A To Z: Rays Eliminate Astros, Head To World Series


Randy Arozarena broke the record for most home runs in a single postseason by a rookie, Mike Zunino added a solo shot of his own, and Charlie Morton remained unbeaten in winner-take-all matchups, as the Tampa Bay Rays eliminated the Houston Astros with a 4-2 win in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

Tampa Bay wasted no time getting to Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr., as Manuel Margot reached by getting hit by the first pitch the right-hander threw, and two batters later, Arozarena got a fastball to hit and sent it deep to centerfield for his fourth home run of the series and seventh home run of the postseason, breaking the record of six set by Evan Longoria in 2008.

After Morton worked another scoreless frame in the second, Zunino added on another run in the bottom of the inning with a blast into the upper deck in left that made it 3-0.

That would be more than enough for Morton (3-0), who allowed just two hits in 5 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, striking out six.

Morton would leave with runners on the corners in the sixth, and Nick Anderson would get the next five outs on just ten pitches.

Zunino added a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, plating Ji-Man Choi to make it 4-0.

Houston finally got on the board in the eighth when Carlos Correa's base hit with the bases loaded off Pete Fairbanks brought in Aledmys Diaz and Jose Altuve.

But Fairbanks struck out Alex Bregman to end the inning, then allowed a one-out single to Yuli Gurriel in the ninth, but struck out Josh Reddick, and got Diaz to fly to shallow right to end the series and give the Rays the pennant.

Arozarena, with four homer in the series, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player, the first rookie position player to win the award.

The Rays will begin the 2020 World Series Tuesday in Arlington against either the Atlanta Braves or the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will play Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday evening.

Photo: Getty Images