Rays top Astros again, win 3rd straightJun 26, 2011 - 3:53 AM
Wade Davis (7-5), making the 50th start of his career, gave up one run on five hits over seven innings for the Rays, who have won three in a row and seven of eight overall. Davis also struck out three and walked one en route to winning his third straight start.
Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee had an RBI apiece for the Astros, who lost 5-1 in the opener of this series on Friday.
Bud Norris (4-6) allowed three runs on six hits over five full frames to suffer the loss. He also struck out five and walked three.
"He kept working to find his stuff, and his command kind of got him in trouble there with those walks," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He kept battling through it. It was -- what? -- 95 pitches though five innings, and he wanted to go back out there, but it was a situation [in which] we were down and trying to get some baserunners as well."
The Rays scored one run in each of the first three innings to take an early lead. In the first inning, Ben Zobrist worked a one-out walk and came around to score on Longoria's double down the left-field line.
Reid Brignac hit a one-out single during the Rays' next at-bat. Brignac moved up to second on Davis' sacrifice bunt and scored on Johnny Damon's base hit to right. Brignac slid under the tag at home plate to make it a 2-0 game.
Longoria started the third with a walk and Kotchman followed with a single to put men on first and second. Two batters later, Upton hit an RBI single to left for a 3-0 edge.
Houston finally got to Davis in the fourth. Pence worked a two-out walk and crossed the plate on Lee's double to right-center field to make it 3-1.
Upton's solo homer to left off Fernando Abad in the sixth made it a 4-1 contest.
The Astros had a chance to get some runs back in the home sixth, but they left the bases loaded.
"I think I stayed under control better than I have all year throughout the whole game," Davis said.
Houston scored a run in the eighth to make it a two-run game. Joel Peralta gave up a one-out single to Jeff Keppinger, who scored on Pence's double off the wall in left. Kyle Farnsworth took over on the mound and Lee smacked the ball to the warning track in left field. Sam Fuld dropped the ball to allow Lee to reach base. Matt Downs grounded into a double play to keep it a 4-2 contest.
The Rays tacked on three runs in the ninth to pull away. Fuld doubled Zobrist walked to begin the frame. Longoria followed with an RBI double to left. Sergio Escalona took over on the mound for Enerio Del Rosario and gave up a two-run single to Kotchman.
Farnsworth pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to record his 16th save of the season.
Astros catcher J.R. Towles left Friday night's game in the top of the third inning due to a cut on his chin caused by a foul tip. The cut required 11 stitches. Towles did not start Saturday's contest but came in a pinch-hitter in the seventh...The Rays (43-34) are nine games over .500 for the first time this season...Houston fell to 3-5 in interleague play this season, while the Rays improved to 8-3...The Astros purchased the contract of catcher Brian Esposito from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned pitcher Fernando Rodriguez to the same club...Houston went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven...Del Rosario gave up three runs on three hits.
- TAMPA BAY: 7
Jun 25 10:02 PM
- Casey Kotchman singled to center scored Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria. Runner on first with none out and Matt Joyce due up.
Rays 7, Astros 2 Top 9, 0 OutsJun 25 9:43 PM
- Sergio Escalona enters the game for the Astros.
Rays 5, Astros 2 Top 9, 0 OutsJun 25 9:40 PM
- Hunter Pence doubled to left scored Jeff Keppinger. Runner on second with one out and Carlos Lee due up.
Rays 4, Astros 2 Bot 8, 1 OutJun 25 9:27 PM
- Reid Brignac singled to right. Runner on first with one out and Wade Davis due up.
Rays 4, Astros 1 Top 6, 1 OutJun 25 8:39 PM
- Carlos Lee doubled to right scored Hunter Pence. Runner on second with two outs and Matt Downs due up.
Rays 3, Astros 1 Bot 4, 2 OutsJun 25 8:16 PM
- B.J. Upton singled to left scored Evan Longoria. On the play, Casey Kotchman advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and John Jaso due up.
Rays 3, Astros 0 Top 3, 1 OutJun 25 7:51 PM
- Johnny Damon singled to scored Reid Brignac. On the play, Johnny Damon advances to second on the throw. Runner on second with two outs and Ben Zobrist due up.
Rays 2, Astros 0 Top 2, 2 OutsJun 25 7:35 PM
- Evan Longoria doubled to left scored Ben Zobrist. Runner on second with one out and Casey Kotchman due up.
Rays 1, Astros 0 Top 1, 1 OutJun 25 7:13 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 1 Out
Jun 25 7:08 PM
- Rays' Kiermaier expected to miss 8-10 weeks with broken hand May 23
- Orioles-Astros Preview May 23
- Rays-Marlins Preview May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Tigers beat Rays 9-4 but Zimmermann, Cabrera hurt May 22
- Hamels fans 11, Rangers down Keuchel, Astros 9-2 for sweep May 22
- Archer hit hard as Rays fall 9-4 to Tigers May 22
- Signs of progress for Stanton in Marlins' 8-2 loss to Nats May 22
- Rangers-Astros Preview May 21
- Andrus, Ramos lead Rangers over Astros 2-1 May 21
- Kiermaier breaks hand, Rays fall to Tigers 5-4 May 21
- Rays-Tigers Preview May 21