Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Joey Wendle went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in a playoff win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday in San Diego. File Photo by Steven J. Nesius/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Rays are just one win away from the World Series after they used a five-run sixth inning to beat the Houston Astros Tuesday night in Game 3 in the American League Championship Series.
Rays third baseman Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead single to bring in the first two runs that sparked the 5-2 win at Petco Park in San Diego. Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run double in the same inning to add to the lead.
"At this point in the season, we will take [runs] however we can get them," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "You aren't always going to get a three-run homer.
"Credit the guys for seeing it through and putting pressure on the pitcher and the defense."
The Astros also hit Willy Adames with the bases loaded for the a run in the sixth and Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley hit solo home runs for Houston.
Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough allowed three hits and two runs in five innings to earn the victory. Astros starter Jose Urquidy allowed four hits and two runs in five innings.
The Rays now own a 3-0 lead in the series and can advance to the World Series with a win in Game 4 on Wednesday in San Diego.
With a fourth win in the best-of-seven ALCS, Tampa Bay would face either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. Atlanta leads Los Angeles 2-0 in the NLCS.
Altuve hit a 355-foot solo homer to left field in the Astros' second at-bat of the game to give Houston an early lead. Neither team scored for the next four innings before the Rays lineup got hot in the sixth frame.
Randy Arozarena hit a leadoff single before Brandon Lowe reached base on a fielding error to launch the barrage. Astros relief pitcher Enoli Paredes then replaced Urquidy, but allowed a Yandy Diaz single to load the bases for Tampa Bay.
Wendle followed with a two-run single to left field to give the Rays a 2-1 lead. Paredes hit Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch to load the bases before he hit Adames with another offering in the Rays next at-bat to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead.
Brooks Raley came in to relieve Paredes, but allowed Renfroe's two-run double in his first exchange.
Brantley smacked Yarbrough's first pitch of the sixth inning to left field for a 371-foot solo homer for the final run of the game.
The Rays bullpen combined to allow just four hits in four shutout innings to secure the victory. Diego Castillo had two strikeouts and two walks before he forced Brantley to fly out in the ninth inning to end the game and earn the save for the Rays.
Arozarena went 3 for 4 with a run scored and a walk for the Rays. Altuve and Brantley had two hits apiece for the Astros.
"They play baseball the right way," Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said. "They play hard, run the bases hard, they play great defense and they pitch. That's a recipe for winning championships, the recipe of winning teams."
Game 4 of the ALCS is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Tyler Glasnow is expected to pitch for the Rays and Zack Greinke is expected to start for the Astros.
Miami Marlins players pose for a picture after defeating the Chicago Cubs 2-0
in the National League Wild Card Game to win their first playoff series in 17 years in Chicago on Friday. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo