Houston Astros

Rays beat Astros 5-2, move within one victory of World Series

SAN DIEGO — Kevin Kiermaier and the Tampa Bay Rays — with big assists from two former Padres who know Petco Park's outfield well — are one win from the second World Series berth in franchise history.

Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead, two-run single two batters after another critical error by José Altuve, and the Rays beat the Houston Astros 5-2 on Tuesday night for a 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Towering righty Tyler Glasnow, who grew up just north of Los Angeles, will try to complete the series sweep and deliver the Rays their first pennant in 12 years Wednesday night when he opposes Zack Greinke in Game 4.

But they've looked nothing like the team that won the AL pennant two of the last three years and they remain villains to many for illegal sign stealing en route to the 2017 World Series title.

Two batters after Altuve's shot, Bregman barely missed a home run as Kiermaier made a leaping catch of his drive near the top of the fence in center.

He beat the New York Yankees 7-5 while striking out 10 in Game 2 of the AL Division Series and then started the clincher Friday night and went 2 1/3 innings on just two days' rest.

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