Arozarena shines again, but Rays can't finish Astros in ALCS

Dusty Baker

Rays Drop Game 4 to Astros - ESPN 98.1 FM - 850 AM WRUF

If the Houston Astros are showing anything in their ALCS matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays, it's resiliency.

"We are very motivated", Altuve said. Visualized the rising heater he knew was coming.

Curtiss' first pitch was a 94 miles per hour fastball that Houston leadoff hitter George Springer hit off the second balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. building for a 1-0 Astros lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Baker's odds, while still long, don't seem as impossible as they did after the Astros fell into a 3-0 series hole.

Neither starting pitcher saw the third inning. Houston manager Dusty Baker said he had no idea what was brought up, but he also addressed the team.

The Astros have pedigree on their side also, having played in the last three AL championship series and two of the last three World Series. The Rays had the opportunity to sweep the Astros in the best of seven series, but couldn't pull through. Game 5 of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves follows at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet One & SN Now.

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Even in a must-win situation, George Springer says that the message before the game was to just go out and play.

The Rays remain one win from advancing to the World Series for the second time in franchise history. They couldn't let postseason superstar Randy Arozarena beat them. "We're going to stay positive". Overall, teams are 1-37 when faced with that challenge. "They're probably feeling the same way". The 25-year-old Cuban connected again Thursday in a 4-3 loss to Houston. He got Manuel Margot to hit a grounder to third baseman Alex Bregman, who barehanded it and threw him out to end the inning.

Greinke struck out Arozarena, then allowed another infield single to load the bases for Mike Brosseau. His previous three lasted 1 1/3, 1 1/3 and 2/3 of an inning. But Baker made a decision to stick with Greinke after catcher Martin Maldonado argued in favor of his pitcher.

"Carlos told me before he went up there, he goes: 'Walk-off, '" Baker said.

"I said, 'Go head on, man, ' " Baker said. "This is the ballgame here'". "That's as big a game as I've been involved in". He sees the right thing nearly 100% of the time. It would not be enough for the Rays though and they would have to prepare for a Game Five.

All this came after Springer belted Tampa Bay starter John Curtiss' first pitch over the fence in left field.

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"We all want to go to Dallas [for the World Series]".

That proved to be exactly what Garcia did as he got through two scoreless innings.

Houston was leading 4-2 in the top of the sixth.

Correa is only 3 for 18 in the series, but two of the hits are homers.

"We don't have the bullpen veteran presence - no Joe Smith, no [Chris] Devinsky, no [Roberto] Osuna", Baker said before Game 5. "He's our leader and he always has been". Springer crushed it to left field for his second homer of the series and 19th in 61 career postseason games. Shame on you. Josh Reddick. He has a 10.38 ERA in 4⅓ innings during the postseason. Cash said Kiermaier would be available to hit if necessary.

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