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ALCS Game 3: Rays 5, Astros 2 - The Kevin Arozarenfroe Game

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Defensive Plays for everybody - Even the pitcher!

League Championship - Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros - Game Three Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Rays are looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead after winning the first two games behind tight defense and some times heart attack inducing pitching. Tampa Bay Rays look to Ryan Yarborough as the starter, while Houston has Jose Uriquidy on the hill.

Rays being the away team, batted first and although Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena hit a fly out, they were almost the same exact ball.

Ryan Yarborough started the 1st inning well, by getting George Springer to strike out swinging, but Jose Altuve hit a ball at his head for a HR.

Not to be outdone by Margot yesterday, Kevin Kiermaier gave us his own defensive show with the last out of the inning.

Rays had two smoked singles by Joey Wendle & Manuel Margot putting runners on the corners with only 1 out. Kiermaier struck out, but Willy Adames walked to load the bases for Michael Perez, who struck out swinging.

Ryan Yarborough ran into some more trouble in the 2nd inning with runners on the corners with 2 out, but struck out Houston catcher Dustin Garneau on 4 pitches.

Astros still lead 1-0.

In the 3rd inning, Rays threatened again, with Randy Arozarena doubling to left field with only 1 out, Brandon Lowe grounded out to move Randy over, and Yandy hit a 106.2 MPH liner right to Kyle Tucker for the last out of the inning.

George Springer hit a very scary sounding fly ball in the bottom of the 3rd, but it ended up in the glove of Arozarena. Although Ryan Yarborough walked Jose Altuve, he erased it with a Micheal Brantley groundout.

Yarborough kept the trouble alive by working a full count to Alex Bregman before hitting him (accidentally) to put two runners on, and bringing Carlos Correa up, who hit a line drive.

Into the glove of a diving Kiermaier.

Ever since the Arozarena double in the 3rd, The Rays haven’t had a baserunner since. Been a couple of hard hits, including a Willy Adames fly ball that was 103.6 MPH off the bat, but 40 degrees off the bat and it ended up being a flyout to George Springer.

But the good news is that Yarborough did his part as well posting back to back 1-2-3 innings since the second Kiermaier catch.

Rays finally got their next baserunner!

It was Randy. He opened the 6th inning by hitting another offspeed pitch, this time for a single to get the leadoff runner on.

Brandon Lowe rolled into a tailor made double play to Jose Altuve who made a bad throw (again) to Correa. Correa couldn’t handle it and now we have 2 runners on with nobody out! Thanks again Jose!

That would be it for Jose Urquidy as Astros skipper Dusty Baker went to Enoli Paredes. Yandy Diaz hit a line drive for a single to load the bases, and brought up Joseph Patrick Wendle, who was down 0-2, but then hits a single off Bregman’s glove and score Arozarena and Brandon Lowe!

Rays take a 2-1 lead, with nobody out and Game 2 hero Manuel Margot in the box. Margot bunted to move the runners over to 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Then Astros hit both Kiermaier and Adames.

Adames grazed the finger, but the Kiermaier HBP was a 98 mph fastball right on the outer part of the hand, and you can hear the impact and Kiermaier yell in pain. Rays’ trainer came out to evaluate, and allowed Kiermaier to stay in and run, but he would later come out in the bottom of the 6th inning.

With the HBP by Adames, Rays increased their lead to 3-1 as Adames came in to score.

Houston went to LHP Brooks Raley for Michael Perez, but Kevin Cash then countered with Hunter Renfroe, who hit a 2-run double and gave the rays a 5-1 lead!

Austin Meadows popped out, and then the Astros intentionally walked Randy Arozarena to bring up Brandon Lowe. The Astros’ defense was playing a heavy shift on Lowe, which allowed Willy Adames to have some fun.

Lowe struck out, but not after fouling off some good pitches. I’m still all in on the Lowe train. The guy has to run into one soon.

With a 4 run lead, Kevin Cash had Peter Fairbanks warming, but wanted to leave Ryan Yarborough to face Michael Brantley and try to steal an out.

Rays still have a 5-2 lead. Didn’t work out exactly as planned, but that's okay!

Ryan Yarborough’s Final Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB and 5 Ks.

Cash goes to Peter Fairbanks to face Bregman, Correa, and Tucker.

Groundout to Wendle - Out 1

110 MPH Groundout to Adames - Out 2

Groundout to Fairbanks - Out 3.

John Curtiss comes in for Peter Fairbanks in the 7th inning, and OH MY GOD.

Curtiss gave up a single to Josh Reddick, but then came back to strike out Martin Maldonado. George Springer is up and Curtiss gives up a fly ball heading to no-mans land.

And its caught by Hunter Renfroe!

Defense Clinic gets thrown around a lot, but I think it is warranted for the Rays.

Rays went down 1-2-3 in the top of the 8th, and ran into more trouble in the bottom of the inning, as Curtiss opened the inning with a single to Jose Altuve. The would lead Cash to go to groundball pitcher to face Michael Brantley. Brantley singled the other way to put two Astros’ runners on with nobody out and Alex Bregman to the plate. Thompson gets a 3-2 count to Bregman and strikes him out swinging.

1 out and Carlos Correa up. Thompson gets Correa to 2-2, but a swinging bunt by Correa gets an infield hit and loads the bases. It was a great sequence of pitches, just soft enough for everybody to be safe.

Cash would go to Loup to face the lefty Kyle Tucker who hit a fly ball to shallow right and is Caught AGAIN BY A DIVING Hunter Renfroe!!!

2 outs and no runs because NOBODY TAGGED!

Loup faces Yuli Gurriel who grounds out right to Willy Adames. Astros had the bases loaded with only 1 out and scored ZERO runs.

Randy Arozarena gets on base AGAIN in the top of the 9th with a single to right field

Rays would end up leaving Randy at 1st after a 340 opposite field fly out by Brandon Lowe and a Yandy Diaz Lineout.

Kevin Cash is going to Diego Castillo for the save.

Diego gets Josh Reddick to strikeout, and after a long at bat with Abraham Toro, walks the pinch hitter and bring up Carlos Correa.

Diego then walks George Springer on 4 pitches to bring up who else, but Jose Altuve. Diego gets the count on 2-2 and gets a strike three called swinging on a check swing. Altuve, Zunino and Diego wanted the appeal, but the home plate umpire was having none of it, and called the 3rd strike.

Big break for the Rays.

Diego gets Michael Brantley to fly out to end the game, and give the Rays a commanding 3-0 lead.

Rays bullpen of Fairbanks, Thompson, Curtiss, Loup, and Castillo tonight: 4.0 IP 4 H, 0 R, 2BB, and 4 Ks.

The Tampa Bay Rays will go for the sweep tomorrow at 8:40 PM EST. Tyler Glasnow vs Zack Grienkie.

ONE WIN AWAY from the World Series!