Roberto Hernandez (4-9, 4.98) vs Bud Norris (5-7, 3.35)
CHRIS CARTER HAS NO RESPECT FOR YOUR 20-0 SHUTOUTS. CHRIS CARTER WILL DESTROY YOU. On the strength of two Carter moonshots, the Astros beat the Rays 4-1, snapping the losing streak at 5 and stepping up to 31-54.
On the Mound:
*For a team that just got their butts handed to them the last two nights, Bud Norris was just was what the doctor ordered on the mound tonight. BudChuck turned in the kind of performance he's becoming more and more known for, with a 7 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 3 BB / 5 K line.
*Jose Cisnero dealt a fine 8th, erasing a leadoff single with a double play, then fanning Evan Longoria for the third out.
*Jose Veras capitalized on his first save chance in a week, allowing only a two-out single while recording save #17.
At the Plate:
*CHRIS CARTER SMASH. cHRis got the Astros on the board for the first time this series with a solo HR in the 2nd, then repeated the feat with two on in the 7th, for his second career two-homer game (4/9 @ SEA). The homers were Carter's 16th and 17th of the season, and he finished 2 for 3 with all 4 Astros RBI.
*Brett Wallace doubled ahead of Carter's second bomb, but left for pinch-runner Jake Elmore, finishing 1 for 3.
*Jason Castro also singled ahead of Carter in the 7th, finishing 1 for 4 with a run scored.
*J.D. Martinez doubled later in the 7th but didn't score, finishing 1 for 3 with a K.
*Jose Altuve singled in the 3rd, but was caught stealing thereafter, finishing 1 for 3.
*Ronny Cedeno also singled and went 1 for 3.
Until the 7th, this looked like another game the Astros had no business winning, as they only had two hits to that point, and Roberto Hernandez had only thrown 65 pitches. But Brett Wallace started with a solid at bat, working a full count before doubling to left. Jake Elmore came in to run for him, and Jason Castro followed with a single (on full count #2), advancing Elmore to third. That ended Hernandez's night, bringing on Jake McGee to face Chris Carter. cHRis worked another full count, then launched an absolutely majestic 3-run HR through the Community Eyesore billboards in left. That turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 Astros advantage, and the bullpen shut the door thereafter.
Man of the Match:
cHRis Carter! This kid is pretty okay, no?
Goat of the Game:
Great pitching from all arms, no errors on defense, great at-bats in the 7th, and only three team strikeouts overall - no goat tonight.