Houston's season is in serious jeopardy

Another dreadful inning hands Rays a commanding 3-0 ALCS lead over Astros

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Sitting in a 2-0 hole starting the day, the Astros had to get something together to make this ALCS competitive with the Rays and get into the win column. They would flip around and play as the home team on Tuesday night, providing at least a subtle change to help put the previous two games in the rear-view mirror.

Unfortunately, the Astros would suffer the same result in Game 3 as the previous two, with the Rays capitalizing on costly errors to get the win and go up 3-0 in the series:

Final Score: Rays 5, Astros 2.

Series: TB leads 3-0.

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Yarbrough.

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy.

Altuve homers then commits another mammoth error

For the second time in three games, Jose Altuve started the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning. That provided Jose Urquidy with a lead to work with, which he would hold very well over the first five innings. Urquidy allowed just three hits over the first five innings, keeping the Rays off the board and looking impressive in the process. He allowed a leadoff single in the top of the sixth, then induced what should have been a double-play groundball. It instead would go down as Altuve's third error in the last two games, both extremely costly.

Houston would move to their bullpen to try and get out of the jam, bringing in Enoli Paredes, who had been electric on the mound to this point in the postseason. That changed in this game, as he would load the bases on a single before allowing a two-RBI single to put the Rays ahead 2-1. The damage didn't stop there, as Paredes would hit a batter to load the bases again, then hit the next batter on the very next pitch, making it 3-1. The Astros would try another reliever, Brooks Raley, but he too would be unable to stop Tampa Bay's momentum, allowing a two-RBI double to push the lead to 5-1 before he would put an end to the dreadful inning for Houston.

Tampa Bay takes commanding 3-0 series lead

Michael Brantley would try and shift the momentum back Houston's way in the bottom of the inning, taking the first pitch deep to cut it to a 5-2 lead. Josh James was next out of the Astros' bullpen for the top of the seventh, a quick 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game. Still 5-2 in the top of the eighth, James would get another quick inning, retiring the Rays in order.

Jose Altuve would attempt to start a rally in the bottom of the eighth, reaching base on a leadoff single, followed by a single by Michael Brantley to bring the tying run to the plate. Carlos Correa would win a lengthy at-bat, getting an infield single to load the bases, still with one out. Tampa Bay's defense would come through again, though, with two great plays to strand all three runners. Despite bringing the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, Houston would add no runs, as Tampa Bay would close out the win to go up 3-0 in the ALCS, a deficit that only one MLB team has ever come back from to advance.

Up Next: ALCS Game 4 will be another 7:40 PM Central start on Wednesday. Tampa Bay will have Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 4.05 ERA in the postseason) on the mound while Houston will hope to get a better start from Zack Greinke, who sits 0-0 with a 5.19 ERA after his two starts in the playoffs, exiting both before reaching five innings.

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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