Tampa Bay has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five straight games for only the second time in franchise history.
The way these guys are throwing right now, we’re tough to beat, said Kevin Kiermaier, who scored in each of the first two innings.
Alex Bregman got the Astros on the board with a two-run homer in the sixth off Vidal Nuno. It was Bregman’s 16th home run and his fifth in six games.
Astros: RHP Joe Smith (sore right elbow) will make what the Astros expect to be a final rehab appearance at Double-A Corpus Christi before being activated. … 1B Yuli Gurriel (paternity leave) is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday.
Rays: RHP Wilmer Font was placed on the 10-day disabled and RHP Hunter Wood was recalled from Triple-A Durham. Manager Kevin Cash said an optimistic timeframe has Font missing eight weeks. … Cash didn’t completely rule out RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) from returning after his first rehab start Tuesday night� for Class A Charlotte.
Mitchell, meanwhile, led the Jazz to an upset of the Thunder by averaging 28.5 points in the series. He struggled against Houston’s defense in the conference semis, but he finished the postseason with averages of 24.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists, though he shot only 42.0 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from the 3-point line.
Tatum’s final playoff numbers were 18.5 points on 47.1 percent shooting (32.4 percent 3-point shooting) with 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He was at his best when his team most needed him, scoring 20 points in Game 7 of the first round and 24 points in Game 7 of the conference finals.
This obviously would be a much different vote if taken now. I don’t think Simmons would still be the clear winner that he was after the regular season. The only question would be whether Tatum was good enough in the playoffs — with 13.7 shots per game, rather than the 10.4 he got in the regular season — to pull ahead of Mitchell and win the award.