After scoring 20 runs over the first two games of the series, Tampa Bay’s offense fails to show up against Houston’s de facto ace Bud Norris losing 4-1.
The Rays take a trip west to visit the Houston Astros as Roberto Hernandez (4-9, 4.98 ERA) takes the ball for Tampa Bay facing off against Houston’s ace Bud Norris (5-7, 3.35 ERA).
Looking to continue the offense’s hot streak Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the first with a lead-off single, by Desmond Jennings, off the glove of the jumping shortstop Ronny Cedeno, followed by his 11th stolen base of the season. Matt Joyce then hit an infield single, breaking his 0-20 slump, effectively moving Jennings to 3rd. Ben Zobrist then hit a sac fly to score Jennings and give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. Houston managed to tie the game up in the bottom of the 2nd with a solo shot by first baseman Chris Carter.
The game was a well fought pitcher’s dual until Roberto Hernandez began to unravel in the 7th after giving up a lead-off double to Brett Wallace followed by a single to Jason Castro. With men on 1st & 3rd and no one out Roberto Hernandez was lifted for reliever Jake McGee after only 78 pitches. That move by Joe Maddon turned out to do in the Rays as the next batter, Chris Carter absolutely crushed a three run homer to left field. Hernandez actually pitched quite well, 3 earned runs in 6 innings of work while striking out 1 and walking no one, but was a victim of Jake McGee’s meatball left over the plate. Jamie Wright also pitched well in this game, throwing one inning with no strikeout and no walks, lowering his ERA to 2.95 on the season.