After splitting a tough series against the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays headed west to Houston for a weekend series with the Astros. Right now the Astros are at the tail end of the AL Wild Card race, sitting 3 games back the Red Sox. That may not sound too bad, but they will have to get through the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and the division rival Seattle Mariners to win it. Winning is always the goal for any team, but right now it means more to some teams than others, and the Astros are one of them.
In game 1 of this 3 game series the Astros hit the ground running. In the first inning on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Altuve to Evan Longoria, outfielder George Springer scores. Shortly after that, off a line drive to center field by Evan Gattis and Altuve would score. 2-0 Astros. The Astros continued their assault on the Rays in the 2nd with a home by Jake Marisnick. 3-0 Astros. In the 3rd the Rays responded to the Astros 3 run lead when on a wild pitch walk of Logan Forsythe, Corey Dickerson would score. 3-1 Astros. In the 5th Forsythe would be back at bat and pitcher Mike Fiers would throw a wild pitch that would allow Dickerson to score again. 3-2 Astros. In the 7th Dickerson would double to get Logan Morrison home and tie the game up 3-3. Top of the 9th, Mikie Mahtook would hit a go ahead home run, putting the Rays on top for the first time in the game. 4-3 Rays. Alex Colome took the mound for the Rays in 9th with hopes of shutting it down the Astros for a win, but sadly that was not the case. Rookie of the year Carlos Correa would come out and hit his 19th home run to tie the game to tie things back up 4-4 and Gattis shut the door with a walk off homer. Astros win 5-4.
W: Giles (2-3) L: Colome (1-4)
Games 2 had a similar start to game 1, the Astros started in on rookie starter Blake Snell early. In the 2nd, with Correa on base, Gattis continues his hit streak against Rays pitching and double to center. Correa scores, 1-0 Astros. Later in the 2nd, Yulieski Gurriel would also double to center and would allow Gattis to score. 2-0 Astros. The run gap would get bigger in the 3rd when Alex Bregman would hit his 5th home run of the season. 4-0 Astros. In the 4th, Marwin Gonzalez hit a strong grounder that deflected off the foot of Snell; he would leave the game due to injury. Danny Farquhar would take over on the mound. Bregman was back up with 2 men on base and on a first pitch strike, doubles home Gonzalez. 5-0 Astros. Starter Dallas Keuchel would hold off the Rays until the 5th inning the when catcher Bobby Wilson hit his 5th home run of the season the score Dickerson. 5-2 Astros. 7th inning Gurriel would add insult to injury and hit a double with 2 men on to score Bregman. 6-2 Astros. Both teams batts would be silent the rest of the game. Astros win 6-2.
W: Keuchel (9-12) L: Snell (4-7)
Game 3 started out a little better and the Rays got the first run in the 2nd off a grounder by Steven Souza Jr. to score Matt Duffy. 1-0 Rays. In the 3rd the Rays struck again when captain Evan Longoria doubled to center to get Dickerson home. 2-0 Rays. The runs kept coming in the 4th. Tim Beckham reached base on a fielding error by Bregman and Souza Jr scored. Then Luke Maile doubled and Beckham scored. 4-0 Rays. Later that same inning the Astros responded with a 2 run shot by Altuve, his 21st of the season. Also a single by Jason Castro Correa scored. And just like that, the lead is down to 1 run, 4-3 Rays. Both teams were silent until the 8th when Matt Duffy hit his 5th homer of the year to score Brad Miller. Then Dickerson followed with his 18th home run of the year. Beckham and Maile cross the plate to make the score 9-3 Rays. The Astros also scored in the 8th off a single to right by Gonzalez that would allow Bregman to score. 9-4 Rays. The runs don’t stop in the 9th. Nick Franklin belted his 5th homer of the season to right. 10-4 Rays. That will be game. The Rays escape the sweep in grand fashion.
W: Archer (8-17) L: Fister (12-9)
The Rays managed to pull out 1 win during this 3 game series. The Astros have proved they are no longer the laughing stock of the league and inconsistency is king with the Rays. There is no salvaging this season, but there is always next year.
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