HOUSTON—When the winning run finally came sliding across home plate on Alex Bregman's single, more than five unforgettable hours after the first pitch, a frantic Carlos Correa sprinted toward his Houston Astros' teammates in the middle of the diamond.
Arm in the air, pure elation all over his face.
A last indelible image from a World Series classic filled with them.
Correa, Jose Altuve, and the Astros kept hammering away in a wild slugfest that no one saw coming, rallying against Clayton Kershaw and rocking the L.A. Dodgers 13-12 in 10 thrilling innings last night for a 3-2 lead.
“I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack out there,” Correa said.
In a tension-filled game of monster momentum swings at pulsating Minute Maid Park, the last one belonged to Bregman.
With the packed crowd still standing well past midnight, the 23-year-old third baseman hit an RBI single with two outs off Kenley Jansen.
“The best game ever, for sure,” Correa said.
Wacky and “whacky” with seven home runs, this perhaps topped Toronto's 15-14 win over the Phillies in 1993 as the craziest World Series showdown ever.
Exhilaration and exhaustion spread over five hours, 17 minutes.
“Yeah, five-hour game but it doesn't matter,” Altuve said.
“I can play a 10-hour game if we are going to win.”
Now, with both bullpens worn down, the teams get a day to recover.
Game 6 will go tomorrow night at Dodger Stadium, where Justin Verlander will try to clinch the Astros' first championship while Rich Hill hopes to save L.A.'s season.
Altuve, Correa, Yuli Gurriel, George Springer, and Brian McCann all homered for Houston—the highest-scoring team in the majors this season.
Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig went deep for the Dodgers, who scored three times in the ninth to make it 12-all.
“It's hard to put into words all the twists and turns in that game,” said Astros' manager A.J. Hinch.
“These are just two really good teams, just throwing haymakers at each other trying to outlast each other,” he added.
Silent when ace Dallas Keuchel got crushed, the orange-clad fans erupted over and over as the Astros sent balls careening all around—and out of—the park.
Yet on another night of Home Run Derby in the Year of the Home Run, no lead was safe.
Puig lined a two-run shot in the ninth, the record 22nd homer in a single World Series, before Chris Taylor's two-out single off Chris Devenski tied it.
“I think this whole series has been an emotional roller-coaster,” said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts.
“It's the two best teams playing for a championship. And these are two teams that play 27 outs.”
More than that, in fact.
Houston posted its second extra-inning victory of the series, adding to its 7-6, 11-inning comeback win in a dramatic Game 2.
With two down in the 10th, Jansen hit McCann on the hand with a pitch and Springer walked.
Bregman, who homered off Jansen in Saturday night's loss, lined the next pitch over shortstop to score pinch-runner Derek Fisher, who slid home ahead of the throw from left-fielder Andre Ethier.
“We're up 3-2, baby,” Bregman said.
Out of nowhere, the Astros climbed out of a four-run hole against Kershaw and then erased two more deficits later in the game—tying it each time on a homer.
Bellinger hit a three-run drive in the fifth that made it 7-4 and seemed to swing things back in the Dodgers' favour.
By the end of the mayhem on the mound, it was a mere afterthought.
Each team had 14 hits, eight for extra bases, and both used seven pitchers.
“Man, I'm mentally exhausted right now,” Bellinger said.