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Margot’s homer, catch spotlight Rays’ 4-2 win over Astros

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Manuel Margot hit a three-run dwelling run one batter after an important Houston error and made a spectacular catch in proper discipline in his former dwelling ballpark, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Astros 4-2 Monday to take a 2-Zero lead within the AL Championship Collection.

Margot homered off Lance McCullers Jr. with two outs within the first inning on an 87-degree afternoon. An inning later, he tracked George Springer’s lengthy foul ball to proper discipline whereas shielding his face from the solar and caught it as he tumbled over a padded railing atop a wall and landed on a walkway close to the seats down the road at Petco Park.

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Margot popped up and held up his glove with the ball in it after a 102-foot dash. That ended the inning, stranding two runners.

“To have the flexibility to know the place you’re at, and type of be capable of say, ‘Neglect it, I do know I’m going to hit one thing however I’m getting in,’ and nonetheless hold on to the ball, was actually, actually spectacular,” supervisor Kevin Money stated.

Margot was an outfielder with the San Diego Padres from late within the 2016 season till being traded to Tampa Bay on Feb. eight for reliever Emilio Pagán.

“I believe on a regular basis I performed right here, I by no means performed proper discipline,” Margot stated by way of a translator.

Margot homered to straightaway middle discipline on an 0-1 pitch from McCullers with two outs within the first. It adopted the primary of two errors by second baseman José Altuve on a grounder to shallow proper discipline by Ji-Man Choi. Altuve’s throw hit the bottom earlier than going out and in of first baseman Yuli Gurriel’s glove.

The play initially was dominated an error on Gurriel, however the official scorer later charged the error to Altuve. When Gurriel returned to the dugout, he slammed his glove onto the bench.

Margot’s huge performs made a winner of 36-year-old Charlie Morton, who helped Houston win the 2017 World Collection, and spoiled an in any other case fantastic effort by McCullers, who misplaced regardless of placing out 11 in seven innings. Three of the 4 runs off him have been unearned.

Morton improved to 4-Zero with a 0.90 ERA within the final two postseasons.

Tampa Bay held on by way of a tense ninth, when Nick Anderson twice loaded the bases. One run scored when Springer hit a one-hopper to second baseman Brandon Lowe, who stepped on the bottom and began a double play. After strolling Altuve and Michael Brantley on 4 pitches every, Anderson bought Alex Bregman to fly out on the primary pitch to middle fielder Kevin Kiermaier, a step in entrance of the warning observe.

Sport three within the best-of-7 sequence is Tuesday evening, when the Rays will ship Tyler Glasow towards Houston’s José Urquidy. As a result of it is a impartial website, the Rays, the highest seed within the AL, have been the house crew within the first two video games and Houston will bat final in Video games three and 4, and Sport 5, if crucial.

McCullers retired 14 straight, 9 by strikeout, earlier than Mike Zunino hit a 454-foot homer into the again bullpen past the fence in left-center for a 4-1 lead within the seventh. It was his third this postseason.

Houston’s Carlos Correa homered to the identical spot off Pete Fairbanks with one out within the sixth. It was his fifth of the postseason.

The Astros are within the ALCS for the fourth straight yr and are attempting to get to the World Collection for the third time in that span. The Rays are midway to their second Fall Basic. They misplaced to Philadelphia in 2008.

Morton, who signed with Tampa Bay earlier than the 2019 season, allowed 5 hits in 5 shutout innings. He struck out 5 and walked one.

McCullers allowed 4 hits and 4 runs, one earned, and walked none.

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Whereas the Astros struggled on protection, the Rays made some good performs. In addition to Margot’s huge catch, shortstop Willy Adames made a pleasant sliding backhanded cease of a grounder by Alex Bregman and threw to first baseman Ji-Man Choi, who stretched out to catch it.

Altuve made one other throwing error on Brandon Lowe’s grounder within the third.

REMEMBERING JOE MORGAN

There was a second of silence earlier than the nationwide anthem for Corridor of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, who died Sunday at his dwelling in Danville at 77. A photograph on the scoreboard confirmed Morgan in an Astros jersey. He performed his first 9 seasons with Houston earlier than turning into the sparkplug of Cincinnati’s Massive Crimson Machine. He performed with Houston in 1980 towards the tip of his profession.

Astros supervisor Dusty Baker stated he was shocked to listen to of Morgan’s loss of life, and stated he meant quite a bit to African-People and to gamers who have been thought-about undersized. “He was one of many first examples of pace and energy for a man that they stated was too small to play. He was the primary modern-day (José) Altuve.”

UP NEXT

Rays: Glasnow (2-0, 4.05) will make his fourth begin of the postseason. He beat the New York Yankees 7-5 whereas placing out 10 in Sport 2 of the AL Division Collection after which began the clincher and went 2 1/three innings on simply two days’ relaxation.

Astros: Urquidy began Houston’s Sport three loss to Oakland within the ALDS, giving up 4 runs and 5 hits in Four 1/three innings. That ought to line up Zack Greinke to start out Sport 4, though Baker wasn’t able to decide to that on Monday. Greinke has had a sore arm.

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