Carter powers Astros past RaysJul 4, 2013 - 3:24 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Chris Carter had two home runs, including a go- ahead three-run shot in the bottom of the seventh, and the Houston Astros snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the seventh, Brett Wallace hit a leadoff double and Jason Castro delivered a single to right, placing runners at the corners. With a full count, Carter fouled off a pair of pitches before clubbing the eighth pitch thrown by the Rays reliever Jake McGee over the left-field wall.
McGee took over for Tampa Bay starter Roberto Hernandez (4-10), who was tagged with the loss after giving up the first two hits in the seventh.
Houston starter Bud Norris (6-7) allowed one run on six hits and three walks in seven innings to earn his first win since June 1 against the Angels. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his 17th save.
"I was very happy to see him (Norris) pitch as well as he pitched," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "He's had a lot of games where he's pitched good enough to win but our offense just wasn't there."
Ben Zobrist drove in the lone run for the Rays, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Hernandez suffered his fourth consecutive loss, surrendering three runs over six-plus innings.
"He's (Hernandez) got really good mound composure. He pitched really well and kept us in the game, but Carter hurt us," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "Everything's good, we just haven't scored any runs with him."
Desmond Jennings singled and stole second base to start the game. After an infield single by Matt Joyce, Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly to center.
Carter hammered a 3-2 fastball to begin the second, but neither team delivered much offense afterwards.
The Rays squandered a chance to score in the fifth. Jose Molina singled to lead off, but was caught stealing second as Yunel Escobar struck out. Jennings and Joyce drew consecutive two-out walks, but Zobrist popped out to second to end the inning.
Tampa Bay ruined another opportunity in the sixth. James Loney smacked a one- out double to left, but Wil Myers flew out to center and Kelly Johnson struck out.
Veras gave up a two-out single to Johnson in the ninth, but got pinch-hitter Luke Scott to ground out towards him to end the game.
Norris has a 1.99 ERA at home, third-lowest in the majors ... Prior to Carter's first homer, the Rays had not allowed a run in 24 innings, tying the club record set on July 27-30, 2012 and May 8-11, 2008 ... James Loney went 2-for-4, extending his streak to 14 games, one shy of his career-high ... Escobar has played 41 consecutive errorless games, tying Jason Bartlett in 2010 for second-longest in Rays history.
- Yunel Escobar struck out swinging. On the play, Jose Molina caught stealing second. None on with two outs and Desmond Jennings due up.
Jul 3 10:58 PM
- Chris Carter none-out, three-run Home Run 2 (17) to left scored Jake Elmore and Jason Castro. Carlos Pena due up.
Rays 1, Astros 4 Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 3 10:19 PM
- Chris Carter lead-off Home Run (16) to left. Carlos Pena due up.
Rays 1, Astros 1 Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 3 8:43 PM
- Ben Zobrist sacrifice fly out to center scored Desmond Jennings with one out. Runner on first and Evan Longoria due up.
Rays 1, Astros 0 Top 1, 1 OutJul 3 8:18 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 3 8:12 PM
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