11:46 PM ET
You can’t pin the Tampa Bay Rays‘ five-run, sixth-inning rally all on the Houston Astros‘ Jose Altuve. But Altuve’s sudden case of the yips has come to exemplify an American League Championship Series in which the Astros can’t seem to catch a break.
Altuve committed his fourth throwing error of the postseason and third of the ALCS during the Rays’ decisive rally in a 5-2 victory Tuesday that put Tampa Bay one win away from a pennant-winning sweep of the defending AL champions.
“It was a nightmare inning,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
After bouncing two throws to first baseman Yuli Gurriel in Game 2 when making the long throw from shallow right field while playing in a shift, Altuve’s error Tuesday was on a more routine play.
With Randy Arozarena on first and no outs to begin the Tampa Bay sixth, Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe grounded a ball to Altuve’s left, which he fielded cleanly. But his throw to second base bounced several feet in front of shortstop Carlos Correa and careened into left field. Michael Brantley backed up the play to prevent further advance by the baserunners.
However, the floodgates