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Houston at Tampa Bay

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Houston (34-40) «200020000490
Tampa Bay (43-30)100000011382

Oswalt shines in Astros' win over Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In his second crack at it, Roy Oswalt finally stopped the Astros' losing streak. And against a team that had just swept the best team in baseball, too.

Oswalt held Tampa Bay to two runs in nearly eight innings, Carlos Lee had a two-run double and the Houston Astros snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Rays on Friday night.

"Roy had it going tonight," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "If you have a losing streak, he'll be the guy to step up and stop it. He was basically in command after the first inning."

Oswalt (6-7) allowed seven hits in 7 2/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

"I didn't put too much pressure on myself," Oswalt said. "I just wanted to have a quality start. I threw some quality pitches and got some quick outs."

Oswalt was coming off an outing last Sunday in which he allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 13-0 loss to the New York Yankees.

"He pitched really well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He could have beaten a lot of teams tonight. He had very good command of his off-speed stuff. He was good, and that was the primary reason that we did not win tonight."

Lee put the Astros ahead 2-0 with a two-out, two-run double in the first. He has 38 RBI in his last 42 games.

The Rays came in having won three straight over the Chicago Cubs, a baseball-leading 46-28 after Friday's games.

The announced attendance at Tropicana Field was 14,741, less than half what the Rays averaged during their sweep of the Cubs. During that series, the team drew a total of 97,544 fans.

Eric Hinske drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, which lost for just the fifth time in its last 30 home games.

Doug Brocail replaced Oswalt with two on and two in the eighth, and got a first-pitch grounder from Cliff Floyd. Jose Valverde gave up a solo homer to Dioner Navarro in the ninth, but got the final three outs for his 17th save in 21 opportunities.

"It's the first time we ever faced him," Navarro said of Oswalt. "He pitched great. They got the key hits. We were ready today, but it didn't go our way."

Valverde's save was the first by an opponent at Tropicana Field since the one recorded by New York Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera on April 15.

Kazuo Matsui had an RBI double and Lance Berkman hit a sacrifice fly during a 12-pitch at-bat as Houston went up 4-1 in the fifth.

Hinske got the Rays within 2-1 on an RBI single in the bottom of the first. He made it 4-2 on an eighth-inning run-scoring single.

Tampa Bay right-hander Matt Garza (5-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two in losing for the first time in five decisions at home this season.

Notes

  • Houston broadcaster Milo Hamilton called the Astros' first game at Tropicana Field, the 56th different major league stadium at which he has called a game during his career.
  • Berkman (left shin) played first base for the first time since last Saturday. He was the DH in the previous three games at Baltimore.
  • Tampa Bay SS Jason Bartlett, who missed Thursday's game after hitting a ball off his left foot in batting practice, was back in the starting lineup.
  • Rays CF Rocco Baldelli (chronic muscle fatigue) played his third game this week as the DH for Class A Vero Beach. His rehab program will be re-evaluated this weekend.
  • The Astros are 4-0 against the Rays.
  • Houston hitting coach Sean Berry filled in for third base coach Ed Romero, who has a sore knee.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Roy Oswalt gives his all to halt the Astros' eight-game skid, allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings.  (AP)
Roy Oswalt gives his all to halt the Astros' eight-game skid, allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

R. Oswalt
IP 7.2
H 7
ER 2
BB 2
K 5
Tampa Bay

E. Hinske
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5120020 .241
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4111110 .271
Miguel Tejada, SS4120001 .297
Lance Berkman, 1B2101110 .364
Carlos Lee, DH4022021 .272
Hunter Pence, RF4020001 .278
Darin Erstad, LF2000202 .304
Ty Wigginton, 3B4000033 .266
Brad Ausmus, C4000010 .223
Totals33494410  
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn (5, Miller), Kazuo Matsui (12, Garza), Carlos Lee 2 (20, Garza, Glover)
SF - Lance Berkman (3)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (18), Lance Berkman (60), Carlos Lee 2 (55)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (23)
CS - Hunter Pence (6, 2nd base by Garza/Navarro)
Team LOB - 7
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (W,6-7) 7.2722250 4.84
Doug Brocail (H,13) 0.1000000 2.89
Jose Valverde (S,17) 1111011 4.11
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 110-80, Doug Brocail 1-1, Jose Valverde 14-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 8-10, Doug Brocail 1-0, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 32, Doug Brocail 1, Jose Valverde 4
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5110020 .270
Carl Crawford, LF4120021 .275
B.J. Upton, CF3010111 .292
Eric Hinske, RF4022001 .256
Evan Longoria, 3B3010101 .251
Cliff Floyd, DH4000015 .253
Willy Aybar, 1B4000001 .250
Dioner Navarro, C4111001 .324
Jason Bartlett, SS4000000 .250
Totals3538326  
Batting
HR - Dioner Navarro (4, Valverde)
RBI - Eric Hinske 2 (39), Dioner Navarro (28)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Hinske (11)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - B.J. Upton 1
DP - Bartlett-Iwamura-Aybar
E - Eric Hinske (2, Misplayed grounder), Evan Longoria (5, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza (L,5-4) 6743280 4.10
Trever Miller 0.1100000 4.19
Gary Glover 2.2100220 3.51
IBB - Erstad by Gary Glover
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 113-79, Trever Miller 7-5, Gary Glover 42-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 4-5, Trever Miller 1-0, Gary Glover 3-2
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 26, Trever Miller 2, Gary Glover 10
Game Information
Attendance - 14741
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Bob Davidson