Baseball’s nightmare is almost a reality.
Astros, who fired their manager and general manager in January after an MLB investigation found they cheated their way to the world title three years ago, are now one victory away from returning to the Fall Classic.
Houston avoided elimination again on Friday night, winning their third straight victory over Range, 7-4, in Game 6 of the ALCS at Petco Park in San Diego. They will strive to complete the incredible return of the series on Saturday night.
“This team is fighting on a large scale,” said manager Dusty Baker. “You have to love this team – or some people hate it, but at least you have to respect this team.”
On Friday, Astros used a fourfold fifth inning to trigger another victory, taking advantage of a bit of bad work from the Rays bull – and then moving on to victory.
With the victory in Game 6, Astros became only the second team to boost Game 7 after being 3-0 in a row after the season, joining the 2004 Red Sox, which went on to beat the Yankees in that ALCS.
“We are relentless,” Carlos Korea said. “When we said we didn’t want to go home, we really meant it. We took care of these three games. We have to win another one. If we don’t win it, it doesn’t mean anything. ”
Reis led at the bottom of the second with a double RBI of Willy Adames.
Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell struggled with his team early, but was effective. Still, the left-hander was pulled back after the first two fighters reached the fifth.
Diego Castillo entered without outs, and Martin Maldonado upgraded the runners. With the inside field, George Springer broke one on the right to score Juli Guriel and Aledims Diaz and give Houston a 2-1 lead.
Then Jose Altowe tore double to the left and Springer scored easily when Brandon Lowe, usually a player but a left fielder, threw the ball for a second.
Castillo, so effective from the pen in most of the playoffs – especially against the Yankees in ALDS – then walked Michael Brantley on four pitches. Correa delivered an RBI single from the left to finish the rally as Houston went up, 4-1.
Kyle Tucker extended the lead to four tracks, starting the top of the sixth with a homer, but Tampa Bay threatened at the bottom of the inning.
It began with Hunter Renfrow’s one-time single by Funter Valdes. Yandi Diaz went 3-2 and started shouting at Valdes as he walked towards the first one. Valdes and Diaz looked at each other before the judges – and Korea – helped defuse the situation.
But just as the Rays seemed to have Valdez on the ropes, the young left-hander responded, forcing the struggling Lowe back into a double game with an inning end.
The Astros managed two more runs in the seventh, but Manuel Margo’s homer started 7-2 to start at the bottom of the seventh. Later, Margo hit a double, double shot to reach the beams within 7-4, forcing Baker to turn to her closer Ryan Presley for a third night in a row – meaning he may not be available. for the game 7.
Pressly did the job – barely – allowing a single hit to press forward Yoshi Tsutsugo before ALDS hero Mike Brosso returned to a double game to finish it off, with Randy Arozarena on deck.
Houston will address Lance McCullers Jr. on Saturday, as Tampa Bay will go with former Astro Charlie Morton on a trip to the World Series online.
“This is not the scenario we wanted,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said of the three consecutive defeats. “But it’s a sustainable group.”