The Tampa Bay Rays truly are a Cinderella story. This is a team that literally has a lineup that costs less than a pitcher on their ALDS opponents Houston Astros roster. Yet they continue to find value and ways to win games. After falling behind 2-0 in the series in Houston, they have now won two in a row at home and will head back to Texas hoping to steal another and eliminate MLB’s winningest team of 2019.
The way they did in on Tuesday? Get to Justin Verlander, who had looked unhittable in Game 1. The Rays got the Astros ace early, pouncing on him for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tommy Pham homered to kick it off before Travis d’Arnaud and Joey Wendle drove in further runs to make it 3-0. Verlander settled in a bit but would leave after just three and 2/3rds innings pitched. They would only surrender one more run, in the fourth on a home run from Willy Adames, but that was plenty for the Rays on the night. The Astros could only claw back one, a homer of their own from Robinson Chirinos, seeing them drop the game 4-1. It’s still a long shot, but you just never know. The Rays are in it until they aren’t!