Tyler Glasnow rode a fine line Friday afternoon in Houston, but Jose Altuve's two-run homer in the fifth put the Tampa Bay Rays in a deficit they could not recover from, as the Astros took a 6-2 victory over the Rays in game One of the best-of-five American League Division Series.
Glasnow and Justin Verlander matched zeroes through the first four innings, though Tampa Bay could only manage a pair of walks while Houston had two singles as well as two walks. Houston finally broke through against Glasnow in the top of the fifth, as the right-hander walked Josh Reddick to lead off the inning, and after striking out George Springer on three pitches, Jose Altuve then jumped on a 2-0 fastball up in the zone and sent it into the box seats in left for his first home run of postseason, and ending Glasnow's afternoon.
Kevin Cash brought in Brendan McKay to face Michael Brantley, who singled, and Alex Bregman, who doubled. The left-hander struck out Yordan Alvarez for the second out of the inning, but Yuli Gurriel greeted Chaz Roe with a flare that glanced off second baseman Brandon Lowe's glove for an error, allowing the Astros to take a 4-0 lead before the inning was over.
Houston extended its lead to 6-0 in the seventh thanks to a pair of RBI doubles from Alvarez and Gurriel.
Verlander worked the first seven innings, allowing just one hit, a single by Lowe in the fifth and three walks while striking out nine.
Tampa Bay would not get on the board until the eighth, when Joey Wendle singled off reliever Ryan Pressly, moved to second on a groundout by Kevin kiermaier and scored on a pinch-hit single by Eric Sogard. Sogard then came around to score on a double by Austin Meadows. However, Tampa Bay would get no closer, as Will Harris got Ji-Man Choi to ground out to end the eighth, and Roberto Osuna worked a perfect ninth to finish the game.
Tampa Bay will look to even the series at one win apiece Saturday night, when Blake Snell takes on Gerrit Cole. First pitch is scheduled for 9:08, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 7:30 with The Inside Pitch, which will be broadcasting live from the Rays official watch party at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg.