Astros blank Rays to clinch AL West

by Gary Shelton on September 20, 2022

in general

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

On a night the Houston Astros looked like champions, the Tampa Bay Rays looked like...just another team.

Houston clinched the AL West title with a 4-0 victory over the Rays, putting together a solid victory with strong pitching and timely hitting. They looked, in short, like the best team in the AL, which they have been for most of the season.

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Tampa Bay managed just five hits -- three of them by Harold Ramirez -- and never threatened to score. They left 10 men on base and were zero-for-seven with runners in scoring position.

"I thought we hit the ball really hard the early part of the night," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It felt like we squared the ball up and didn’t have much to show for it. We got some men on base early. In the first inning we had runners on first and third with one out. I'd like to find a way to score a run if not several."

Drew Rasmussen started for the Rays and gave up a leadoff home run to Jose Altuve. He gave up three in the sixth inning, including a broken-bat double by Alex Bregman.

The Rays play the Astros again tonight at 6:40 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Cristian Javier.

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