SAN DIEGO — Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead, two-run single two batters after another critical error by José Altuve, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied for a 5-2 win against the Houston Astros that moved them within one victory of the second World Series appearance in franchise history.
Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series. Towering righty Tyler Glasnow will try to deliver the Rays their first pennant in 12 seasons on Wednesday night when he opposes Zack Greinke.
Tampa Bay reached the World Series in 2008 before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Game recap and highlights:
Jose Urquidy started Game 3 for the Astros while Ryan Yarbrough toed the hill in the first for the Rays.
Urquidy got through the first inning unscathed on only six pitches before Altuve opened the scoring with a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning.
The Rays had runners on the corners with one out in the top of the second, but Urquidy was able to wiggle out of the jam thanks to swinging strikeouts of Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Pérez.
Houston threatened in the bottom of the second and third innings but ended up stranding a pair of runners each time.
Urquidy worked a clean top of the fifth inning to keep the score 1-0.
After a leadoff single, Altuve made a throwing error, putting runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth. Urquidy was pulled in favor of Enoli Paredes to face Yandy Diaz, who promptly singled to center, loading the bases for Joey Wendle. Wendle singled to left, scoring two and giving the Rays a 2-1 lead.
Paredes hit back-to-back batters, bringing in another Rays run, making it 3-1. Brooks Raley was brought on in relief of Paredes.
Pinch-hitter Hunter Renfrow stepped up and sliced a two-run double down the right-field line, making it 5-1 Rays. Raley was able to get out of the inning without any more damage done.
Michael Brantley led off the home half of the inning with a solo homer, chasing Yarbrough. The Rays brought in Peter Fairbanks in relief, who induced three straight groundouts to end the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth, Houston stranded the bases loaded, keeping the score at 5-2 heading to the final frame. In the ninth, Altuve struck out with runners on first and second and Brantley flied out to center to end the game.