Astros, Gerrit Cole blow past Rays to win ALDS
The Astros rode another dominant pitching performance from Gerrit Cole to an ALDS win.
After Gerrit Cole‘s 15 strikeout performance in Game Two, the Astros were comfortable and confident with him on the mound in Game Five. It turns out they had every reason to be. Cole put up another incredible outing as the Astros defeated the Rays 6-1 to win the ALDS.
Cole went a full eight innings in Game Five, allowing just one run on two hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. The outing marked his 11th consecutive start with 10 or more strikeouts and completed one of the greatest pitching performances in Astros history in a postseason series.
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He finishes the series with a 2-0 record and an 0.57 ERA in 15.2 innings, striking out 25 hitters. His only blemish was a solo homer hit by Eric Sogard in the second inning, which didn’t seem to matter much after the Astros scored four runs in the bottom of the first.
The offense jumped on Rays starter Tyler Glasnow early. George Springer, Michael Brantley, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman all reached with base hits. Yuli Gurriel drove in the fourth run of the inning with an RBI single.
They actually didn’t have another hit until a Josh Reddick blooper fell in the seventh. The eighth inning was key, as Brantley and Altuve hit back-to-back homers to add some cushion and send the Minute Maid Park crowd into a frenzy. Roberto Osuna shut the door to seal the win.
Altuve’s homer was his third of the series, giving him 11 career postseason homers. This makes him the all-time leader in postseason homers among second basemen, breaking a tie with Chase Utley.
If there were an MVP for the division series, though, it would be Cole. What he did in this series will never be forgotten by fans in Houston, and he has a chance to build on that even further in the ALCS.
Game One against the Yankees will take place at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, and the ALCS is sure to be a heavyweight battle. But this team just emerged victorious from a pretty tough matchup, so get ready Houston fans. It’s going to be a wild ride.