cloudyn.png
Thursday October 29th, 2020 12:42AM

Rays beat Astros 5-2, move within 1 victory of World Series

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Kevin Kiermaier and the Tampa Bay Rays — with big assists from two former Padres who know Petco Park's outfield well — are one win from the second World Series berth in franchise history.

Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead, two-run single two batters after another critical error by José Altuve, and the Rays beat the Houston Astros 5-2 on Tuesday night for a 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Kiermaier, a three-time Gold Glove winner in center field, saved multiple runs for the Rays with two outstanding catches before leaving with a hand injury. Hunter Renfroe, acquired from the San Diego Padres last December, made a pair of terrific grabs in right.

“We’ve played just tremendous defense all season long,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “It’s a credit to the guys how hard they work at it.”

Towering righty Tyler Glasnow, who grew up just north of Los Angeles, will try to complete the series sweep and deliver the Rays their first pennant in 12 years Wednesday night when he opposes Zack Greinke in Game 4.

Kiermaier, the longest-tenured Tampa Bay player, said it was “an amazing feeling” to be so close to going to the Fall Classic.

“I knew that this group would be capable of getting to this point. I had no doubt in my mind,” the 30-year-old Kiermaier said, praising everyone from the front office to the coaches to the players. “This is what it’s all about. I’m so proud to be a part of this and have so much fun with these guys.”

Tampa Bay reached the World Series in 2008 but lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.

“There’s a very confident mindset with this group," Cash said. "We’ll stay consistent and do everything we can behind Glasnow to make plays.”

The innovative Rays had one of baseball's lowest payrolls during the pandemic-shortened season and still finished with the AL's best record at 40-20. It seems a different player comes up big every night, whether it's an unsung hitter or reliever — sometimes both. They've also played spectacular defense.

The Astros got into the postseason with a 29-31 record before going 5-1 to reach the ALCS. But they've looked nothing like the team that won the AL pennant two of the last three years and they remain villains to many for illegal sign stealing en route to the 2017 World Series title.

Houston fell apart in the sixth, when the Rays sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five runs on four hits, two hit batters and Altuve’s error at second base. One of the runs was unearned.

Losing pitcher José Urquidy held Tampa Bay to two singles through five scoreless innings before Randy Arozarena singled leading off the sixth. Brandon Lowe hit a grounder to Altuve, who tried for a routine forceout but short-hopped the throw and it skipped past shortstop Carlos Correa into left field.

Enoli Paredes replaced Urquidy, and Yandy Diaz singled to load the bases. Wendle lined a single off third baseman Alex Bregman's glove to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead.

Manuel Margot, whose three-run homer in Game 2 followed the first of Altuve’s two errors, laid down Tampa Bay’s first sacrifice bunt of the season. Paredes hit Kiermaier on the hand to load the bases and then grazed Willy Adames on the pinkie with a pitch to bring in another run.

“A nightmare inning,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

Renfroe, who like Margot began his career with the Padres, flared a pinch-hit double into right to bring in two more runs.

“That big hit has been eluding us the whole series,” Baker said. “It seems like they get whatever they want.”

Renfroe came up big with his bat and glove two nights after striking out four times. He and Margot, who also made a sensational catch in Game 2, were traded to the Rays in separate deals last offseason.

Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough pitched into the sixth for the win, holding the Astros to two runs and three hits while striking out five and walking two.

Diego Castillo pitched the ninth for his second save, stranding two runners.

“We’re in a good spot, but we’re not counting anything yet. We know we have another ballgame to win,” Wendle said.

Yarbrough allowed Altuve’s homer in the first inning, his second of the series. Michael Brantley’s homer to left leading off the sixth chased Yarbrough.

Altuve has 17 career postseason home runs, tying teammate George Springer for the most in franchise history.

Altuve also homered in the first inning of the opener, a 2-1 Rays win.

Two batters after Altuve’s shot, Bregman barely missed a home run as Kiermaier made a leaping catch of his drive near the top of the fence in center.

“We’re not happy that we’re down 0-3, I’ll tell you that. But at the same time, we’re going to bring great energy tomorrow," Correa said. "We’re going to go down swinging, and we’re going to go down playing our brand of baseball. Whatever happens, we’re going to do it as a team.”

GREAT DEFENSE

Besides his leap to rob Bregman, Kiermaier made a diving catch of Correa’s liner with two runners on to end the third. Renfroe made a diving grab of Springer’s sinking liner to end the seventh. With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Renfroe also made a sliding basket catch of Kyle Tucker’s shallow fly ball.

“Taking a run away is just as valuable as driving one in," Kiermaier said.

THE CUBAN ROCKET

Arozarena, who defected from Havana to Mexico in 2015, doubled in the third for his eighth extra-base hit this postseason, one shy of tying Melvin Upton Jr. and Evan Longoria, both in 2008, for the most in a single postseason in Rays history. Arozarena has four homers this postseason.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Kiermaier exited with a bruised left hand after getting hit by the pitch in the sixth. X-rays were negative.

“Try to be hockey tough in these kind of situations, but we'll see how my recovery process goes,” he said.

UP NEXT

Rays: The 6-foot-8 Glasnow (2-0, 4.05 ERA) will make his fourth start of the postseason. He beat the New York Yankees 7-5 while striking out 10 in Game 2 of the AL Division Series and then started the clincher Friday night and went 2 1/3 innings on just two days’ rest.

Astros: Greinke (0-0, 5.19) will be making his third start this postseason and the 19th playoff start of his career. He experienced a sore arm during the ALDS against Oakland but said he should be fine.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Rays beat Astros 5-2, move within 1 victory of World Series
Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead, two-run single two batters after another critical error by José Altuve, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied for a 5-2 win against the Houston Astros that moved them within one victory of the second World Series appearance in franchise history
12:53AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Altuve's throwing yips hurt Astros again in Game 3 of ALCS
José Altuve committed his fourth throwing error this postseason and third of the AL Championship Series in the sixth inning of the Astros' 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3
12:48AM ( 14 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Down 0-2 in NLCS, Dodgers turn to Urías
With their rotation in flux, the Los Angeles Dodgers turn to 24-year-old playoff veteran Julio Urías in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series on Wednesday as they try to climb out of a 2-0 hole against Atlanta
12:45AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Issues pile up with Dodgers in 0-2 NLCS hole against Braves
Former ace Clayton Kershaw is having more back issues, Kenley Jansen hasn’t seen the mound yet with his closing role unclear and baseball’s highest-scoring offense stayed silent until it was too late
11:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tannehill scores 4 TDs as depleted Titans beat Bills 42-16
Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Titans routed the Buffalo Bills 42-16 Tuesday night in a showdown between two of the NFL’s five remaining undefeated teams pushed back two days after a couple more positive tests for Tennessee last week
11:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
Freeman, Albies homer again for Braves 2-0 NLCS lead over LA
Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies homered again as the Atlanta Braves held on for an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series
10:28PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Pache in Braves lineup with Duval out, Pederson is DH for LA
Cristian Pache is starting in center field and batting ninth for the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series
5:25PM ( 7 hours ago )
Braves' Duvall out rest of postseason, replaced by Camargo
Atlanta Braves outfielder Adam Duvall will miss the rest of the postseason because of an injury to his left side
12:47PM ( 12 hours ago )
Riley HR in 9th leads Braves past Dodgers 5-1 in NLCS opener
Austin Riley led off the ninth inning with a tiebreaking homer that sparked a four-run rally, and the Atlanta Braves opened their first National League Championship Series since 2001 with a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers
3:02AM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Joe Morgan, driving force of Big Red Machine, dies at 77
The Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan has died
8:22PM ( 1 day ago )
Altuve's 2 early throwing errors doom Astros in ALCS Game 2
The Houston Astros are finding it tough to summon their usual postseason proficiency so far in the AL Championship Series
7:47PM ( 1 day ago )
Kiké 1st start for Dodgers, Braves unchanged for NLCS Game 1
Kiké Hernández is getting his first start this postseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers
6:08PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Altuve's throwing yips hurt Astros again in Game 3 of ALCS
José Altuve committed his fourth throwing error this postseason and third of the AL Championship Series in the sixth inning of the Astros' 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3
12:48AM ( 14 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Down 0-2 in NLCS, Dodgers turn to Urías
With their rotation in flux, the Los Angeles Dodgers turn to 24-year-old playoff veteran Julio Urías in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series on Wednesday as they try to climb out of a 2-0 hole against Atlanta
12:45AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Freeman, Albies HR again, Braves hang on for 2-0 NLCS lead
Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies homered again, rookie Ian Anderson extended his postseason scoreless streak in an abbreviated start and the Atlanta Braves just held on for an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series
12:30AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Barrett back on Capitol Hill for senators' final questions
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett returns to Capitol Hill for a third day of confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee
12:28AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Fighting in swing states, Trump also forced to play defense
President Donald Trump is being forced to play Electoral College defense with a trip to Iowa, a state he won handily in 2016 but where Democrat Joe Biden is making a late push
12:17AM ( 45 minutes ago )