The Rays’ backs are against the wall in their series against the Astros. If they don’t win today their season is over. As such, it was super important that they get off to a good start today and carry it through to victory.
They didn’t, exactly, as José Altuve hit a solo homer in the first inning as the Astros hitters made Rays starter Charlie Morton throw 31 pitches. Meanwhile, Astros starter Zack Greinke cruised, needing only nine pitches to set the Rays down in order in the bottom half.
Things changed in the second, though, as Morton walked one batter but retired the other three he faced to make the Astros go quietly. In the bottom half the Rays got to Greinke. Avisaíl García singles, Greinke hit Travis d'Arnaud with a pitch to put two on and then Kevin Kiermaeir timed a Greinke changeup perfectly and served it over the right center field fence for a three-run jack to put the Rays up 3-1:
It’s now the top of the third. The Astros have an outstanding offense so this game is obviously far from over. But for once — the first time in the series, in fact — the Rays have a lead.
UPDATE: Ji-Man Choi has hit a solo homer in the bottom of the third inning and it’s now 4-1 Tampa Bay.
UPDATE: Welp, make that 5-1, as Brandon Lowe has now taken Greinke deep for the third time today to give the Rays a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
UPDATE: It’s now 8-1. Go take a walk and get a snack. There’s a lot more, and better baseball today.