gerrit Cole pitches Astros to 3-2 Series lead over Nats

World Series (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series.

Cole looked exactly like the stud who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.

Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout.

Rookie Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa hit early two-run homers off emergency starter Joe Ross as Houston won its third straight at Nationals Park. Scherzer beat Cole in the opener but was scratched just 3½ hours before game time because of an irritated nerve near his neck that could finish him for the Series.

With the road team winning every time so far, Houston heads home with a chance to claim its second title in three years. Justin Verlander gets the first try when he starts against Stephen Strasburg in Game 6 Tuesday night at Minute Maid Mark.

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