The Tampa Bay Rays are headed to the World Series!
The Rays earned themselves a ticket to the big game on Saturday, after defeating the Houston Astros 4-2 in the deciding Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
Although the team won the first three games of the series, giving their fans hope of a decisive sweep, they went on to lose the next three consecutive games to the Astros.
However, thanks to a couple of big bats from Randy Arozarena and Mike Zunino, the Rays were able to leave the ballpark victorious — securing their first trip to the World Series since 2008, and second in franchise history.
Speaking about the team’s big victory after the game, Zunino — who scored the team’s second homer of the night — said that they stepped onto the field determined to win, even after three losses in a row.
“You go up 3-nothing and whether we get a little complacent, whether we get a little comfortable, whether we put a little pressure on ourselves to try to end it quicker, we took ourselves out of our game,” he told reporters, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Guys came back today. There was a real sense of calm. It felt how the clubhouse usually feels.”
Added manager Kevin Cash, "I don’t know if I’ve had many better other than getting married and having three kids. This is right there, right there below that."
On social media, the Rays also made a few sly nods to the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, which culminated in the firing of two top officials following an investigation into claims that the team illegally stole pitching signs during a season that ended in a championship.
“You’re all welcome,” read one post touting the Rays' victory, while another simply said, “Winners win.”
The Rays’ path to victory also included playoff wins against the New York Yankees — who lost in Game 5 of the American League Division Series — and the Toronto Blue Jays, who got swept in the Wild Card round. Although this is their second time making it to the World Series, the Rays have yet to win their first championship title.
The Rays will face off against the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 face-off between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Game 1 of the World Series is set to take place on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.
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