AL West champ Astros beat up on Tampa Bay 5-0

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chris O’Meara/AP/Shutterstock (13406349j) Houston Astros’ Jeremy Pena watches his three-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan during the third inning of a baseball game, in St. Petersburg, Fla Astros Rays Baseball, St. Petersburg, United States – 20 Sep 2022

AL West champ Astros beat up on Tampa Bay 5-0

A day after the champagne flowed when the Astros clinched the American League West title for the fifth time in six years, the Astros had no hangover effects from the night before and were able to beat Tampa Bay soundly 5-0 on Tuesday night. Kyle Tucker started off the offense with his 100th RBI of the year and the Astros impressive offensive train just kept rolling from there. Cristian Javier was great on the mound and the bullpen was effective enough to limit the Rays from doing anything tonight.

The Astros offense kept rolling in Tampa in the first inning as Tucker drove in Jose Altuve ,who had singled earlier in his at-bat, and with that RBI, Tucker actually made history as the first Astros outfielder with 100 RBIs in a season in 13 years, according to Fox 26’s Mark Berman. The Astros scoring spree did not stop there as Jeremy Peña his 19th home run of the year in the top of the third inning, driving in Altuve and Martin Maldonado making it 4-0 Astros.

In the fifth inning, the Astros offense kept churning after two walks to Altuve and Pena, getting two men in scoring position. Next up was Tucker, who was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Aledmys Diaz flew out on a sacrifice fly, but it was enough to score Altuve from third to give the Astros a 5-0 lead.

On the mound, Javier allowed only three baserunners all on walks through four innings and had five strikeouts. He did run into some trouble in the bottom of the fifth, giving up a hit to Christian Bethancourt and a walk to Issac Paredes with two outs, but was able to work out a jam by flying out Jonathan Aranda to end the inning. He went on to pitch the next inning, where he didn’t allow the Rays to do anything significant offensively, but he had already thrown 90 pitches and was done for the night. Javier went 5 innings, allowing 1 hit, and got six strikeouts for the night. A job well done. The bullpen took over and did their job to preserve the victory for the Astros.

News and Notes

Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.34 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros and Cory Kluber (10-9, 4.44 ERA) will be on the hill for Tampa Bay. First Pitch is at 5:40 CT

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