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Sports Astros thump Rays in Game 5, advance to 3rd straight ALCS

10:45  11 october  2019
10:45  11 october  2019 Source:   thescore.com

Rays chase Verlander early, beat Astros 4-1 to even ALDS

  Rays chase Verlander early, beat Astros 4-1 to even ALDS ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays never doubted themselves, even with Justin Verlander looking to end their season. Willy Adames homered and made a sensational relay throw from shortstop, and the Rays chased the Houston ace early in beating the Astros 4-1 Tuesday night to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece. With their second victory in two days over one of baseball's best pitchers, the Rays believe the rest of the country is finally getting a taste of what they're capable of accomplishing."Hey, I hate to say it: About time, because we have a really good team over here," Tommy Pham said.

Martín Maldonado, A. J. Hinch are posing for a picture© Cooper Neill / Major League Baseball / Getty

In the end, the Houston Astros were just too powerful for the underdog Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros advanced to their third consecutive American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-1 win over the Rays in Game 5 of the division series at Minute Maid Park on Thursday.

Houston will now face the New York Yankees in the ALCS.

The Rays were attempting to complete a historic comeback and upset the 107-win Astros - baseball's best team in 2019 - after going down 0-2 in the series. But their bid was upended almost immediately when starter Tyler Glasnow surrendered four runs in the first inning. Glasnow, one of nine Rays pitchers that manager Kevin Cash used, didn't make it out of the third.

Three takeaways from Rays' Game 4 victory against Astros

  Three takeaways from Rays' Game 4 victory against Astros The Astros have what's probably MLB's best pitching rotation, but its poor management of that led to its downfall. Here are three takeaways from the Rays' big winStarting Justin Verlander backfired for the AstrosJustin Verlander pushed for Houston to start him in Game 4 of the American League Division Series on three days rest, but he struggled with command and movement against Tampa Bay. He consistently sailed balls high and his sliders simply weren't sliding. When you throw as many balls right down the pipe as Verlander did, you're bound to get punished.

Houston didn't score again until the eighth when Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve launched homers, putting the game out of reach.

AL Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole made sure the Rays' bats didn't come to life. Cole was untouchable aside from an Eric Sogard homer, striking out 10 while giving up just two hits and the lone run in eight stellar innings.

Houston becomes the ninth team in AL history to reach the ALCS in three straight years, and the first since the Detroit Tigers did it from 2011 to 2013. Overall, Houston has logged seven LCS appearances after advancing four times while playing in the National League.

* - indicates NLCS appearance

Waiting for the Astros in the ALCS is the Yankees, their opponent in the same round two years ago. It will be a matchup of the AL's two most powerful teams, and it's just the third time a pair of 103-win clubs have met in the postseason.

Three takeaways from Yankees' ALCS Game 1 win over the Astros

  Three takeaways from Yankees' ALCS Game 1 win over the Astros Masahiro Tanaka had the Astros off balance all night and that's honestly not all that surprising.Masahiro Tanaka dealt, Gleyber Torres dominated and Houston made mistakes.

"We know they're obviously very talented," Cole said of the Yankees postgame, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. "It's going to be a dog fight."

Just as when the two teams met in 2017, the Astros will hold home-field advantage. Game 1 of the ALCS goes on Saturday.

For the Rays, Thursday's loss ends a remarkable season for the low-budget club. The team overcame several key injuries throughout 2019 to win 96 games and earn its first playoff berth in six years before pushing Houston to the brink.

"I'm very, very proud of our guys," Cash said postgame, according to Ryan Bass of WTSP.

"I think we have a really special group," the skipper added. "Gaining this experience for the young players and myself, hopefully we can learn from it and have an opportunity to get back here."

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Three takeaways from Astros' Game 3 World Series win over Nationals .
Houston beat Washington 4-1 on the road to get back into contention for its second championship in three seasons. The Astros were led by José Altuve, who finished 2 of 5 at the plate with two runs scored. Meanwhile, Asdrúbal Cabrera and Adam Eaton led the Nationals' losing efforts as they both finished 2 of 4 on the night.Josh James was awarded the win after 1/3 inning of work while Roberto Osuna got his second save. Aníbal Sánchez was stuck with the loss.Houston's victory broke Washington's eight-game winning streak in the postseason.

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