LOS ANGELES -- Manuel Margot clubbed a three-run homer and made a clutch defensive play as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros 4-2 in game two of the ALCS on Monday.
The 26-year-old Dominican blasted a 406-foot homer to center field in the first inning as the Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead, tacked on another run in the seventh, and then held on in the ninth when the Astros gave them a scare by loading the bases.
Catcher Mike Zunino also slammed a towering 454-foot homer in the seventh for the Rays, who are now two wins away from reaching the World Series for the second time in the franchise's 23-season history.
Margot made a spectacular catch in the second inning for an out. He chased down a fly ball in the right field, caught the ball and then crashed over the cement wall landing upside down on the other side.
"I never played right field," said Margot. "I knew it was going to be dangerous play but I had to make the catch."
Asked if he was okay, Margot said, "I got a little scratch on my leg."
Game three in the best-of-seven ALCS is scheduled for Tuesday. The Rays also won game one 2-1 at Petco Park in San Diego.
Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton pitched five innings, allowing five hits and striking out five.
Right hander Morton, who earned the win against the Astros in game three of the 2019 ALDS, didn't allow a run and had just one walk.
Morton had help as the Rays' bullpen produced another exceptional effort, allowing just two runs and striking out three. Closer Nick Anderson got the final out, forcing Astros batter Alex Bregman to fly out to center field with the bases loaded.
© Agence France-Presse