SAN DIEGO — The Rays don’t have any reason to worry yet. Right?
Their first chance to get the one win needed to advance to the World Series didn’t work out, as they lost 4-3 to the Astros on Wednesday in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.
They still lead the best-of-seven series three games to one and have another chance to close it out Thursday, first pitch at 5:07 p.m. And they still have history on their side, as 37 of the 38 teams to take 3-0 leads won them.
They lost Wednesday primarily because Tyler Glasnow gave up a little more than Houston starter Zack Greinke. The Astros jumped out to the early lead, as for the third time in four games Jose Altuve homered in the first inning.
They made it 2-0 in the third when Glasnow walked No. 9 hitter Martin Maldonado and, a line drive off his back and another walk later, he allowed an RBI double to Altuve. The early production was some redemption for Altuve, whose costly throwing errors in Games 2 and 3 were factors in the Houston losses.
The Rays tied it in the fourth when red-hot rookie Randy Arozarena, their breakout star of the postseason, came through yet again. Austin Meadows singled with one out for their first hit off Astros starter Zack Greinke. Arozarena followed by lashing a 3-1 curveball over the left field wall to tie it 2-2.
Glasnow had his usual dominant stuff, hitting triple digits with his fastball multiple times and freezing hitters with his curve. But he was falling behind a lot of hitters, and the Astros were getting some good swings.
They eventually took advantage and went back ahead in the fifth. Maldonado singled with one out, then George Springer turned around the fourth straight fastball he saw and crushed it over the leftfield wall and high off the Western Metal Supply Co. building at Petco Park.
For the night, Glasnow worked six innings, allowing the four runs on eight hits, walking two, striking out five, throwing 96 pitches, 55 for strikes. The Rays had won in his past 11 starts, including the clinching games in the Wild Card Series against the Jays and the AL Division Series against the Yankees.