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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Dusty Baker on Beating Rays’ Defense: ‘They Can’t Catch Them over the Fence’

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Houston Astros' Jose Altuve hits an RBI double during the third inning against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Houston Astros finally found a way to beat a Tampa Bay Rays defense that frustrated hitters to no end through three games of the American League Championship Series.

Manager Dusty Baker was all too happy to explain how after his team avoided elimination with a 4-3 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday.

“They can’t catch them over the fence,” Baker told reporters following the victory.

Jose Altuve and George Springer both homered for Houston on Wednesday.

MLB @MLB

For the 3rd time this #ALCS, José Altuve has homered in the 1st inning.

(MLB x @blueemu1) https://t.co/ebnWoMm2Jg

It was Altuve’s fifth home run of the postseason and comes at a time when the All-Star infielder is struggling with the yips on defense himself.

His latest blast came in the first inning off one of the Rays’ best starting pitchers in Tyler Glasnow, giving Houston a lead before he even had to field any live balls. Altuve would earn his second RBI of the evening on a double to right field off Glasnow in the third inning.

MLB Network @MLBNetwork

José Altuve helped jumpstart the @Astros in Game Four.

He joined #MLBTonight via NTT #BallparkCam to chat with Harold and Greg.

#ForTheH | #Postseason https://t.co/BbmcpEGgJy

With Glasnow still dealing in the fifth, Springer launched a two-run shot to left field that provided the Astros with the go-ahead run.

MLB @MLB

A lonnng #SpringerDinger for the lead.

(MLB x @blueemu1) https://t.co/bDk7L5WU1y

Regardless of who takes the hill for Tampa in Game 5, Houston will need to keep putting the ball in the air to avoid anymore run-ins with the Rays defense.

With the likes of Manuel Margot, Austin Meadows, Randy Arozarena and Kevin Kiermaier patrolling the outfield, there are few hits to be had once the ball gets over the infield. Avoiding the types of game-saving catches the Rays have regularly made this postseason remains vital to Houston’s postseason hopes.

Fortunately, Baker feels confident in his team’s ability to replicate Wednesday’s success moving forward.

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