The Tampa Bay Rays are moving on to the ALDS against the Houston Astros after their impressive 5-1 win over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday Night.
Yandy Diaz who hadn’t played in a game since the end of July outside of an appearance in the final game of the season hit a home run to lead off the game and the Rays never were really challenged by the A’s the rest of the way.
Diaz would go on to hit another home run in the third inning to give the Rays an insurmountable 4-0 lead and Charlie Morton and the bullpen took care of the rest to get the Rays into the ALDS against the Astros.
Charlie Morton was not sharp. He struggled right from the start loading the bases in the first but made the pitches count when he needed them to get put of the inning.
Morton had trouble locating his curveball especially in the first inning and although he was tagged for the one Oakland run through five innings, it could have been worse.
Morton pitched five innings, walked three and struck out four in getting the win for the Rays.
The Rays have now played in two wild card games and won both of them. The other win coming against Cleveland in 2013.
The much maligned Rays bullpen was fantastic as the trio of Diego Castillo, Nick Anderson, and Emilio Pagan shut down the A’s lineup through the final four innings.
You cannot say enough about Nick Anderson and the way he has pitched since the Rays acquired him from Miami at the trade deadline.
Anderson faced four batter and struck out all four last night before giving way to Pagan in the ninth.
The Rays had four home runs in the game. Two off the bat of Diaz, a solo shot from Tommy Pham, and a two run homer by Avisail Garcia.
The Rays now head to Houston for the opening two games of the ALDS. The Rays were 4-3 against Houston this season, 1-2 in Houston, and 3-1 at Tropicana Field.
Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to start for the Rays, Justin Verlander will pitch for the Astros.
Game one is in Houston Friday afternoon with the first pitch at 2:05PM. Game two will be a 9:07PM start in Houston on Saturday night.
The Rays will have at least one home game and possibly two in St. Petersburg. Monday and possibly Tuesday The start times for those two games have yet to be determined.