It’s all on the line for Rays, Astros
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole has won a franchise-record 17 straight decisions heading into the deciding Game 5 of their AL Division Series against visiting Tampa Bay. The winner meets the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series starting Saturday.
Cole is 17-0 in 23 starts since a May 22 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He has allowed 92 hits over 154 1/3 innings during that span, striking out 241 and walking 32. That includes an outstanding outing in a 3-1 Game 2 win over the Rays, when he struck out 15, didn’t walk a batter until his final one, and allowed four hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Tyler Glasnow starts for the Rays after taking a 6-2 loss in the opener, when he gave up two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings, including Jose Altuve’s go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth.
Both starters came up with the Pirates organization and were teammates in Pittsburgh from 2016-17.
The Yankees could be getting back a pair of injured players for the ALCS.
CC Sabathia threw a bullpen Wednesday and manager Aaron Boone said the 39-year-old left-hander is feeling “considerably better.” Sabathia was replaced by left-hander Tyler Lyons on the Division Series roster, and Lyons pitched a perfect inning in the second game of the three-game sweep against Minnesota.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks, who last played on Aug. 3, has recovered from a right elbow flexor strain and returned to New York from the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida.
Rosters are due at 10 a.m. local time the day of the opener.