Chas McCormick laid on the warning track for a few seconds and stared at a crowd that looked dumbfounded. 

The West Chester native had just made an outstanding leaping catch against the wall in the ninth inning on a J.T. Realmuto laser that could have tilted Game 5 in favor of Philadelphia. 

"Unbelievable," McCormick said afterward. "To do this here, it's the best feeling ever." 

The acrobatic catch helped the Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Phillies in Game 5 of the World Series on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park. The win gives Houston a 3-2 series advantage as things move to Minute Maid Park for Game 6 on Saturday. 

The Phillies had a number of opportunities to take control of things on Thursday, but failed to execute. The club stranded 12 baserunners, finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and struck out 13 times. Compounding matters, the Phillies are riding a 1-for-19 streak with runners in scoring position since Game 2 of the World Series. 

The bats must come alive if the club expects to push this Fall Classic to a Game 7. 

"That's baseball. It's the ebbs and flows of the game," manager Rob Thomson said. "Sometimes you go through times when you don't hit with runners in scoring position, and then three days later, everybody's getting hits. So we've just got to keep battling, that's all." 

The Phillies had Astros' starter Justin Verlander on the ropes early, but Kyle Schwarber's leadoff homer was the lone run to show for it. Jean Segura hit an RBI single in the eighth to bring the Phils to within a run, but McCormick's grab on Realmuto's shot to the fence, and a Nick Castellanos groundout were the final nails on the chance for a comeback. 

“We were close, but we could talk about would have, could have, should have,” Castellanos said. “We put together good at-bats, we gave ourselves a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t capitalize on them tonight. So now we’ve just got our work cut out for us when we go to Houston.” 

Jeremy Pena hit an RBI single in the first and a solo shot in the fourth to lead the Houston offense.

Verlander, who entered the contest with a 0-6 record and a 6.07 ERA for his career in the World Series, collected his first ever World Series win. The Schwarber homer was his lone blemish over five innings. 

Schwarber had other opportunities to help the Phils' offense, but a pair of spectacular defensive plays neutralized his swings. First, there was a 101.3 mph grounder that Jose Altuve took care of, then there was a 98.7 mph missile down the line that first baseman Trey Mancini made a diving play on, stranding the potentially tying run at third base. 

“You wouldn’t be human if you said you weren’t frustrated,” Schwarber said. “You can be. I think the biggest thing is everyone is going to flush this out and we’re going to have to be ready to go there for Game 6.” 

As for McCormick, he recognizes his catch has etched an interesting storyline into an already fascinating World Series. 

“It’s one of my better catches. One of the most important games of my life," McCormick said.
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