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Snake Bytes 10/9: Not Dead Yet

The Tampa Bay Rays finally figured out how to score off of Justin Verlander. Then, they figured out how to keep Houston from scoring.

MLB: OCT 08 ALDS - Astros at Rays Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Houston 1, Tampa Bay 4

The Astros started Justin Verlander on short rest for the first time in his career. The Rays responded by going with a bullpen game from start to finish. While Verlander’s usual pinpoint control was not in evidence, Tampa’s pitching and defense found a hertofor undemonstrated level of excellence, forcing a winner-take-all deciding game five in Houston on Friday.

Rays Force Game 5

The Rays opened the game by scoring three first inning runs off of Justin Verlander. Later, they executed a perfect relay from the outfield wall to barely catch a speedy Jose Altuve trying to score Houston’s first run.

Nelson Cruz to Return in 2020

The Minnesota Twins have elected to exercise their option on slugger Nelson Cruz. Despite his age (39), the slugging DH posted a 4.3 WAR season and will now return to the Twins for $12 million in his age 40 season.