The Tampa Bay Races fled from the brink on Saturday, reaching their second World Series with a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League championship series in San Diego.
The rays, which had the best result of A.L. in the shortened regular season, 40-20, was in danger of joining the 2004 Yankees as the only team in baseball history to lose a seven-game streak after taking a 3-0 lead. The Astros lost one win, leaving the Boston Red Sox the only team to complete such a comeback.
Tampa Bay's only previous World Series match was in 2008, when the Rays lost five games to the Philadelphia Phillies. On Sunday, they will face the winner of the seventh National League championship series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves.
Although the Rays had given up on Games 4, 5 and 6, they had reason to be confident in Charlie Morton starting their Game 7. Morton is the most accomplished player on the team, having spent 13 seasons in the Majors and won Game 7 in A.L.C.S. and in the World Series in 2017 – when he was with the Astros of all teams.
He looked sharp on Saturday, hitting five and two thirds of innings, making two hits and knocking out six. Randy ArosarenaThe flamboyant October sports star, knocked out Homer with two runs from Lance McCullers Jr. in the first inning, making him his seventh post-season home run – a record for a rookie.
Catcher Mike Zunino added a Homer solo in the second inning and rode another round with a sacrifice in sixth – runs that proved decisive after the Astros scored twice in eighth on a Carlos Correa single.
The Rays also took part in a winner-take-all game in the division series. Eliminating the Yankees Despite Huge Salary Differences… The Yankees spend more on player salaries than any other team, while the Rays have finished 28th out of 30 clubs this year, beating only Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
But they do well thanks to an extensive roster of players with special strengths, professionally deployed by manager Kevin Cash, who frequently changes lineups and pitchers to get the right matches. The Beams' impenetrable defenses repeatedly took the Astros off strikes early in the streak, and well-timed home runs from the attackers gave them enough attack to win.
The Rays' victory saves Major League Baseball from the awkward scene of welcoming the Astros at a league showcase event. Astros won the World Series in 2017, but M.L.B. an investigation in January confirmed that players stole the signals of the opposing catchers from a television monitor at home games during the regular season and in the postseason, alerting strikers to an approaching field by banging on the trash can near the dugout.
The scandal angered many fans and players, and although the Astros organization was fined and blocked drafts, and the former general manager and team manager were suspended and then fired, the Astros players were not punished as part of their partnership agreement with MLB. investigation.
They qualified for the extended postseason despite a 29-31 record in the regular season, but failed to get past the Rays and Morton, their former teammate.