Yuli Gurriel reaches for the throw from second-baseman Jose Altuve to complete a double play and seal the Astros’ 7-4 win over the Rays. Photo credit: Screen shot, TBS

The Houston Astros, on the cusp of elimination three days ago, pushed the American League Championship Series to a decisive seventh game Friday by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4.

The Astros rode a four-run fifth inning to the win over the Rays, taking their third must-win game in a row at Petco Park to even up the series at three wins apiece.

If the Astros can win Saturday they will become only the second team to forge a successful comeback from a 3-0 series deficit. The first was the Boston Red Sox in 2004, as they eliminated the New York Yankees, and went on to win the World Series.

The Astros, in fact, are using that series as fuel. Third baseman Alex Bregman showed his teammates a documentary on Boston’s historic comeback, and in a post-game interview, Carlos Correa told TBS that the Red Sox run provided the Astros with “lots of inspiration.”

“We’re relentless. We keep coming,” Correa added. “We said we didn’t want to go home and we meant it.”

George Springer and Kyle Tucker led the Astros with two RBI’s each, while Tampa Bay through six innings only mustered three hits, including a run-scoring double in the second.

Former Padre Manuel Margot tried to wake up his team though, hitting two homers in consecutive innings. His solo shot in the seventh made the score 7-2 and his two-run homer in the eighth, pulled the Rays closer, at 7-4

Margot has hit five homers in the playoffs after only hitting one during the regular season.

The teams meet again for Game 7 at 5:30 p.m. Saturday as postseason baseball (at neutral sites due to the pandemic) concludes at Petco Park. The game airs on TBS.

– Staff reports

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