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Astros, Nats tied 2-2 after 4th inning

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) The Latest on the World Series (all times local):

8:41 p.m.

Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg both have settled in nicely through four innings. They haven't given up a lot since each gave up two runs in the first.

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Manfred discounts new balls in playoffs

HOUSTON (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred discounts the drop in home runs during the postseason and expects to receive a new report from scientists on baseballs by the end of the year.

Batters finished the regular season with 6,776 home runs, shattering the previous record of 6,105 set two years ago. The average of 2.79 homers per game has dropped to 2.45 in the postseason, with 76 long balls in 31 games entering Wednesday.

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Bregman breaks out of slump with homer

HOUSTON (AP) The chants of "M-V-P!, M-V-P!" still break out from the crowd each time Alex Bregman comes to the plate at home for the Houston Astros.

And the cheers got louder when Bregman hit a towering two-run homer in the first inning of Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

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Springer phones Hinch after not hustling

HOUSTON (AP) Before going to sleep, George Springer wanted to put to bed what happened on the bases.

So the Astros star phoned manager AJ Hinch well after a 5-4 loss to Washington on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series to rehash what went wrong.

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MLB to probe ump tweet referencing war

HOUSTON (AP) Commissioner Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball will look into a politicized tweet by umpire Rob Drake that referenced a rifle and criticism of President Donald Trump.

Drake posted this message to Twitter on Tuesday: "I will be buying an AR-15 tomorrow, because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! (hash)MAGA2020"

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MLB, union progressing on opioid testing

HOUSTON (AP) Major League Baseball and its players' union are optimistic talks are progressing on testing for opioids following the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

"The dialogue in this has been really positive with the players association, a lot of common ground on addressing the issue," Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday before Game 2 of the World Series. "We understand that our workforce is a microcosm of society. There's a societal problem."

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MLB to minors: Better parks, less travel

HOUSTON (AP) Major League Baseball wants the minor leagues to upgrade ballparks and decrease long travel.

Negotiations have started on a new Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the deal between MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues that expires after the 2020 season.

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Pirates move on from president Coonelly

PITTSBURGH (AP) Frank Coonelly's 12-year run as president of the Pittsburgh Pirates is over after another losing season.

The club announced Wednesday that it is parting ways with Coonelly effective immediately. The team said Coonelly's replacement will be introduced on Monday.

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Cole suffers first loss since May 22

HOUSTON (AP) Gerrit Cole trudged slowly off the mound, wiped the sweat from his upper lip and took a handshake and pat on the backside from manager AJ Hinch.

Walking away without a lead - not something Cole and the Houston Astros are used to. Certainly not what they expected in the World Series opener.

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