With their two runs in the ninth

Jose Altuve upped the pressure on Alex Bregman as he walked to home plate with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

”Altuve told me … that he’s not bringing his bat or batting gloves to the on-deck circle [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-baker-mayfield-jersey]Baker Mayfield Jersey[/url] , so I better get the job done,” Bregman said. ”So I had to find a way.”

Bregman hit a game-ending two-run double and the Houston Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 to match a franchise record with their 12th straight win.

Houston trailed 4-0 after three innings but cut the lead to one entering the ninth.

Sergio Romo (1-2) walked Marwin Gonzalez to start the ninth, then allowed a single to Max Stassi. Tony Kemp’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners up, and Houston loaded the bases when George Springer reached on interference by catcher Wilson Ramos.

Bregman then drove a ball that bounced off the wall in left-center. He lifted both arms as he trotted into second base, and teammates mobbed him in the infield.

It was Houston’s second game-ending hit of the season, and the other also came off Bregman’s bat April 7 against San Diego. Bregman also walked off Houston with a single in Game 5 of the World Series last season.

”You do it as often as Alex has done it, we know it’s going to be a good at-bat,” manager A.J. Hinch said. ”Whether it ends in our favor or not is baseball, but he’s a guy we want up there.”

Romo declined to speak to reporters after the game, but manager Kevin Cash discussed his work.

”He’s the guy who’s been out there and got the experience,” Cash said. ”He’s done it here as of late. It lined up right; it just didn’t work.”

Collin McHugh (2-0) struck out two in a scoreless ninth for the win on a night Gerrit Cole walked a career-high five to help the Rays build the early lead.

Houston also won 12 straight in 2004 and 1999. The Astros will go for No. 13 on Tuesday with ace Justin Verlander on the mound.

”The only thing that matters to these guys is winning,” Bregman said.

Romo was the seventh pitcher the Rays used as they employed a reliever as a starter for the 16th time in 30 games.

Cole walked Jake Bauers with one out in the first before Ramos launched a fastball into the seats in right field to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.

Matt Duffy drew a walk with one out in the third [url=http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/connor-williams-jersey]Connor Williams Jersey[/url] , stole second base and took third on an error by catcher Brian McCann. Cole, who hadn’t walked more than three in a game this season, walked Bauers and Ramos to load the bases. A two-out single by Joey Wendle came next to score two and push the lead to 4-0.

Altuve, who finished with three hits, singled with one out in the fourth, and Carlos Correa followed with a double. Houston got within 4-1 on a groundball single by Yuli Gurriel which scored Altuve. The Astros made it 4-2 when Correa scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick.

Altuve doubled and reached third on an error by Johnny Field to start Houston’s sixth. A one-out single by Gurriel scored Altuve to cut the lead to 4-3. Gonzalez singled with two outs, but Diego Castillo came in and retired pinch-hitter Evan Gattis to end the inning.


Rays: OF Kevin Kiermaier will be activated from the disabled list Tuesday after sitting out since April 15 after tearing a ligament in his right thumb which required surgery. He wasn’t supposed to be reinstated until Friday, but was feeling good after a rehabilitation stint in the minors and wore Cash down with incessant text messages saying he was ready. ”I was sick of hearing from him so I called the general manager and said: `Please get him up here,”’ Cash joked. … RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) has been playing catch and is scheduled to throw a bullpen Friday. Cash said he’ll need to make some rehabilitation starts before returning to the team.

Astros: RHP Joe Smith (right elbow inflammation) felt fine after playing catch Sunday but likely won’t return from the disabled list until Houston’s next homestand, which begins on July 5.


With their two runs in the ninth on Monday night, the Astros have scored a major league best 137 runs in the seventh inning or later this season. Monday’s four-run deficit is the largest they’ve overcome to win this season, outdoing the two-run deficit they came back from for a victory on Sunday at Kansas City.


Verlander (9-2 [url=http://www.billscheapstore.com/josh-allen-jersey-cheap]Josh Allen Youth Jersey[/url] , 1.61 ERA) opposes Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58) in the second game of the series Tuesday night. Verlander yielded two homers and three runs in seven innings in his last start to extend his winning streak to five games. Snell looks to get back on track after he had a four-game winning streak snapped by allowing five hits and four runs in five innings of a loss to the Yankees his last time out.

Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey announced this week that he will protest during the national anthem this season. It's a brave and patriotic move that will likely become another symbolic mortar round in the culture war between the NFL and President Donald Trump.Yet there is more to this story. Possibly a lot more.Two players told B/R they don't expect Casey to be alone. The players, who asked not to be identified due to fear of reprisal from Trump and his supporters, believe there could be at least a half-dozen players across the league who could join Casey in protest.In the end, it's unknown if six players, a dozen or only a few will join Casey. What we do know is that Casey represents a resistance some players have to the NFL's edict that players cease protesting on the sideline, and to Trump himself.It can't be emphasized enough how big a deal this is. Casey is a star, a three-time Pro Bowler who has tremendous clout throughout the NFL. If he and other players continue protesting, it illustrates that the wave started by Colin Kaepernick in kneeling for the national anthem is no mere look-at-us moment, but a new sports civil-rights movement.It also shows that the players won't back down no matter who puts pressure on them. That takes real courage. True patriotism.If you want to understand just how nasty and bloody a fight this is going to be, look no further than what the Dolphins are allegedly proposing.The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the Dolphins might suspend players for protesting during the anthem.If true, not only would such a policy lead to massive anger from players around the sport [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/vita-vea-jersey-cheap]Vita Vea Youth Jersey[/url] , it would also mark, quite frankly, one of the lowest points in the history of NFL labor relations. Less than a year after making a big show of standing in solidarity with players on the sidelines, the owners would be daring their own players to try it again. Don't think those players will accept that idea happily.What it means in the short term is also clear: The NFL's ban on protesting during the national anthem continues to backfire, and the brawl聽between the NFL and the president鈥攕tarted by the president鈥攊s guaranteed to continue.Trump has turned the NFL into a political prop, and he will probably keep doing that through the mid-term elections. With that as a backdrop, the rhetoric from the White House is likely to become even nastier than it has been.The president hosted a 'Celebration of America' after he canceled a visit to the White House by the Philadelphia Eagles following their Super Bowl win.Susan Walsh/Associated Press/Associated PressAlready, the president has all but labeled players as un-American. In 2017, Trump tweeted that kneeling players showed聽"total disrespect for our great country." Later, while speaking of those players, Trump said that NFL owners should, "Get that son of a bitch off the field."The NFL [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-austin-corbett-jersey]Aut... Austin Corbett Jersey[/url] , terrified of Trump and his supporters, tried to quiet the debate by passing a rule that players must either "stand and show respect for the flag and anthem" or stay in the locker room. If a player doesn't, the NFL can fine the team. And if what the Dolphins may be proposing happens, the team could also fine the player directly.Despite the changes, the president聽still attacked the NFL. And with an electoral season at hand, the NFL is sure to make for a good political punching bag for Trump to sell his vision.Undaunted, the NFL Players Association聽filed a grievance聽this month against the NFL, saying the new protest policy聽changed without negotiation, which is an infringement on player rights.聽On Thursday, the NFL and union released a joint statement, saying any changes to the anthem policy are on hold as they try to finalize a solution that makes both owners and players happy.But it's impossible to have any faith in a league that allowed this mess to get this far in the first place. And there is no NFL policy that can account for the maelstrom surrounding national politics these days.This part of the culture war is going to be fought, and there is no amount of appeasement from the NFL that can stop it.This is the backdrop that Casey and potentially other NFL players will find themselves in."I'm going to take a fine this year [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/m.j.-stewart-jersey-cheap]M.J. Stewart Buccaneers Jersey[/url] , why not?"聽Casey told CNN's Motez Bishara. "I'm going to protest during the flag. That's what I'm going to say now. ... I ain't going to let them stop me from doing what I want to do. If they want to have these battles between players and organizations, this is the way it's going to be."Overlooked in Casey's statement is part of what is driving the players to keep up the fight: that they are disturbed by the NFL's new protest rules.The admiration players have for Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey is likely to convince players around the league to join him in protesting during the national anthem this season.Wesley Hitt/Getty Images"Around the NFL, guys are definitely not happy about it," Casey said. "I feel it's not right, I don't think it was a good decision for the NFL to come up with that ruling. But they have their reasons for what they've done."In many ways, Casey is the perfect player to lead this fight against the NFL and Trump. He's immensely popular and respected among the players. He's is one of the true leaders in the sport, and the kind of presence players need to keep fighting the league and the president of the United States for their right to express their feelings peacefully.And he may not be alone..