USA TODAY US Edition

World Series trend raises Nationals’ hopes on road

- Scott Boeck

WASHINGTON – Need not worry, Nationals fans: The way this World Series is trending, Washington should win the next two games in Houston.

Yes, the Astros lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Justin Verlander on the mound for Game 6 Tuesday evening, but the road team has won the first five games of the World Series for just the third time in history.

“It’s been a crazy year for us,” said Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. “So why not have every road team win every game in the World Series?”

With the Series shifting back to

Houston for Games 6 and, if necessary, 7, Nationals fans have a reason to believe – even with ace Max Scherzer likely out with an injury for the rest of the series – the momentum could change.

The Astros’ 7-1 victory Sunday night marked the first time the road team won the first five Series games since 1996, when the Braves won the first two against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, only to lose the next three at AtlantaFul­ton County Stadium. The Yankees won Game 6 at home to win the title.

The first time it happened was in 1906, when the home team alternated each day. The White Sox won Games 1, 3 and 5 and the Cubs took Games 2 and 4.

The road team has never won each of the first six games.

“Yeah, it’s a crazy stat,” said Nationals pitcher Joe Ross, who started Game 5. “Hopefully we can finish through with it.”

Another crazy stat is the scoring difference. The Nationals outscored the Astros 17-7 in the two games at Minute Maid Park, and Houston outscored Washington 19-3 in the three games at Nationals Park.

“I think I would have rather played the last three games on the road, with the outcome,” said Nationals shortstop Trea Turner.

Home-field advantage matters, right?

History proves it does when it comes to Game 6 of the Series. Home teams are 43-24, winning five of the last six.

 ?? TOMMY GILLIGAN/USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Astros center fielder George Springer and shortstop Carlos Correa celebrate their 7-1 win over the Nationals in Game 5 on Sunday in Washington. The Astros return home with a 3-2 series lead.
TOMMY GILLIGAN/USA TODAY SPORTS Astros center fielder George Springer and shortstop Carlos Correa celebrate their 7-1 win over the Nationals in Game 5 on Sunday in Washington. The Astros return home with a 3-2 series lead.

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