Schwarber HR off Verlander ends Astros’ hitless streak in WS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber put a sudden end to that record-tying hitless streak by Houston pitchers.

Schwarber homered on Justin Verlander’s second pitch in Game 5 of the World Series on Thursday night, a day after four Astros pitchers combined on a no-hitter against Philadelphia.

The Astros had held the Phillies hitless for 11 innings dating to Game 3, matching the longest streak in any postseason set by the New York Yankees in 1939. Philadelphia hitters were 0 for 36 in that span.

Schwarber led off the bottom of the first with a liner into the right-field seats. He tied Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins for the most career postseason leadoff home runs with three.

It was a bruising beginning for Verlander, who began the day 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight World Series starts.

Cristian Javier and three Houston relievers combined to blank the Phillies on Wednesday night.

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto said manager Rob Thomson didn’t dwell on the hitless drought after a 5-0 loss evened the World Series at two games each.

“I think he mentioned, hey, the last time we got no-hit we turned around and won the next day. That’s a pretty simple message, but it speaks for itself,” Realmuto said before Game 5.

Philadelphia was no-hit by five New York Mets pitchers in late April, and the then-floundering Phillies fired manager Joe Girardi in early June.

Houston’s combined performance marked the third no-hitter in postseason history, two of them at Citizens Bank Park.

In 2010, Phillies ace Roy Halladay pitched a gem against Cincinnati in the NL Division Series. In the next game, Brandon Phillips homered for the Reds to lead off the top of the first.

Don Larsen pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series against Brooklyn. In the following game, Duke Snider singled with two outs in the first.

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