Astros hammer Nats 7-1, lead World Series 3-2

After taking the first two games of the World Series, the Washington Nationals now have their backs to the wall.

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The Houston Astros won their third straight game over the Nats, 7-1 to take a 3 games to 2 lead and have a chance to put the series away on their home field.

Houston gave 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.

"He knew what this game meant to this Series," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "So, nobody better to have on the mound."

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Slumping rookie Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa each hit an early two-run homer off emergency starter Joe Ross. George Springer added another postseason drive.

Nats pitcher Matt Scherzer beat Cole in the opener, and was the Nats' best hope to slow Houston. But he was scratched just 3 1/2 hours before game time because of an irritated nerve near his neck, an injury that could finish him for the Series.

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The road team has won every game. Houston will send Justin Verlander to the mound to try and finish things out on Tuesday night.

Cole threw three-hit ball for seven innings, nicked only by Juan Soto's home run in the seventh, and struck out nine — eight on breaking balls.

President Trump attended the game and was shown on the videoboard for about 10 seconds before the fourth inning, watching from a lower-level suite, the fans let loose with loud boos and broke into a brief but very audible chant of "Lock him up!"

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The game 6 matchups are expected to be Stephen Strasburg for Washington and Justin Verlander for Houston.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.