Matt Moore (10-3, 3.95) vs Dallas Keuchel (4-4, 4.34)
After an entirely forgettable weekend against the Angels, Houston welcomed the Rays to town for their only visit this season... and turned in an even more forgettable game. The Astros were 2-hit for the third time this season (4/2 v. TEX, 6/11 @ SEA), only this time their own pitching was much, much worse. Tampa Bay dropkicks Houston by a 12-0 score, sending the Astros to their fourth straight defeat and dropping them to 30-53 overall.
On the Mound:
*Dallas Keuchel was nothing if not inefficient, and ineffective too. He was at 67 pitches after three innings, topped 100 before escaping the 5th, and ended with his shortest start all season. His line: 4.2 IP / 8 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 5 BB / 4 K.
*Paul Clemens looked like he was doing better than Keuchel after ending the 5th and cruising through the 6th, but 4 runs (all earned) on 5 H in the 7th made his 2 IP end up even worse.
*Hector Ambriz, why the heck not? When you're already down 9-0, send him out there and let him give up 3 more runs (all earned) on 4 H and 2 BB in 1 IP.
*Wesley Wright is the hero tonight. He struck out three of the four batters he faced in 1.1 perfect IP.
At the Plate:
*Jake Elmore singled in the 3rd and went 1 for 4.
*Chris Carter singled in the 4th and went 1 for 3 with 2 K.
*Jose Altuve (0 for 2, K), Jason Castro (0 for 3, 2 K), and Matt Dominguez (0 for 2) each drew a walk.
*All of that came in the first 4 innings; Houston never got another baserunner after that.
Dallas Keuchel flirted with trouble from the start, loading the bases in the 1st and putting two on in the 2nd, but his luck ran out in the 3rd. Wil Myers led off the inning with a walk, then Ben Zobrist doubled him over to 3rd, giving Tampa Bay two in scoring position with no outs. A strikeout of Yunel Escobar and a sac fly by James Loney gave Keuchel the chance to escape with at least minimal damage, but Ryan Roberts took his next pitch deep for a two-run homer, putting the Rays up 3-0 and starting the onslaught thereafter.
Man of the Match:
Wesley Wright. Because he didn't suck, unlike every other Astros pitcher tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Everyone Else Besides Wesley Wright. Gah.