The Houston Astros kicked off their seven-game series on Monday with the Tampa Bay Rays taking a 2-0 lead.
Right-handed Astros pitcher Framber Valdez threw six innings with four hits and two runs. Manager Dusty Baker said he was proud that Valdez found his pitches early rather than struggling in a couple of innings.
The two runs Tampa Bay scored came from just two pitches that Valdez left up in the zone. The Rays pitcher Blake Snell threw over 100 pitches in five innings. He only gave up a solo home run to Jose Altuve in the first and left the game with a win.
Houston left the base loaded twice and did not score a run either time. The bats were dead, but third baseman Alex Bregman seemed hopeful for the rest of the games in post-game interview.
“I thought the at-bats were, awesome, we just didn’t get the big hits today,” he said.
Lance McCullers Jr. threw seven innings with 11 strikeouts and gave up a three-run home run after an error from Jose Altuve. The pitching was phenomenal but Houston’s bats showed up too late.
In the first inning, Houston left runners stranded on first and third and obtained an error at first-base in the bottom half. Altuve short hopped a throw and Yuli Gurriel could not make the catch as it bounced out of his glove.
Tampa Bay’s defense came ready and tested their athleticism with an over-the-wall catch by Manuel Margot. He ended the Astros second inning with more runners stranded but on second and third.
The Astros continued to struggle with scoring until Carlos Correa hit a solo home run. Houston trailed 1-3 but McCullers Jr. gives up another home run for the lead to become 4-1.
Houston knocked on the door in the ninth inning with one more run but Bregman leaves the bases stranded.
The Rays are now 2-0 with a 4-2 victory.
Game three Houston starter has been announced as Jose Urquidy. The first to win four in the ALCS will advance to the World Series Championship.
If you enjoyed this article, please leave a like and share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, please subscribe to Houston Sports Press. We are trying to hit 100 followers before the end of the year.