Soler took two straight balls from Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez when he launched a 93-mph sinker deep to left field for his first home run of the 2021 postseason. The ball traveled 382 feet over the big left-field wall at Minute Maid Park and got Atlanta off on the right foot with a 1-0 start.
According to the FOX broadcast, Soler became the first person to hit a leadoff home run in the top of the first inning of Game 1 in World Series history.
The 29-year-old slugger has only appeared in five games throughout the entire postseason between the National League Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers and the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He’s been 2-for-15 before the Valdez home run with five strikeouts. He was on the COVID-19 injured list for the last game of the NLDS and most of the NLCS. He expressed some remorse for not being with the team and not being vaccinated. He was added back to the playoff roster on Thursday.
“I feel way different now. I feel bad about it, and I’m going to get a shot as soon as I can,” he said, via MLB.com.
“I feel really bad not being with the team. I really missed not being here,” he added.
He was expected to play the designated hitter role in the American League ballpark.
The Braves ended up putting another run on the board when Austin Riley scored Ozzie Albies with a double later in the inning. Atlanta took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the frame.