The Rays were finally able to put together a pretty good all around performance in a 5-0 victory Thursday night against the Houston Astros. Chris Archer was phenomenal on the mound tonight hurling 6.2 scoreless innings allowing just 3 hits while striking out 8 and just walking 2. The offense started out poorly but was able to breakthrough.
In the bottom of the first the Rays offense had another great opportunity to score with runners on first and third with nobody out. Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria both struck out and then James Loney weakly grounded out to the pitcher to waste another opportunity. It seemed like it was going to be another one of those nights for the Rays.
Astros’ starter Collin McHugh pitched in and out of trouble until the Rays finally broke through in the bottom of the 4th. Brandon Guyer hit a hard ground ball to second that looked like a potential double play ball but Astros’ shortstop Jonathan Villar couldn’t handle the throw. Yunel Escobar then came through with a single to score Loney, and Ryan Hanigan followed up with a sac bunt to score Guyer to put the Rays up 2-0. The Rays tacked on more runs in the bottom of the 7th when Kiermaier hit a 2-run homer and Longoria followed up with another home run to go back to back which put the Rays up 5-0. Joel Peralta threw a scoreless 8th inning and Grant Balfour struck out the side in the 9th to seal the win. Overall it was a great win for the Rays, as they received solid contributions from both the pitching staff and the offense. Let’s just hope they can use this game as a way to gain some momentum.