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Red-hot Phillies race into World Series lead

Five home runs help the Philadelphia Phillies thrash the Houston Astros 7-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies came out swinging on home turf to thrash the Houston Astros 7-0 and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.

Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh hit home runs off Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr as the Phillies opened a 4-0 lead in the second inning.

Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins did likewise in the fifth to make it 7-0.

The Astros struggled at the plate all night as the hosts cruised to victory thanks to those five home runs.

The series remains in Philadelphia for games four and five on Wednesday and Thursday, giving the Phillies - unbeaten at home in the 2022 postseason - home field advantage as they seek the two wins that would clinch their first title since 2008.

After persistent rain on Monday forced the schedule to slip by a day, the Phillies enjoyed a dream start at a raucous Citizens Bank Park, where an illuminated Liberty Bell tolls every time the hosts hit a home run.

Harper hoisted the first pitch he faced for a two-run homer in the first inning, Bohm ripped the first pitch of the bottom of the second over left field for the 1,000th home run ever hit in a World Series, and Marsh joined in the fun as the Phillies became the first team to hit three homers inside the first two innings of a Fall Classic game.

Phillies left-hander Ranger Suarez, who had pitched in relief in game one, threw five scoreless innings and vindicated manager Rob Thomson's decision to start him ahead of Noah Syndergaard who had been set to start Monday's rained-off encounter.

McCullers recovered to retire seven successive batters at one stage, but lacked any run support from his team-mates - and Schwarber and Hoskins ensured the right-hander took the unwanted record of becoming the first pitcher to concede five home runs in a World Series game.

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