SAN DIEGO — The Houston Astros' powerhouse offense found it hard to produce in the AL Championship Series opener.
Tampa Bay limited the Astros’ star-studded lineup to nine hits with just one for extra bases in the Rays’ 2-1 victory to open the ALCS at Petco Park.
The Houston offense that set off fireworks against Minnesota and Oakland was a dull squib in San Diego after José Altuve’s first-inning homer, the Astros’ 14th of these playoffs and their 13th in the last five games.
Houston mounted significant rallies in four different innings, but repeatedly failed to get the big hit.
Astros 1, Rays 0
Houston jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Rays in the first inning when Jose Altuve hit a solo homer.
It was Altuve's 16th career postseason homer, which is four behind Derek Jeter for the most by a middle infielder.
Astros starter Framber Valdez struck out the side in the bottom half of the first.
A key moment in this game was when Martin Maldonado threw out Kevin Kiermaier trying to swipe third base.
Astros 1, Rays 1
It stayed 1-0 Astros until the bottom of the fourth, when the Rays tied it with this long ball from Randy Arozarena.
Astros pitcher Framber Valdez flashed a little leather while the game was still tied. Wait for the slow-motion version to really appreciate this one...
Rays 2, Astros 1
Tampa Bay took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, when Mike Zunino knocked in Willy Adames with two outs.
The Astros has plenty of opportunities to score, including in the eighth inning where, with the bases loaded and one out, Yuli Gurriel hit into an inning-ending double play.