After the Houston Astros bashed the ball throughout Dodger Stadium for the previous week, they discovered it a complete lot more durable to slug after they moved a few hours down the coast for the AL Championship Series.
- Associated Press
- Last Updated: October 12, 2020, 9:21 AM IST
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SAN DIEGO: After the Houston Astros bashed the ball throughout Dodger Stadium for the previous week, they discovered it a complete lot more durable to slug after they moved a few hours down the coast for the AL Championship Series.
Tampa Bay restricted the Astros’ star-studded lineup to 9 hits however only one for additional bases within the Rays’ 2-1 victory to open the ALCS at Petco Park on Sunday night time.
The Houston offense that set off postseason fireworks towards Minnesota and Oakland was a boring squib in San Diego at the least after Jos Altuve’s first-inning homer, the Astros’ 14th lengthy ball of those playoffs and their 13th within the final 5 video games.
The Astros acquired no extra massive hits towards Blake Snell and the Rays’ justifiably vaunted bullpen. They mounted vital rallies in 5 completely different innings, however repeatedly did not get the important thing knock that may have turned a decent sport into one thing extra comfy for the defending AL champions.
Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and the Astros left 10 males on base within the opener, going simply 2 for eight with runners in scoring place however driving in no runs with these two hits.
Houston scored 33 runs in 4 video games whereas knocking AL West champion Oakland out of the Division Series in Chavez Ravine final week, even batting .333 with runners in scoring place towards the A’s.
But with massive scoring alternatives within the remaining two innings of the ALCS opener, the Astros couldn’t capitalize and the final two damage probably the most.
Yuli Gurriel grounded right into a first-pitch double play with the bases loaded to finish the eighth inning towards Diego Castillo.
Pinch-hitter Josh Reddick then singled within the ninth, however George Springer and Altuve did not deliver him dwelling, with Castillo placing out Altuve with Reddick on second base to finish it.
Houston’s bats got here into San Diego averaging 6.67 runs and slightly below 10 hits per sport in these playoffs, which they solely reached after a mediocre common season by which they had been in the course of the key league pack in practically all statistical classes.
The Astros led the AL in batting common, on-base share and slugging share final season, however they gave the impression to be taking a step again from the spectacular degree of offensive play that acquired them to 2 AL pennants in three years. Three-time AL batting champion Altuve’s common shrunk to .219 within the common season, whereas Bregman and Gurriel additionally hit considerably under their earlier statistical requirements.
But after grinding out two wins over favored Minnesota within the wild-card spherical, the Astros rediscovered an enormous offensive groove towards the A’s.
Just as shortly, they misplaced it towards the Rays, whose pitching employees is recent off a grinding five-game victory over the Yankees’ power-packed lineup.
The Astros scored first in all 4 video games towards Oakland within the ALDS, they usually did it once more in Game 1 of the ALCS. Altuve mashed a excessive 2-1 fastball from Snell within the first inning for his third homer of this postseason.
Houston acquired back-to-back singles within the third, however Springer acquired caught stealing to quell the rally. The Astros acquired two extra hits and two walks within the fourth, however a double play slowed the rally earlier than it ended on a fly by Martin Maldonado, who struggled on the plate all yr lengthy.
Three extra baserunners within the sixth didn’t make it to 3rd base.
Michael Brantley was on second base within the eighth when Kyle Tucker singled off seldom-used reliever Aaron Loup, however Tucker hit the ball so laborious 108 mph off the bat that Brantley didn’t have time to get round third and rating.
Castillo took over and induced the inning-ending groundout by Gurriel, who went zero for two with two walks.
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