Saturday, October 24, 2020

Astros edge Rays, send ALCS to Game 5


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Now operating with a two-run edge, Greinke got into a jam in the sixth when Manuel Margot and Austin Meadows hit back-to-back singles with one out. Manager Dusty Baker had closer Ryan Pressly warming but opted to stay with his veteran right-hander to face Arozarena.

“Zack, this guy has been out there many times,” Baker said. “I usually don’t change my mind, but I didn’t have my mind really made up until I got out there and I saw the look in Zack’s eyes. (Catcher Martin Maldonado) was adamant that he could get this guy. I said, ‘OK, you got it then.’”

Arozarena struck out swinging for the second out. After Ji-Man Choi hit an infield single to load the bases, Greinke went full count on Mike Brosseau before getting the punchout on a changeup to escape the inning.

Rookie Cristian Javier held Tampa Bay scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings before walking Choi to begin the ninth. Pressly allowed the run to score on a Willy Adames two-out double but got Yoshi Tsutsugo to line out with a runner on third base to nail down his third save of the postseason.

“We put a lot of pressure on them there at the end,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Yoshi had a good at-bat — got a pitch, looked like he might have caught it off the end just a little bit.”

Altuve put the Astros up 1-0 in the first inning when he homered for the fifth time in his past six games. He doubled home a run in the third for a 2-0 edge, leading the way with his bat after making headlines with his poor defense the prior two games.

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