Nationals take opening game of World Series

Posted: Updated:
HOUSTON (AP) -

 The Washington Nationals have opened the World Series by stealing home-field advantage from the Houston Astros.

   Juan Soto drove in three runs and Max Scherzer provided a gritty effort on the mound as the Nationals held off the Astros, 5-4. Soto delivered a solo homer and a two-run double while the Nats were turning a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead against Gerrit Cole.

   Scherzer quickly fell behind when Yuli Gurriel lined a two-run double with two out in the bottom of the first. The three-time Cy Young Award winner needed 112 pitches to get through five innings, striking out seven and allowing five hits and three walks.

   Ryan Zimmerman sparked Washington's comeback with a second-inning homer. Adam Eaton put the Nationals ahead to stay with a run-scoring single in the fifth, two batters before Soto widened their lead.

   George Springer made it a one-run game with a seventh-inning homer and an RBI double in the eighth. Sean Doolittle protected the lead by getting the final out in the eighth, stranding Spring at second before picking up the save.

   Cole suffered his first loss in 26 starts since May 22 against the Chicago White Sox. He entered the game 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in the postseason before surrendering eight hits over seven innings.

   Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. The Astros look to Justin Verlander to help them tie up the series. Stephen Strasburg will pitch for the Nats.