The Tampa Bay Rays thought they would have gotten some offense going in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Houston Astros on the road after facing Justin Verlander in Game 1.
Instead, Gerrit Cole made life uncomfortable for them by pitching 7.2 strong scoreless innings and only gave up four hits. He only walked one batter and struck out 15 batters in a 3-1 win for Houston over Tampa Bay.
Cole (1-0) threw 118 pitches and 83 of them were for strikes. He was also the winning pitcher in this game for them.
With the Astros leading 3-0 in the ninth-inning, the Rays were able to make some noise in the ninth-inning and they did score one run on a Avisail Garcia RBI force out. Austin Meadows scored on the play. Tommy Pham was safe at third base and Joey Wendle was out at second base.
In the fourth-inning, Houston scored the first run of the game on a solo homer by Alex Bregman off of Blake Snell.
Snell (0-1) was the losing pitcher in this game for Tampa Bay. He pitched 3.1 innings and gave up four hits and one run. Blake Snell did not walk a batter and he struck out five. Snell only threw 58 pitches and it was interesting that Rays Manager Kevin Cash decided to yank him from the game that early.
Martin Maldonado had an RBI single for the Houston Astros in the seventh-inning.
Carlos Correa had an RBI single for Houston in the eighth-inning.
Will Harris came on in relief for Roberto Osuna in the ninth-inning with one out and the bases loaded. Harris struck out Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Kiermaier grounded out at first base to end the game and Harris record his first save of the postseason.
Osuna came in the game in the eighth-inning for Houston and he is the team’s closer. Roberto Osuna pitched 0.2 innings and gave up two hits and one run. He also walked two batters and struck out one.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been playing hard in this series and they might be able to win a game, but the Astros are just showing in this series that they are a few steps ahead of them when it comes to talent.
Game 3 of this series will be at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on Monday afternoon. The projected starters for this game will be Zack Greinke (18-5, 2.93 ERA) for Houston and Charlie Morton (16-6, 3.05 ERA) for Tampa Bay.