Rays Beat Astros, Justin Verlander to Force Game 5 in ALDS

After posting the best record in the League this season, the Houston Astros are on the brink of elimination

Rays Beat Verlander and Astros to Force Game 5 in ALDS
The Tampa Bay Rays celebrate winning Game Four of the American League Divisional Series. (Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
By Evan Bleier / October 9, 2019 8:59 am

The heavyweight Houston Astros are on the verge of getting knocked out of the playoffs by the underdog Tampa Bay Rays.

Up 2-0 in their best-of-five American League Division Series, the Astros, who led the majors with 107 wins this season, got hit hard on Monday to give the Rays some hope and extend the series to 2-1.

Yesterday, it was up to Justin Verlander to put a stop to the bleeding and send Houston on to a matchup in the ALCS with the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the job done and yielded three runs in the first inning before ultimately being pulled in the fourth after giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks after 84 pitches.

Tommy Pham got the scoring started in Tampa’s 4-1 Tuesday night with his solo shot off Verlander (whose eight career ALDS victories are an MLB record).

“Hey, I hate to say it: About time, because we have a really good team over here,” Pham said. “To win 96 games in this division (the AL East) with New York and Boston is an impressive feat. All year, we’ve been getting talked down. And now, with the last two games, the way we played, the whole world has seen how good of a team we are and how well-rounded we are.”

Now knotted up at 2-2, the series shifts back to Houston for a deciding Game 5 on Thursday night. Ace Gerrit Cole (20-5) is scheduled to pitch for the Astros while Tyler Glasnow (6-1) is expected to start for Tampa Bay.

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