ALCS Game 5 Recap: Correa’s Walk-Off Home Run Keeps Astros Aliveby Yehuda Schwartz October 16, 2020 0 comments
The Tampa Bay Rays were up 3-1 coming into an exciting Game 5 against the Houston Astros. Despite losing to Houston, 4-3, on Wednesday, the Rays were confident in their chances of clinching a World Series berth without a flashy starter on the mound. The Rays sent opener John Curtiss out to duel against Astros rookie opener Luis Garcia.
Garcia sent down the Rays in order, but Rays opener John Curtis was not as successful as he allowed an opening home run to center fielder George Springer. Garcia got into a little bit of trouble in the top half of the second inning when he loaded the bases on two walks and a hit by pitch but ultimately was able to get out of the jam unscathed. Curtiss struck out Carlos Correa to start the second inning but was taken out of the game in favor of rookie Josh Fleming. The top of the third came around and the Astros also brought in a reliever, lefty Blake Taylor, who promptly allowed the game to be tied at 1-1 after Brandon Lowe parked a homer in center field. Taylor got the next two outs before getting relieved by yet another rookie, Enoli Parades, who recorded the final out of the inning. Josh Fleming found himself in trouble in the bottom of the third after allowing a single followed by a double and, later on, a two-run single by Michael Brantley.
With the Astros leading 3-1, the game was silent until the top of the fifth when a red-hot slugger Randy Arozarena hit a solo home run. The Astros brought in Andre Scrubb just minutes later; he got out of the inning on a beautiful play by Alex Bregman at third, keeping the score 3-2 in Houston’s favor. The bottom of the fifth was uneventful beyond Kevin Cash bringing in Aaron Slegers. After a two-out single in the top of the sixth, Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to record the final out of the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Arozarena made an incredible play on, throwing Altuve out at second base.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, the Astros brought in flamethrower Josh James to record the final out against the Rays. In the bottom of the decry Aaron Slegers got into a slight jam from an error on himself and untimely escaped. In the top of the eighth, the Rays brought the fireworks in the form of a 443-foot home run off the bat of Ji-Man Choi, tying the game at 3-3. Manuel Margot would single but then get erased on a Joey Wende double play. James was injured on the play and relieved by closer Ryan Pressly, who punched out Willy Adames to end the inning. Nick Anderson shut down the Astros in the bottom of the eight but Pressly got in some trouble in the top of the ninth, allowing a single to Mike Zunino. Kevin Kiermaier served as Zunino’s pinch-runner and reached second base on a wild pitch, but was stranded in scoring position.
Nick Anderson returned for the bottom of the ninth and retired Bregman. Correa came up to the plate and ended the match with a towering walk-off homer to center. Houston won Game 5, 4-3.
Curtiss only went 1.1 innings, allowing one home run while walking one and striking out two. Fleming, who relieved him, pitched three innings, allowing three hits, two runs, walking one, and striking out one. Slegers also went 2.2 innings while Anderson toed the rubber for 1.1 innings. The Rays used a total of seven pitchers in the loss.
Garcia pitched two very good innings for the Astros, walking two and striking out one. The bullpen, despite allowing three runs, kept the Astros in the game as they were never playing from behind.
There wasn’t much action on the offensive of side of the ball for either of the two teams. They combined for a total of 13 hits. Houston’s lineup only mustered six hits; no player had multiple hits. George Springer and Carlos Correa each clobbered home runs while Martin Maldonado had an RBI double.
On the Tampa Bay side of things, Ji-Man Choi went two-for-two with two walks and a home run. Mike Zunino also added two hits while the unstoppable Randy Arozarena hit a solo home run again. Brandon Lowe also joined the party with a home run.
For the third straight game, the Rays will attempt to eliminate the Astros. Tampa Bay holds a 3-2 series lead. They will turn to Blake Snell to outduel fellow lefty Framber Valdez in a Game 6 matchup.
Date: Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:07 p.m. EST
Stadium: Petco Park
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Rays Pitcher: Blake Snell (2-1, 2.87 ERA)
Astros Pitcher: Framber Valdez (2-1, 2.00 ERA)
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