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AL Championship Series: Rays-Astros Game 3 live updates

Tampa Bay scores five runs in the sixth inning and wins 5-2 to take a 3-0 series lead.
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Diego Castillo (63) delivers during the ninth inning of the American League Championship Series game three against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 at Petco Park in San Diego.
Published Oct. 13, 2020|Updated Oct. 14, 2020

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Joey Wendle and Hunter Renfroe drove in two runs apiece during a five-run sixth, and the Rays beat the Astros 5-2 in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series Tuesday night at Petco Park in San Diego.

Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead in the series and can clinch its first World Series berth since 2008 as early as Wednesday night.

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, who had two throwing errors in Game 2 — including one in the first inning that opened the door for Manuel Margot’s winning three-run home run — continued to have problems in Game 3.

After Randy Arozarena singled to left to start the sixth, Brandon Lowe grounded what appeared to be a double-play ball to Altuve. But he threw wildly into leftfield, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Yandy Diaz singled to center, loading the bases, and Wendle followed with a two-run single to left.

Enoli Paredes hit both Kevin Kiermaier and Willy Adames with pitches, scoring another run. Renfroe kept the parade going with a two-run double down the rightfield line. Arozarena was intentionally walked by Brooks Raley with two outs, loading the bases yet again, before Lowe struck out to end the inning.

The Astros got one run back in the bottom of the sixth when Michael Brantley homered to left-center off Ryan Yarbrough.

Yarbrough went five innings, striking out five while allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. Pete Fairbanks retired the three batters he faced in the sixth, and John Curtiss took care of Houston in the seventh.

Altuve (off Curtiss) and Brantley (off Ryan Thompson) singled to open the eighth. After an Alex Bregman strikeout, Carlos Correa reached on an infield single to load the bases with one out. But Hunter Renfroe raced in to make a sliding catch on a Kyle Tucker fly ball to short rightfield, and Yuli Gurriel grounded out to end the inning.

Diego Castillo also got into trouble in the ninth, walking Abraham Toro and George Springer to bring Altuve to the plate with one out. But Castillo struck out Altuve struck on a check swing and got Brantley to fly out to centerfielder Manuel Margot to end the game.

Altuve homered in the first to give the Astros a 1-0 lead that lasted until the sixth.

Kiermaier made two outstanding plays in the field, a leaping catch at the wall to rob Bregman of an extra-base hit in the first and a diving catch of a Correa line drive with two runners on base in the third. He left with a left hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the sixth.

Follow our live updates:

Ninth inning

Rays rightfielder Hunter Renfroe makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Houston Astros centerfielder George Springer during the seventh inning.
Rays rightfielder Hunter Renfroe makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Houston Astros centerfielder George Springer during the seventh inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]
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Rays at bat (Blake Taylor pitching)

Austin Meadows strikes out swinging

Randy Arozarena singles to rightfield

Brandon Lowe flies out to leftfielder Michael Brantley

Yandy Diaz hits into a fielder’s choice, Jose Altuve retiring Arozarena at second

Astros at bat (Diego Castillo pitching)

Josh Reddick strikes out swinging

Abraham Toro pinch-hits for Martin Maldonado

Toro draws a walk after an eight-pitch at-bat

George Springer draws a walk, moving Toro to second

Jose Altuve strikes out on a check swing

Michael Brantley flies out to centerfielder Manuel Margot

Rays win 5-2

Eighth inning

Rays third baseman Joey Wendle hits a two-run single during the sixth inning.
Rays third baseman Joey Wendle hits a two-run single during the sixth inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Josh James pitching)

Mike Zunino strikes out swinging

Willy Adames flies out to centerfielder George Springer

Hunter Renfroe pops out to third baseman Alex Bregman

Astros at bat (John Curtiss pitching)

Jose Altuve singles down the rightfield line

Ryan Thompson relieves Curtiss

(Ryan Thompson pitching)

Michael Brantley singles to leftfield, moving Altuve to second

Alex Bregman strikes out swinging

Carlos Correa reaches on an infield single to third base, loading the bases

Aaron Loup relieves Ryan Thompson

(Aaron Loup pitching)

Hunter Renfroe races in to make a sliding catch on a short fly from Kyle Tucker

Yuli Gurriel grounds out to shortstop Willy Adames

Rays 5, Astros 2 after eight innings

Seventh inning

Rays rightfielder Hunter Renfroe hits an RBI double during the sixth inning.
Rays rightfielder Hunter Renfroe hits an RBI double during the sixth inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Josh James pitching)

Yandy Diaz strikes out looking

Joey Wendle grounds out up the middle to shortstop Carlos Correa

Manuel Margot strikes out swinging

Astros at bat (John Curtiss pitching)

Yuli Gurriel grounds out to Curtiss, who makes a nice diving play

Josh Reddick singles to left-centerfield

Martin Maldonado called out on strikes

Hunter Renfroe makes a sliding catch on George Springer’s fly ball to right field

Rays 5, Astros 2 after seven innings

Sixth inning

Rays starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough delivers during the first inning.
Rays starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough delivers during the first inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Jose Urquidy pitching)

Randy Arozarena singles to leftfield

Brandon Lowe reaches on a Jose Altuve throwing error. Arozarena advances to second

Enoli Paredes relieves Urquidy

(Enoli Paredes pitching)

Yandy Diaz singles to centerfield, loading the bases with no outs

Joey Wendle hits a two-run single to leftfield, scoring Arozarena and Lowe. Rays 2, Astros 1

Manuel Margot lays down a sacrifice bunt, moving Diaz to third and Wendle to second

Kevin Kiermaier hit by a pitch, reloading the bases

Willy Adames hit by a pitch, scoring Diaz and keeping the bases loaded

Brooks Raley relieves Paredes

(Brooks Raley pitching)

Hunter Renfroe pinch-hits for Michael Perez

Renfroe hits a two-run double down the rightfield line. Rays 5, Astros 1

Austin Meadows pops out to third baseman Alex Bregman

Randy Arozarena is intentionally walked, loading the bases with two outs

Brandon Lowe strikes out swinging

Astros at bat (Ryan Yarbrough pitching)

Michael Brantley homers to left-centerfield. Rays 5, Astros 2

Pete Fairbanks relieves Yarbrough

(Pete Fairbanks pitching)

Alex Bregman grounds out to third baseman Joey Wendle

Carolos Correa grounds out sharply to shortstop Willy Adames

Kyle Tucker grounds out to pitcher Pete Fairbanks

Rays 5, Astros 2 after six innings

Fifth inning

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa during the third inning.
Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa during the third inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Jose Urquidy pitching)

Willy Adames flies out to centerfielder George Springer

Michael Perez is called out on strikes

Austin Meadows pops out to Springer

Astros at bat (Ryan Yarbrough pitching)

Dustin Garneau strikes out swinging

George Springer flies out to rightfielder Manuel Margot

Shortstop Willy Adames makes a nice backhand stop in the hole and throws out Jose Altuve at first

Astros 1, Rays 0 after five innings

Fourth inning

Rays rightfielder Manuel Margot hits a single during the first inning.
Rays rightfielder Manuel Margot hits a single during the first inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Jose Urquidy pitching)

Joey Wendle grounds out to second baseman Jose Altuve

Manuel Margot strikes out swinging

Kevin Kiermaier grounds out to third baseman Alex Bregman

Astros at bat (Ryan Yarbrough pitching)

Kyle Tucker lines out to third baseman Joey Wendle

Yuli Gurriel pops out to centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier

Aledmys Diaz strikes out swinging

Astros 1, Rays 0 after four innings

Third inning

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier makes a leaping catch at the wall on a ball hit by Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman during the first inning.
Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier makes a leaping catch at the wall on a ball hit by Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman during the first inning. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Jose Urquidy pitching)

Austin Meadows pops out to Carlos Correa in shallow rightfield

Randy Arozarena doubles into the leftfield corner

Brandon Lowe grounds out to Carlos Correa in short rightfield. Arozarena advances to third

Yandy Diaz lines out to rightfielder Kyle Tucker

Astros at bat (Ryan Yarbrough pitching)

George Springer flies out to Randy Arozarena in deep leftfield

Jose Altuve draws a walk

Michael Brantley grounds into a fielder’s choice, Willy Adames retiring Altuve at second

Alex Bregman hit by a pitch

Kevin Kiermaier makes a diving catch of a Carlos Correa line drive

Astros 1, Rays 0 after three innings

Second inning

Rays shortstop Willy Adames throws from his knees while warming up before the game.
Rays shortstop Willy Adames throws from his knees while warming up before the game. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Jose Urquidy pitching)

Yandy Diaz flies out to rightfielder Kyle Tucker

Joey Wendle singles down the leftfield line

Manuel Margot singles off the glove of third baseman Alex Bregman, moving Wendle to third

Kevin Kiermaier strikes out swinging

Willy Adames draws a walk

Michael Perez strikes out swinging

Astros at bat (Ryan Yarbrough pitching)

Carlos Correa pops out to Manuel Margot in shallow rightfield

Kyle Tucker draws a walk

Yuli Gurriel strikes out swinging

Aledmys Diaz singles to rightfield, moving Tucker to third

Dustin Garneau called out on strikes

Astros 1, Rays 0 after two innings

First inning

Rays third baseman Joey Wendle warms up before the game.
Rays third baseman Joey Wendle warms up before the game. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Rays at bat (Jose Urquidy pitching)

Austin Meadows pops out to third baseman Alex Bregman

Randy Arozarena flies out to George Springer in right-centerfield

Brandon Lowe flies out to Springer in left-centerfield

Astros at bat (Ryan Yarbrough pitching)

George Springer strikes out swinging

Jose Altuve homers to leftfield. Astros 1, Rays 0

Michael Brantley grounds out to second baseman Brandon Lowe

Kevin Kiermaier makes a leaping catch at the wall on Alex Bregman’s deep fly ball to centerfield

Astros 1, Rays 0 after one inning

Your pregame scouting report

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier takes a practice swing before the game.
Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier takes a practice swing before the game. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Is it karma?

The Astros have outhit the Rays by a margin of almost two to one (19-10) in the American League Championship Series.

Houston’s Framber Valdez outpitched Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell in Game 1, and Lance McCullers did the same to Charlie Morton in Game 2. Morton acknowledged as much after Monday night’s 4-2 Tampa Bay win.

Every hard-hit ball by the Astros seems to find a Rays glove, and every scoring opportunity seems to result in a double play.

Is the universe paying Houston back for the sign-stealing scandal that resulted in the firing of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow in the offseason?

Perhaps. A better explanation: The Rays have built one of the deepest, most versatile rosters in baseball, and manager Kevin Cash seems to have just the right player for every situation, both in his lineup and in his bullpen.

And his fielders are almost always in the right position to make a play. Tampa Bay was one of the first teams to employ defensive shifts and continue to be one of the best at it. Plus, they don’t just pay lip service to the importance of fielding. They practice it every day.

They make few mistakes and have been opportunistic with the chances they have been given.

Can they keep it up in Game 3?

We’ll find out tonight, starting at 8:40 p.m., as the Rays send Ryan Yarbrough to the mound against Jose Urquidy. Michael Perez will start behind the plate, and Yandy Diaz will be at first base in place of Ji-Man Choi.

Follow along as the Rays aim to take a commanding three-game lead in the best-of-seven series.

Setting the scene

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