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MLB Roundup 10/18: Rays survive and advance to the World Series

While the Dodgers force a Game Seven on the other side.

League Championship - Houston Astros v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Seven Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dodgers force Game Seven

It was a big day in baseball with both LCS’s having a chance to go to the distance. For that to happen, the Dodgers were going to have to keep their momentum and take home a second straight win over the Braves. They had their ace, Walker Buehler, on the mound as they were trying to do it, but Altanta had theirs in Max Fried as well.

It was the Dodgers getting on the board first, though, and it really was all they needed. Buehler came out and tossed a scoreless top half of the first, and then the L.A. offense got to work in the bottom of the inning. Corey Seager and Justin Turner had the two big swings with back-to-back homers, and then they’d add one more after that to give themselves a 3-0 lead. It was a horrible start for Fried, who had been so lights out all year and all postseason. To his credit, he didn’t let this snowball and was quite good the rest of the way. He’d end up going 6 23 innings while only allowing the three runs.

The bad news is the offense just had no answers against Dodgers pitching. Buehler was electric all day long, striking out six and walking none over six shutout innings. There are always questions with the Dodgers bullpen, both historically and this season, but they got the job done in this one. Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen each tossed an inning to close this one out, with Treinen allowing the lone run Atlanta would score in the seventh.

The 3-1 final score brought the Dodgers back to tie this series after first falling behind 2-0 and then 3-1. Now, they are alive for a Game Seven on Sunday with the winner going on to face the winner of the ALCS Game Seven for the World Series. This Game Seven will start at 8:15 PM ET and will feature Ian Anderson for the Braves while the Dodgers have not announced a starter.

Dodgers Reaction

Braves Reaction

Rays advance to second World Series in team history

While the Dodgers forced a Game Seven in the early game, the main event featured a Game Seven with the Astros looking to complete a historic comeback after falling behind 3-0 in the series. They had all the momentum heading into this game, but they say momentum is only as good as that day’s starting pitching, which featured Charlie Morton against Lance McCullers Jr.

McCullers didn’t have the momentum for this one, as the Rays jumped early to get the scoreboard on their side to start things off. In the bottom of the first, who else but Randy Arozarena had the first big swing of the day, smacking a two-run show to give Tampa the early 2-0 lead. They’d add another in the second on a Mike Zunino homer. And with the way Morton was going, that was all they’d really need. The righty looked as good as he did all year, setting down Houston’s order through 5 23 innings without allowing a run on six strikeouts and only one walk.

However, he had allowed a couple of runners to reach in the sixth, and somewhat controversially Kevin Cash stuck to his plan and got the bullpen in early, starting with closer Nick Anderson. It worked out for Cash. Anderson finished off the sixth, and then after his offense gave him another insurance run in the bottom of the inning, Anderson had a scoreless seventh as well. Houston finally started to make things a little interesting in the eighth, as Peter Fairbanks had to come in for Tampa midway through and the Astros cut their deficit in half on a Carlos Correa single.

That was all they’d get, though. Fairbanks came back out for the ninth and allowed just a single in an otherwise perfect inning. It ended with a fly ball out to old friend Manuel Margot, and that finished it. Things got much dicier than anyone would have expected in the series, but the Rays got it together in time to punch their ticket to their first World Series since 2008. To the surprise of no one, Arozarena took home ALCS MVP honors. Tampa will take on the winner of Sunday’s NLCS Game Seven, and the World Series will kick off in Texas on Tuesday.

Rays Reaction

Astros Reaction