Springer, Valdéz help Astros top Rays 7-4, force ALCS Game 7
George Springer and José Altuve delivered big hits, Framber Valdéz pitched six brilliant innings and the Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the third straight time, 7-4 Friday to force a deciding Game 7 of the AL Championship Series. Despite blowing a 3-0 series lead, they remain one win from the second World Series in franchise history — and one loss from joining the 2004 Yankees in ignominy. Game 7 on Saturday night will feature the pitchers who started and finished Houston’s Game 7 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. He has yet to win a World Series as a manager. As a player, he helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win four straight World Series games in 1981 after falling behind the New York Yankees 0-2.
Rays beat Mets 8-5, clinch 1st AL East title in 10 years
Tampa Bay Rays' Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, right, of Japan, celebrates with teammates after a baseball game against the New York Mets Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in New York. The Tampa Bay Rays, long accustomed to doing more with less, figured out a way to maximize the division-clinching celebration they were allowed to enjoy during a 2020 season shortened by the coronavirus. Randy Arozarena homered twice and the Rays clinched their first AL East title in 10 years Wednesday night with an 8-5 victory over the New York Mets. Tampa Bay will be home at quirky Tropicana Field for a best-of-three first-round playoff series beginning next Tuesday. Tampa Bay, which began play in 1998, also won the AL East, home of two big-spending powers in the Yankees and Red Sox, in 2008 and 2010.
Tampa Bay Rays like playoff chances during pandemic-shortened MLB season
... Theres going to be a lot of excuses thrown around by a lot of different players and teams. Eleven different pitchers earned at least one save in 2019, and the shortened season will pose new challenges. The Rays hold a team option for 2021, however the 36-year-old right-hander isnt sure how much longer he wants to play. With the minor league season cancelled because of the pandemic, the Rays hope the experience will be beneficial to his development. There arent many guys across baseball that possess the talent he has, Rays general manager Erik Neander said entering spring training.