Chris Archer (3-3, 3.42) vs Jarred Cosart (5-5, 4.19)
An error resulting in five unearned runs was the killer blow in this afternoon's game. Astros fans have become accustomed to being on the wrong side of such plays in the last few years. They can, therefore, understand Rays' fans pain on this day - but also appreciate the benefit of being on the positive side of such a mistake, for a change. Astros win 7-3, moving back to six games under .500 at 32-38 overall.
On the Mound:
*Jarred Cosart's day got off to a rough start, allowing the first Rays run just three batters into the game. He settled in after that until the 5th, and was one out away from escaping further damage, but there is little shame in allowing a 2-run home run to Evan Longoria - which he did. But all in all, 7 strong innings from Cosart were just what Houston needed to help them bounce back from last night's uninspiring loss. Jarred's final line: 7 IP / 9 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 2 K.
*Since two shaky outings to start the month of June, Tony Sipp has bounced back strong, adding his fourth straight scoreless outing today with 1 H and 1 K in 0.2 scoreless IP.
*Josh Fields got the final out of the 8th after Sipp was lifted following Sean Rodriguez's pinch-hit single. But Fields was lifted for the 9th due to a right forearm strain, so...
*...Josh Zeid got the emergency call for the 9th, and shut the door in 1-2-3 fashion.
At the Plate:
*Do not underestimate the power of a Bo Porter hug. Matt Dominguez went 1x3 post-hug last night, then this afternoon bounced back even stronger, only missing a grand slam by mere inches in the 3rd. But a bases-clearing double was a nice consolation gift anyway, and Matty D finished 2x4 with 3 RBI.
*Marwin Gonzalez made his second straight start at 2B in place of the fallen Jose Altuve, and he hit like Altuve this afternoon, going 3x4 with a double and 2 runs scored.
*Dexter Fowler only reached base once today, but he made the most of it with a 2-RBI double, finishing 1x5 with a R and 2 K.
*Jonathan Villar went 1x4 with 2 K, tallying Houston's only other hit.
*George Springer (0x3, K, HBP), Jonathan Singleton (0x2, 2 BB, K), and Alex Presley (0x3, BB) each scored a run apiece, though hitless.
*Jason Castro, though also hitless, also scored a run, and earned a RBI on a bases-loaded walk. He finished 0x2 with 2 BB.
The aforementioned fiasco of Chris Archer's 3rd inning. Archer began the frame by getting Alex Presley to ground out to first, after which Marwin Gonzalez doubled. A wild pitch let Marwin move up to third, but Archer got Jonathan Villar to line out to second for the second out. Then Dexter Fowler came to the plate, and the fun really started. On a 3-2 fastball, Fowler grounded to James Loney at first, and Loney flipped to Archer covering the base on a play that should have ended the inning. But Archer missed the catch, then fell down, so Fowler was safe and Gonzalez scored, tying the score at 1. Archer seemed to come unglued after that, hitting George Springer with a pitch, then walking Jon Singleton and Jason Castro back-to-back to force in another run. Empowered by the love of his coaches, Matt Dominguez strode to the plate and put a mighty swing on Archer's 0-1 slider, which he crushed to the arches out in left center. The initial call on the broadcast said it was a grand slam, but upon replay review, it was clear that the ball hit off the wall literally inches below the yellow line. So Dominguez had to settle for a 3-run double, but that still put Houston in the driver's seat with a 5-1 lead.
Man of the Match:
Matt Dominguez. We still love you too. ♥
Goat of the Game:
Chris Carter. The only Astro to provide no offense today, going 0x4 with a K and 4 LOBsters as the DH.