Big inning, stellar defense put Rays up 3-0 on Astros

Joey Wendle and Hunter Renfroe each drove in two runs in the sixth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays moved within one win of their second World Series appearance with a 5-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday in San Diego.Randy Arozarena had a double and two singles to become the first rookie with four three-hit performances in a single postseason.Renfroe and Kevin Kiermaier each made a pair of sterling defensive plays for the top-seeded Rays, who seized a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series. They can punch their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 2008 with a win over sixth-seeded Houston in Game 4 on Wednesday.Jose Altuve belted a solo homer in the first inning before his third error in two games opened the door to Tampa Bay’s five-run sixth.Altuve’s throwing error on a potential double-play ball put two runners aboard and led to the departure of starter Jose Urquidy (0-1). Yandy Diaz greeted Enoli Paredes with a single to load the bases before Wendle ripped a two-run single to left field to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.A pair of hit batsmen drove in another run before Renfroe’s pinch-hit blooper to shallow right field off Brooks Raley plated two more runs and boosted Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-1.Michael Brantley led off the sixth with a homer on the first pitch from Ryan Yarbrough (1-0), who exited after allowing two runs on three hits in five-plus innings.Three relievers bridged the gap to Aaron Loup, who worked out of an inherited bases-load jam in the eighth inning. Diego Castillo walked two but retired the side in the ninth for his second save.