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Rays squeeze out another victory, take 2-0 ALCS lead

Photo by Wayne Masut I The Scrum Sports Staff Photographer

Through two games of the American League Championship Series, the Tampa Bay Rays’ pitching staff have cooled off the red hot Houston Astros offense. They now head to Game 3 holding a commanding 2-0 series lead.

In a series that we all expected to be full of close games, the first two games of the ALCS have not disappointed. With two bend-don’t-break outings by the Rays’ starting pitchers, they have limited the Astros to just three runs in the first two games of this series.

The Astros scored 33 runs in their four games against the Oakland Athletics.

The Astros have made both Blake Snell (105 pitches in 5 innings) and Charlie Morton (96 pitches in 5 innings) battle for each and every out, but have only combined for one run against the Rays’ starters.

On the other side, the Astros’ starters have been remarkable. Combing for 13 innings and 19 strikeouts while allowing three earned runs, you’d think the Astros have the 2-0 series lead. But the scrappy Rays have clawed their way through at-bats and have hit three timely home runs to win the first two games.

The Rays are now 28-10 in games decided by two runs or fewer, including 5-0 this postseason.

A save is a save, even if it makes you sweat

When the Rays have a lead after seven innings, they just don’t lose. Literally. In 2020, the Rays are 30-0 and 37-0 when leading after the 7th and 8th innings.

Even with two bases loaded, late innings scares — the bullpen prevailed while only allowing one run.

What a.. relief.

The man, the myth, the legend

Yes, Randy Arozarena homered again. This time in Game 1 to tie the game at one.

If you live under a rock and still don’t know who Arozarena is, here’s a must read piece from Rays beat writer for MLB dot com, Juan Toribio.

Arozarena has been lights out this postseason. His home run in game one was his fourth of the postseason, tying him for third all-time among rookies. He’s two behind the leader, Evan Longoria, who hit six in 2008.

All four of Arozarena homers have been solo, but three of them either tied or gave the Rays the lead. He is becoming a star right before our eyes.

MarGOAT made ’em pay. Plus catch of the year?

In the first inning of Game 2, a routine ground ball to Jose Altuve led to a lazy throw to first that Yuli Gurriel couldn’t pick. A good throw would have gotten the Astros out of the inning unscathed. But with two men on and Manuel Margot coming to the plate, the Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

And then he followed it up with this:

No words.

I don’t know if they was the catch of the year, but I do know that it’s in the conversation.

Up Next

Game 3 will take place Tuesday at 8:40 PM ET. The Rays announced Ryan Yarbrough as their starter while the Astros will send out Jose Urquidy to the mound. During the regular season Urquidy pitched his way to a 1-1 record with a 2.73 ERA in 29.2 innings of work.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @EvansEric10 for all your Tamp Bay Rays updates. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for some behind the scenes interviews!

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