Rays beat Houston 3-2, end Astros’ 11-game road win streak
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wilmer Font helped cool down the surging Houston Astros before leaving with an injury.
Font and four relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Houston 3-2 on Friday night to snap the Astros’ 11-game road winning streak, which tied a franchise record.
Font (2-3) allowed one run and one hit over five-plus innings before leaving the game with a strained right lat.
“We’ll know more (Saturday), but in all likelihood he’ll probably miss some significant time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s been throwing the ball so well for us and obviously did again tonight.”
Font, acquired from Oakland on May 25, was recently inserted into the rotation.
“I worked hard for this starting spot, and now this happens,” Font said.
Diego Castillo, Chaz Roe, Sergio Romo and Jose Alvarado held the Astros in check after Font’s exit. Alvarado got the final out for his second save.
The Rays improved their record to 8-6 during a stretch of 16 games against Houston, Washington and the New York Yankees.
Alex Bregman homered for the Astros, who lost for just fourth time in 22 games overall. Gerrit Cole (9-2) gave up three runs — one earned — and five hits in six innings to end his seven-game winning streak.
“It’s a tough-luck loss for him because he pitched better than to get a loss,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
Tampa Bay capitalized on a pair of Houston errors to get three runs in the fourth, snapping a 19-inning scoring drought.
Adeiny Hechavarria was credited with a sacrifice fly that center fielder Jake Marisnick dropped for an error. Two more runs scored with two outs when shortstop Marwin Gonzalez made an errant throw to first on Kevin Kiermaier’s grounder.
“We didn’t make the plays,” Hinch said. “Jake looked like he got back to the wall and either he had a little bit of weird timing and then he’s going to hit the wall and the ball came out. Never controlled it. And Marwin just hurried trying to get Kiermaier and made a low throw and got a little unlucky that (first baseman AJ) Reed deflects it a little far away. Kind of a weird way to score three runs.”
Bregman made it 3-2 in the sixth with his homer off Castillo, who replaced Font during the at-bat. Bregman has seven homers and 18 RBIs in his last 14 games.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list with back stiffness but could be back in a week. Hinch said Correa saw the team spine specialist and “everything checked out fine.” ... RHP Joe Smith (right elbow soreness) allowed three hits in a scoreless inning for Double-A Corpus Christi.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) will start Tuesday for Single-A Charlotte. It hasn’t been determined if he will need a second rehab outing.
Astros OF George Springer, mired in a 3-of-40 slide, was out of the lineup. “He’s pretty agitated about how things going for him,” Hinch said. “Kind of a reset. He’ll be fine.” Springer was a pinch-runner in the ninth.
Hinch did a TV interview from an overhanging catwalk at Tropicana Field. Next season he plans to go on the roof of the domed stadium.
Astros RHP Justin Verlander (9-3) starts Saturday. Verlander allowed a season-high four earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 6-3 loss to Toronto on Monday. Tampa Bay will counter with a bullpen day.