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Keys to ALDS Game 3: Astros look for sweep over the Rays

HOUSTON – Two games down and one to go for the Astros to win the ALDS and punch their ticket to the ALCS.

The Astros did what they set out to do -- win a pair at Minute Maid Park and it was mission accomplished.

So how does Game 3 shake out here at Tropicana Field?  Let's take a look at three keys to the game.

Jump on Charlie Morton

It's still odd to see Morton in a different uniform after what he has done the past two years in the postseason. He is revered by his former teammates but Monday it is all business for Morton, the Rays and the Astros.  

Morton is coming off of a terrific outing in the Rays Wild Card win over the A's. Against Houston, Morton has had success but also was rocked around in August at Minute Maid Park. No surprises with Morton, though, who has a great fastball, cutter, curve and slider. When he has his Plus stuff going, he is tough to crack.

The Astros need to jump on him early and force Kevin Cash to go to his bullpen.

Defensive minded

Carlos Correa began Game 2 with a gem at shortstop and Alex Bregman has had a few in Games 1 and 2 so far, as well. The Astros defense is always critical, especially in the postseason. Simply put, the Astros need to play clean, sound defense and not give the Rays any extra opportunities.

Don't become complacent

This will not be an issue with the Astros but it is always a good reminder.  Stay focused on THIS GAME and THIS SERIES. Get it done and close it out in three, then shift to the Yankees and the ALCS.

Astros and Rays Game three is set for 12:05 p.m. Central. There is coverage on-air and online on KPRC 2.