Astros walk twice with bases loaded in 9th, beat Rays 4-3

HOUSTON (AP) — Rays reliever JT Chargois walked two Houston batters with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, propelling the Astros to a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night that snapped a four-game skid and moved them closer to securing a postseason berth.

The Astros could clinch their fourth AL West title in five years later Tuesday night if Seattle loses to Oakland.

Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve hit solo homers for the Astros as they rallied for the victory.

The Rays took a 3-2 lead when Randy Arozarena hit a solo homer off Phil Maton (5-0) with one out in the ninth.

Yordan Alvarez singled on a grounder off Josh Fleming (10-7) to start Houston’s ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Jose Siri. Carlos Correa then reached on a fielder’s choice on a hard-hit grounder to second baseman Brandon Lowe. He was initially called out, but the Astros challenged the play and it was overturned.

Kyle Tucker grounded out before the Rays intentionally walked Aledmys Díaz to load the bases. Chargois took over and walked Chas McCormick on his 10th pitch to tie it. He then walked pinch-hitter Jason Castro on eight pitches to give the Astros the unconventional walk-off victory.

Yandy Díaz hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Rays an early lead.

The Astros didn’t get a hit until Bregman’s shot cut the lead to 1 with two outs in the sixth.

There was one out in the eighth when Altuve connected off David Robertson on his 31st homer this season to tie it at 2.

The loss ends a four-game winning streak for the AL East-champion Rays and leaves them a win or a loss by the Astros shy of clinching the best record in the American League.

Houston couldn’t get anything going early as Michael Wacha started the game and didn’t allow a hit through five innings.

Wacha, who pitched out of the bullpen his last time out, was lifted after 61 pitches. He walked Yuli Gurriel with two outs in the first and Correa to start the second before retiring his last 12 batters.

Andrew Kittredge, who was activated from the injured list before the game, took over for the sixth and sat down the first two batters he faced before Bregman sent the first pitch off the wall in left-center to cut the lead to 1.

Houston starter José Urquidy permitted four hits and two runs while striking out six in five innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Díaz was replaced in the bottom of the seventh inning with rib discomfort. … Kittredge was activated after missing the last 10 days with a neck strain. … Manager Kevin Cash said LHP Adam Conley tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Cash said he does not have any symptoms, but he’ll have to be away from the team for 10 days, so he won’t be eligible to return for the start of the ALDS.

Astros: Manager Dusty Baker said RHP Zack Greinke (neck soreness) could go on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land this week. … Third base coach Gary Pettis rejoined the team Tuesday after being away since testing positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 17. … RHP Kendall Graveman was placed on the paternity list Tuesday and RHP Josh James was recalled from Sugar Land to take his spot on the roster.

UP NEXT

Houston’s Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.23 ERA) opposes Drew Rasmussen (3-0, 2.67) when the series continues Wednesday night.

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