By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays never doubted themselves, even with Justin Verlander looking to end their season.
Willy Adames homered and made a sensational relay throw from shortstop, and the Rays chased the Houston ace early in beating the Astros 4-1 Tuesday night to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece.
With their second victory in two days over one of baseball’s best pitchers, the Rays believe the rest of the country is finally getting a taste of what they’re capable of accomplishing.
“Hey, I hate to say it: About time, because we have a really good team over here,” Tommy Pham said.
“To win 96 games in this division (the AL East) with New York and Boston is an impressive feat,” he added. “All year, we’ve been getting talked down. And now, with the last two games, the way we played, the whole world has seen how good of a team we are and how well-rounded we are.”
The series shifts back to Houston for a deciding Game 5 tonight starting at 7 p.m. Astros star Gerrit Cole is scheduled to pitch for the heavily favored AL West champs, who led the majors with 107 wins this season and have one more chance to close out the feisty Rays. Tyler Glasnow is expected to start for Tampa Bay.
The winner plays the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series.