Happy Independence Day! To celebrate the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Houston Astros by a final score of 7-5 and improve to 46-40. With the loss the Astros finish their 9-game home stand with a record of 2-7 and fall to 31-55.
Chris Archer started for Rays and went 6 innings allowing 2R/ER on 2 hits while striking out 5 and walking 3. After the game Archer told reporters that today was the first time since he’s been up he commanded all three pitches, “Everything was clicking.” The Rays spotted him a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Evan Longoria ground out scored Desmond Jennings from 3rd. Archer held the 1-0 lead until Brett Wallace tied the score with a solo home run in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Astros took the lead in the bottom of the 5th on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Elmore scored Brandon Barnes from 3rd base.
After relinquishing the lead in the bottom of the 5th inning Archer worked a 1-2-3 6th inning before departing. The Rays offense got him off the hook in the top of the 7th when Jordan Lyles uncorked a 2-out wild pitch to plate Yunel Escobar from third with the tying run.
After Alex Torres delivered a scoreless 7th inning the Rays offense took a commanding lead against the Astros bullpen. With runners at 2nd and 3rd Astros pitcher Jose Cisnero fell behind Kelly Johnson 3-0 and manager Bo Porter had him intentionally walk Johnson to load the bases for Jose Lobaton. Lobaton sent a ground ball to 2nd base but the ball wasn’t hit hard enough to turn a double play as Sam Fuld scored from 3rd and the Rays had a 3-2 lead. Yunel Escobar followed with a 2-RBI double to put the Rays up 5-2.
If Escobar seems to be having fun both in the field and with the bat it isn’t an illusion.
#Rays Escobar: “This is the first time in my career I really feel like I’m having fun and can be myself. And I’m enjoying playing the game.”
Joel Peralta came in to protect the 3-run lead but walked the leadoff man Jake Elmore and gave up a broken bat single to Jose Altuve to bring Brent Wallace to the plate. Wallace launched his second home run of the day and just like that the game was tied a 5-5.
#Rays Maddon on Peralta: “Joel is fantastic, He’s not good he’s fantastic. That’s just a bad moment for him. But we did bounce back”
— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) July 4, 2013
Peralta was only able to get one out on the day and was replaced by Kyle Farnsworth who delivered 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball.
Jose Lobaton drew a leadoff walk against Josh Fields and advanced to second on a passed ball. Yunel Escobar followed with a RBI double to right to give the Rays a 6-5 lead. Escobar would later advance to 3rd on a sacrifice fly and came in to score on a wild pitch by Wesley Wright.
Fernando Rodney came in and shut the Astros down in the bottom of the 11th inning picking up his 18th save on the year.