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Rays Again Outlast Astros Starter To Take 3-0 Lead In ALCS

The Houston Astros again got a strong outing from a starting pitcher, and for the third straight day, that starting pitcher ended up with a loss.

Joey Wendle's two-run single in the sixth keyed what would be a five-run inning, giving the Tampa Bay Rays a 5-2 win over the Astros and a three games to none lead in the American League Championship Series.

Houston again took a first-inning lead on a Jose Altuve home run, this time coming off left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, giving Jose Urquidy a 1-0 lead.

Urquidy worked out of a jam in the second, stranding the bases loaded by striking out Michael Perez, and also stranded a runner in scoring position in the third.

Meanwhile, Yarbrough got some incredible defense behind him, as Kevin Kiermaier took away an extra-base hit from Alex Bregman in the first, then robbed Carlos Correa of an extra bases hit and two more runs in the third.

Tampa Bay finally got on the board thanks to another mistake in the sixth. Randy Arozarena singled to start the inning, and Brandon Lowe rolled a ground ball out to Altuve, who tried to get the lead run, but bounced his throw past Correa and in to left field for his third error of the series, and ended Urquidy's night. Yandy Diaz singled off Enoli Paredes to load the bases, and Joey Wendle smacked a single to left to give Tampa Bay the lead.

Manuel Margot continued the inning with a sacrifice bunt to move both runners up a base, and Paredes hit Kiermaier to load the bases, then plunked Willy Adames to force in a run. Dusty Baker then brought in Brooks Raley, and Kevin Cash countered by pinch-hitting Hunter Renfroe for Michael Perez, who flared a double to left to plate two more runs for a 5-1 lead.

Kiermaier would leave the game with what the team called a contusion on his left hand after x-rays were negative.

Yarbrough exited the game after one pitch in the sixth when Brantley homered to start the inning, but Pete Fairbanks, John Curtiss, Ryan Thompson, Aaron Loup, and Diego Castillo combined to get the final twelve outs while allowing just four hits.

Tampa Bay can finish off a sweep of the series and earn the right to represent the American League in the World Series with a win Wednesday. Tyler Glasnow will het the start, taking on Zack Greinke. First pitch is scheduled for 8:40, with coverage on WDAE starting at 7:30 with The Inside Pitch.

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