Rays hold off Astros to win AL pennant, advance to World Series
The American League Championship Series is over. The Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night claimed their first AL pennant in 12 years and now await the winner of Sunday’s NLCS game between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Charlie Morton silenced his former team and the Rays belted a pair of early homers to beat the Astros, 4-2. Morton held Houston to two hits and one walk while striking out six over 5 2/3 scoreless innings before handing it over to the bullpen.
Morton has won all four of his starts in winner-take-all situations.
Series MVP Randy Arozarena got the Rays going with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, one inning before Mike Zunino went deep off Astros starter Lance McCullers. Zunino added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to give Tampa Bay a four-run cushion.
However, the Astros had a chance to take the lead in the eighth after Carlos Correa slapped a two-run single. But Peter Fairbanks fanned Alex Bregman with runners on first and second to end the threat.
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