ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Kevin Kiermaier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer as Tampa Bay teed off on Zack Greinke, and the Rays backed another clutch playoff pitching performance by Charlie Morton to beat the Houston Astros 10-3 Monday and cut their AL Division Series deficit to 2-1.
Facing the team he helped win the World Series two years ago, Morton allowed one run and three hits while striking out nine over five innings to force Game 4 in the best-of-five matchup at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old Morton is 4-0 with an 0.95 ERA in four career elimination starts, including last week’s wild-card win.
Kiermaier got the wild-card Rays going with his shot the second inning. Ji-Man Choi and Brandon Lowe added solo shots off Greinke, who has never won in Tampa Bay, and Willy Adames added a solo blast against Wade Miley in the sixth.
The four home runs matched a franchise record for a postseason game. The Rays also went deep four times against the Boston Red Sox during the 2008 AL Championship Series and did it again during last week’s 5-1 wild-card victory at Oakland in the AL wild-card game.
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