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Gerrit Cole dominates as Astros cruise to victory in elimination game

The Rays climbed back into this series, but Astros starter Gerrit Cole shut them down in a win-or-go-home matchup. Houston advances to the ALCS for the third straight season, where they’ll face the New York Yankees.

Gerrit Cole #45 and AJ Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros embrace after their teams 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 10, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros are headed back to the American League Championship Series for the third straight season, looking to advance to the World Series for the second time in three years. Houston beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 and closed out their American League Divisional Series three games to two.

The Rays had surprised many by winning two straight at home to force the deciding Game 5. Houston made sure to quiet the Rays hopes early in the elimination game. The Astros scored four in the top of the first on run-scoring singles by Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel, and a two-run scoring double by Alex Bregman and cruised to victory.

The Rays managed a run in the second, but Gerrit Cole shut them down from there. He went eight innings, giving up one run on two hits and two walks, and striking out ten. The Rays threw nine pitchers at Houston, but it didn’t matter as their offense had no answers.

The Astros advance to face the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Game 1 is set for Saturday, October 12th. First pitch is at 8:08 p.m. on TBS.