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Astros Push Rays To Brink of Elimination, Force Game 7 Of ALCS

For the second consecutive series this postseason, the Tampa Bay Rays will play a winner-take-all deciding contest after the Houston Astros forced a seventh and final game of the American League Championship Series with a 7-4 win in Game 6 Friday.

For the first time in the series, neither team hit a home run in the first inning, but the Rays jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Brandon Lowe singled to center, and scored two batters later on a double by Willy Adames.

Blake Snell was able to keep the Astros off the board in the first four innings, but in the fifth the left-hander started by walking Yuli Gurriel and gave up a base hit to Aledmys Diaz before being replaced by Diego Castillo. Martin Maldonado moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt, and George Springer gave the Astros the lead with a base hit to center.

Jose Altuve doubled in Springer to make it 3-1, and two batters later, Carlos Correa singled in Altuve with a base hit.

Kyle Tucker extended the Houston lead to 5-1 with a solo homer in the sixth, and the Astros added two more runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Michael Brantley and a sacrifice fly by Tucker.

Manuel Margot led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run against reliever Andre Scrubb, and added a two-run blast off Christian Javier an inning later.

Tampa Bay tried to get the tying run to the plate in the ninth after Yoshi Tsutsugo singled with one out in the inning against Astros closer Ryan Pressly, but Mike Brosseau grounded into a double play to end the game.

The American League Championship Series will come down to a seventh and final game Sunday, as Charlie Morton takes on Lance McCullers Jr. First pitch is scheduled for 8:37, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 7:30 with The Inside Pitch.

Photo: Getty Images

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