Lance McCullers pitched seven strong innings, Jake Marisnick homered and the Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 Thursday night for their 11th straight victory away from home.
McCullers (9-3) gave up three hits while striking out seven. The Astros have won his last six starts and have won 18 of 21 overall. Their latest win matched the club record set last May 14-June 5 on the way to winning the franchise’s first World Series title.
The Rays threatened in the eighth after Chris Devenski replaced McCullers to start the inning. Willy Adames and Kevin Kiermaier opened with singles to put runners at the corners. Matt Duffy failed to get a squeeze bunt down and then, with Kiermaier running, hit a rocket right at shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, who turned it into an easy double play.
”You are going to line out sometimes, it’s part of the game,” Duffy said. ”Not executing (the bunt) is definitely what I’m most frustrated with.”
Jake Bauers then grounded out to end the inning with Devenski getting his 12th straight scoreless appearance.
”We were very fortunate to just get in that situation, and then Devo makes some pitches and gets out of the tnning,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.
Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities, ending Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak.
Marisnick’s homer in the fifth came off Ryan Yarbrough (7-4) and was his seventh of the season. It ended the Rays’ streak of 26 scoreless innings, the second-longest in franchise history.
It was the second homer and second multi-hit game in the last three days for Marisnick, who batted ninth for Houston.
”I’m just kind of relaxing and settling in, having a better idea of what I’m trying to do with each individual pitcher,” he said.
Tampa Bay ”bullpen day” starter Ryne Stanek walked two and struck out three in 1 2/3 hitless innings before Yarbrough took over. The rookie left-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits while striking out four.
The Rays, who beat Washington 1-0 on Tuesday, became the first American League team team to play consecutive 1-0 games in the same season since the Los Angeles Angels did it on June 28-29, 2008.
Rays reliever Jose Alvarado had a mini Gold Glove Award in his locker, a gift from a stadium security guard after the left-hander played one batter at first base in-between stints on the mound during the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Washington. ”It was a little bit crazy,” Alvarado said through a translator. ”I’m just happy the team won.”
Astros: SS Carlos Correa missed a third straight game with a stiff back and will be placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday. … INF Yuli Gurriel is on the paternity list but might return this weekend.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) had a three inning simulated game and should start a minor league rehab assignment next week. The opening-day starter could rejoin the rotation around the All-Star break.
RHP Gerrit Cole (9-1) will go for his eighth straight win for the Astros on Friday night against RHP Wilmer Font (1-1). Font pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees on Saturday, the longest outing of his career [url= http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-logan-paulsen-jersey]http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-logan-paulsen-jersey[/url] , and earned his first major league win.
DENVER — When he starts Wednesday against the New York Mets, Chad Bettis will try to build off his last game for the Colorado Rockies, one that included a deceptively bad pitching line that masked an abrupt turnaround.
On Friday at Texas, Bettis (5-1, 4.65) gave up five runs in the first inning, including two two-run homers on badly located breaking pitches. But Bettis went on to pitch 4 2/3 scoreless innings, a span in which he allowed two singles and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced with six strikeouts.
The Rockies erupted for six runs in the second and went on to win 9-5 and give Bettis his first victory after six straight no-decisions. He had not won since May 5 at Citi Field when he worked seven scoreless innings against the Mets.
“It didn’t surprise me what he did (against the Rangers) because he’s tenacious,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He doesn’t back down. He doesn’t quit. And I think he knew there was a long way to go. I think it naturally energized him when we got six runs in the top of the next inning.”
Before that uprising, Black said Bettis could have caved in and accepted that it wasn’t his night.
“The good ones don’t let that happen,” Black said. “He knew that there were four or five more innings for him to stay out there, especially in that American League game. That showed me a lot that he put up zeros for 4 2/3 (innings).”
Bettis, who is 1-0, 4.05 in three starts against the Mets, will be trying to finally win at Coors Field this year where he is 0-0, 7.76 in six starts. He will take the mound after the Rockies beat the Mets 10-8 Tuesday night to even the four-game series and break an eight-game losing streak at Coors Field. The win was just the fifth in 18 games for the Rockies, who are 12-20 at Coors Field, where they have typically dominated.
“Overall we haven’t pitched well here for whatever reason,” Black said. “We got to do that. We got to make pitches. It doesn’t matter where we play, we got to pitch well. And what’s happening here at home is the other team is making better pitches than us over the course of 150, 180 pitches.”
Bettis will be opposed by Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.49) [url= http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-brandon-parker-jersey]http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-brandon-parker-jersey[/url] , who will be making his Coors Field debut and is 1-1, 3.00 in three starts this season with one walk and 18 strikeouts in 15 innings. Lugo is 1-0, 3.55 in three games, including one start, against the Rockies.
The Mets’ three-game winning streak ended Tuesday as they lost for the 13th time in 17 games and fell to 14-30 since May 1.
The Mets put outfielder Jay Bruce on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday with right hip soreness after he missed a fourth start in five days and sent him back to New York for an MRI. Dominic Smith, a first baseman by trade, played left field Tuesday, and Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Smith, who began playing the outfield last month for Triple-A Las Vegas and entered Friday’s game in Arizona as the left fielder, would receive work at that position as the Mets go with four outfielders.
To replace Bruce, they recalled Tim Peterson, wanting an extra reliever with three games left in the series at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Peterson threw 19 pitches in two perfect innings Tuesday. The Mets will re-evaluate their roster before beginning a Friday series at home with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets outfield corps now includes Smith and Jose Bautista along with regulars Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. Callaway said Wilmer Flores, who has had outfield experience, would stay at first base, leaving Smith and Bautista as the primary options in left field.
“We won’t hesitate to put Dom out there like we did today,” Callaway said, “but Bautista, who has been having great at-bats and playing pretty well in the outfield for us will get some playing time as well.”