|Houston (35-41) «||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||3||6||0|
|Tampa Bay (44-31)||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||6||1|
"That's the kind of result we're looking for," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said.
Backe (5-8) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits with five strikeouts and four walks. Wesley Wright replaced Backe with two on and two out in the seventh and struck out Carl Crawford to end the inning.
"It's nice to have a win under my belt. I know it's been a long time," said Backe, who won for the first time since May 23.
Hunter Pence also homered for the Astros, who took two of three from the surprising Rays after losing seven consecutive series. The Astros, who are 5-18 in their last 23 games, started the series mired in an eight-game losing streak.
"We got good hits at the right time," Lee said. "To take two of three from this team that's been so good at home, it's unbelievable."
The Rays got a two-run homer from Evan Longoria, but came up short in their bid to win 10 straight series at home. Tampa Bay, 30-13 at home, was coming off a three-game sweep of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.
"We had opportunities," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "You're not going to get it done all the time. I'm satisfied with the preparation and intent."
All three games in the series were decided by one run.
Kazmir (6-3) gave up three runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck seven and walked two during a 106-pitch outing. The left-hander had allowed just two runs over 30 2/3 innings in five previous home starts this season.
Longoria put the Rays ahead 2-0 with his drive in the second. The rookie third baseman has 12 homers in 65 games since being called up from Triple-A Durham on April 12.
Pence then made it 2-1 when he opened the fifth with a solo homer. The shot ended Kazmir's season-long streak of not allowing a homer at home at 34 2/3 innings.
"They're a good hitting team," Navarro said. "They can hit the ball out of the ballpark and that's what they did today."
Houston second baseman Kazuo Matsui left in the sixth with a strained right hamstring. He was hurt after hitting a grounder to short.
"I just had a little pain (after running to first)," Matsui said through a translator. "It's felt tight lately. I'll have to wait and see how it feels tomorrow."
|Ty Wigginton greets Hunter Pence after Pence's solo shot helps the 'Stros take two of three. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Michael Bourn, CF||5||0||0||0||0||3||3||.232|
|Kazuo Matsui, 2B||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.271|
|Mark Loretta, 2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.264|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||2||1||0||0||2||0||2||.294|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.354|
|Carlos Lee, DH||4||1||1||2||0||0||3||.276|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||1||1||1||0||2||0||.273|
|Ty Wigginton, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.262|
|Reggie Abercrombie, LF||3||0||0||0||0||3||1||.222|
|a- Geoff Blum, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.232|
|Darin Erstad, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Humberto Quintero, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.217|
|a-struck out for Abercrombie in the 9th|
|2B - Kazuo Matsui (13, Kazmir)|
|HR - Carlos Lee (17, Kazmir), Hunter Pence (10, Kazmir)|
|RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (58), Hunter Pence (37)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (26)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1|
|DP - Matsui-Tejada-Berkman, Tejada-Loretta-Berkman|
|Brandon Backe (W,5-8)||6.2||6||2||2||4||5||1||4.82|
|Wesley Wright (H,5)||0.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||4.97|
|Chris Sampson (H,2)||0.2||0||0||0||1||0||0||5.46|
|Doug Brocail (H,14)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.35|
|Jose Valverde (S,18)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.00|
|HBP - Bartlett (by Brandon Backe)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 85-48, Wesley Wright 12-6, Chris Sampson 4-1, Doug Brocail 2-2, Jose Valverde 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 4-8, Chris Sampson 1-0, Jose Valverde 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 28, Wesley Wright 2, Chris Sampson 2, Doug Brocail 1, Jose Valverde 3|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Akinori Iwamura, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Carl Crawford, LF||3||0||1||0||1||1||2||.279|
|Willy Aybar, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.256|
|Eric Hinske, RF||2||1||0||0||1||1||4||.258|
|a- Justin Ruggiano, PH-CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.290|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||3||1||1||2||1||1||0||.249|
|Cliff Floyd, DH||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.257|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.323|
|Gabe Gross, CF-RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.234|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.246|
|b- B.J. Upton, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.287|
|a-grounded into a double play for Hinske in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Bartlett in the 9th|
|2B - Dioner Navarro (12, Backe)|
|HR - Evan Longoria (12, Backe)|
|RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (37)|
|SB - Akinori Iwamura (5, 2nd base off Wright/Quintero), Jason Bartlett (16, 3rd base off Wright/Quintero)|
|CS - Carl Crawford (6, 3rd base by Backe/Quintero)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Scott Kazmir (1, Throwing)|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Scott Kazmir (L,6-3)||5.2||4||3||3||2||7||2||2.03|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 106-73, Grant Balfour 40-26, Dan Wheeler 25-16, Trever Miller 2-2|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 3-7, Grant Balfour 1-1, Dan Wheeler 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 23, Grant Balfour 8, Dan Wheeler 5, Trever Miller 1|
|Attendance - 19778|
|Game Time - 3:14|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Andy Fletcher|