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Astros Crawfish Boil: October 12th, 2015

Playoff news and notes for your Houston Astros, as well as from everywhere in and around baseball.

Colby Rasmus laucnhed a pitch into the rafters at Minute Maid Park on Sunday...for a single.
Colby Rasmus laucnhed a pitch into the rafters at Minute Maid Park on Sunday...for a single.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Astros beat Royals in ALDS Game 3: Seven defining moments -
Dallas Keuchel, Jason Castro, Chris Carter and Carlos Gomez starred to give the Astros a 2-1 series lead.

Dallas Keuchel leads Astros to Game 3 win |
HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel took center stage, his stage, and promptly dazzled. The bearded one came as advertised in his first postseason act at home, with a gritty performance and an outcome that was seemingly to be expected at the mere sight of his presence. For seven innings of a pivotal 4-2 victory over the Royals, which gave the Astros a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five American League Division Series, Keuchel was a marvel.

Chris Carter has three hits in Game 3 of ALDS |
HOUSTON -- Give this to Chris Carter -- his timing is impeccable. Carter, whose early and midseason (and, for a spell, late-season) struggles have made him a regular punching bag for ear-splitting sports talk radio hosts and scores of impatient fans, had arguably his best performance of the year on Sunday. And not because he fell a triple shy of the cycle, or because this was his first three-hit game of 2015.

Astros Lance McCullers ready for Game 4 start |
HOUSTON -- A clinching opportunity rests on Lance McCullers' shoulders after the Astros celebrated their first postseason game at Minute Maid Park in a decade Sunday with a 4-2 win over the Royals. The victory gave the Astros a 2-1 edge in this best-of-five American League Division Series, putting them in position to advance to the AL Championship Series with a win in Monday's Game 4 matchup (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1).

Jason Castro gives Astros Game 3 lead in fifth |
HOUSTON -- Jason Castro's value to the Astros rests largely in his abilities behind the plate. This much has been evident by his continual presence in the lineup despite a prolonged offensive slump. But with one swing of the bat Sunday, Castro tweaked the narrative, responding with the biggest hit in Houston's biggest game of the season. The catcher's two-run single up the middle in the fifth off Royals starter Edinson Volquez, who had posted zeros in his first four innings, gave the Astros a lead they wouldn't relinquish in a 4-2 victory in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

Around The Majors:

Dodgers' Utley suspended 2 playoff games for 'illegal' slide - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley was banned for two playoff games by Major League Baseball on Sunday night following his late takeout slide that broke New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada's right leg. The Mets and Dodgers are tied at 1-all in the best-of-five NL Division Series. MLB would likely try to resolve the matter Monday, before the series resumes.

Craig Biggio argues against rules change in wake of Ruben Tejada-Chase Utley collision
Craig Biggio said he hopes MLB doesn't respond to the controversial Ruben Tejada-Chase Utley collision by enacting new rules to protect middle infielders.

Tulo-led Blue Jays avoid ALDS elimination, beat Texas 5-1 - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Troy Tulowitzki settled down at the podium after helping the Toronto Blue Jays extend the AL Division Series, his left shoulder and arm constantly pulsating from the medical device attached to him. Tulowitzki, still far from 100 percent from a collision that forced him to miss 19 games after being acquired by the Blue Jays, had certainly flexed his muscles on the field Sunday night in Game 3, a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers. Tulowitzki drove in four runs, including three with a homer for his first hit in these playoffs, and the Blue Jays cut their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

1964 Cy Young winner Dean Chance dies at 74 - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) -- Dean Chance, who won the 1964 Cy Young Award and later pitched a no-hitter, died Sunday. He was 74.

3B Adrian Beltre not in Rangers lineup for Game 3 of ALDS - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre is not in the Texas Rangers' lineup for Game 3 of the AL Division Series.

Harold Reynolds says Canadians can't catch, feels the country's wrath | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports
Normally I wouldn't include a piece like this, but after enduring Reynolds, John Kruk, Pete Rose, and many more of what has collectively been the worst MLB Playoff Coverage I've seen in 22 years of watching the sports, I can't resist having a little fun at Harold Reynolds' expense for this extraordinarily stupid comment. From Yahoo Sports: Reynolds claimed fans in Toronto have trouble catching foul balls hit into the stands because they didn't grow up playing baseball.