Rays beat Astros in ALCS Game 7, head to World Series

Stark Wild and Weird Astros Rays ALCS Game 7

Stark Wild and Weird Astros Rays ALCS Game 7

With three consecutive losses in the AL Championship Series, the Tampa Bay Rays are on the brink of an extremely regrettable bit of baseball history.

Arozarena's seven home runs are a record for a rookie in one postseason. Tampa Bay was up two runs early and tacked on some insurance later in the game. Fireworks exploded over an empty ballpark as the game ended.

In the second inning, Mike Zunino hit a solo home run to put Tampa Bay up three runs.

Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena continued a historic postseason run with his seventh homer of the postseason, a two-run shot in the first that gave Tampa Bay a lead it never relinquished.

Hinch's replacement, 71-year-old Dusty Baker, helped restore some of the goodwill the Astros squandered. He retired 14 straight batters until walking Martin Maldonado with one out in the sixth. Rays manager Kevin Cash stuck to the brand of baseball that got the Astros this far, pulling Morton despite his dominance and light workload, and it worked out. The last time the franchise played in the Fall Classic was in 2008, when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The team awaits the victor of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. The Rays were then eliminated by the Astros in the ALDS. Carlos Correa hit a two-run single off Pete Fairbanks before the reliever struck out Alex Bregman on a 100 miles per hour fastball.

A similar move had backfired on Cash in Game 6 when he took starter Blake Snell out of the game in the fifth inning and reliever Diego Castillo allowed four runs to score in what proved to be a 7-4 victory for the Astros.

Morton and McCullers became the first pair to pitch in the same winner-take-all postseason game as teammates and later start against each other in a winner-take-all game.

Fairbanks finished the game off, leaving a runner stranded in the ninth.

Morton allowed two hits, walked one and struck out six. On Friday night, he snapped his bat over his knee in frustration after striking out on three pitches.

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