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Astros thump Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS

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Well, that could’ve gone better for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Justin Verlander was, well, Justin Verlander. The Astros ace — one of ’em anyway — tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out eight. The Rays drew three walks but never really threatened while he was in the game. The Astros won 6-2.

Verlander’s counterpart Tyler Glasnow got into a jam in the third but was otherwise pretty good for four innings, throwing near-100 m.p.h. heat and not allowing a run. That fifth inning, though, was a lulu.

After giving up a leadoff walk to ninth place hitter Josh Reddick, Glasnow struck out George Springer. With José Altuve at the plate he delivered his 76th and final pitch of the game: a 97.5 m.p.h. fastball up high. Velocity is great, but big league batters can adjust to it eventually. Atuve, one of the best big league hitters there is, was not fazed. He put lumber on it and sent it into the Crawford Boxes to give the Astros a 2-0 lead:

With Glasnow gone reliever Brendan McKay put two more runners on and the Rays gave up two more due to bad defense, with both runners scoring on a fly ball that fell in between the second baseman and right fielder. The second baseman was charged with an error:

The sides traded zeros in the sixth but then the Astros plated two more in the bottom of the seventh via RBI doubles from Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel, both off of Oliver Drake. It was 6-0 at that point and A.J. Hinch lifted Verlander to start the eighth.

That agreed with the Rays, who managed to rally for two runs on four hits off of Ryan Pressly, with Eric Sogard singling in a run and Austin Meadows doubling one in. Hinch lifted him with two outs and runners on the corner. Will Harris came in and got Ji-Man Choi to end the would-be comeback before it really came all that far back. Roberto Osuna came on in the ninth and set the Rays down in order to end it.

Welp, at least Verlander is out of the way. Now all the Rays have to do is beat Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke.

Good luck, guys!

Apparent roster snafu changes Blue Jays pitching plans

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ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.

After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.

As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.

The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.

Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.

Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.