Tampa Bay at Houston

Tampa Bay (46-40) «0000013002790
Houston (31-55)0011003000550

Rays 7, Astros 5 (11)

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon has talked often about how Yunel Escobar deserves All-Star consideration for his stellar play at shortstop this season.

The defensive standout showed on Thursday that he also can be a force on offense.

Escobar tied a season high by driving in three runs, including a tiebreaking double in the 11th inning that sent the Rays to a 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros.

Escobar and Desmond Jennings each doubled twice and singled, helping Tampa Bay win for the fifth time in six games.

"I'm just going out there trying to play the game and have fun," he said. "This is the first time in my career that I really feel like I'm having fun and I can be myself. I'm enjoying playing the game."

Brett Wallace homered twice for the Astros.

Jose Lobaton walked to start the 11th and moved to second on a passed ball by Jason Castro. Escobar then doubled into the right-field corner off Josh Fields (0-1).

Escobar advanced on Desmond Jennings' fly ball to right and came home on a wild pitch by Wesley Wright.

Jamey Wright (2-1) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win and Fernando Rodney finished for his 18th save.

Wallace hit a three-run shot in the eighth inning, tying it at 5 with his second homer of the game. The Rays had just grabbed the lead with three runs in the top half, including a two-run double by Escobar.

"[It] was an emotional roller coaster," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "To give up the three and fall behind and then come back the next inning and have [Wallace] hit the big three-run homer, you really just want to build off that momentum and end it right there if you can."

Evan Longoria had a run-scoring groundout in the first for Tampa Bay, and Escobar came on home on Jordan Lyles' wild pitch in the seventh, tying it at 2.

Wallace hit a solo homer in the fourth, and Jake Elmore had a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the Astros.

Elmore sparked Houston's rally in the eighth with a leadoff walk. Jose Altuve then singled before Wallace drove a 1-2 pitch from Joel Peralta over the wall in right for his third homer since he rejoined the Astros from Triple-A last week.

Escobar had the big blow in the top half of the inning, a long two-run double that landed on Tal's Hill in straightaway center field. Brandon Barnes appeared to have a shot to bring it in, but tripped and fell running up the hill.

"How about Escobar? How far was that ball hit to center field?" Maddon said. "You don't see that play anywhere else in baseball, but their center fielder did a nice job. He went after that ball really, really well. I thought he had a chance and the hill got him."

Tampa Bay rookie starter Chris Archer yielded two hits and two runs in six innings.

"I felt like all things were clicking, the defense was making outstanding plays, we scored runs in a timely fashion and overall today's game was kind of like the definition of the Rays," he said. "We pitched pretty well, we scored runs when we needed to, and we played defense."

Lyles allowed six hits and walked three in 6 2-3 innings. It was a much better performance than his previous two starts, when he allowed 12 runs and 15 hits combined.

Longoria was Tampa Bay's designated hitter for the third straight game after missing the previous three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

James Loney had a single in the Tampa Bay fourth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 15 games. The other time he achieved the feat was in 2008.


Rays RF Wil Myers, a rookie who is considered one of best prospects in baseball, had a nifty diving catch to rob Castro of a hit in the first. ... Tampa Bay returns home on Friday to start a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox, with Jeremy Hellickson on the mound for the Rays against Dylan Axelrod. ... The Astros travel to Arlington to take on the Rangers on Friday. Houston's Lucas Harrell opposes Nick Tepesch. ... RHP Mark Appel, the first overall selection in the draft by Houston, is scheduled to make his professional debut on Friday for Single-A Tri City.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

B. Wallace
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2
Tampa Bay

Y. Escobar
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0

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Tampa Bay Rays
Desmond Jennings, CF6130012 .263
Matt Joyce, LF4010112 .244
    Sean Rodriguez, PH-LF1000001 .255
Ben Zobrist, 2B6000026 .260
Evan Longoria, DH3001100 .294
    Sam Fuld, PR-DH1100010 .198
James Loney, 1B4010101 .317
Wil Myers, RF5110023 .268
Kelly Johnson, 3B4000101 .235
Jose Lobaton, C3201200 .279
Yunel Escobar, SS5233001 .250
a-grounded out for Joyce in the 11th
2B - Desmond Jennings 2 (21, Lyles), Wil Myers (2, Cisnero), Yunel Escobar 2 (14, Cisnero)
RBI - Evan Longoria (48), Jose Lobaton (20), Yunel Escobar 3 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Yunel Escobar 2 (15)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Escobar-Zobrist-Loney, Escobar-Zobrist-Loney-Escobar-Zobrist-Loney
Tampa Bay Rays
Chris Archer 6222351 4.17
Alex Torres 1000100 0.38
Joel Peralta (BS,1) 0.1233211 3.58
Kyle Farnsworth 1.2000120 4.68
Jamey Wright (W,2-1) 1100020 2.88
Fernando Rodney (S,18) 1000110 4.29
HBP - Castro (by Jamey Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Archer 97-62, Alex Torres 18-9, Joel Peralta 21-11, Kyle Farnsworth 24-16, Jamey Wright 24-16, Fernando Rodney 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Archer 4-8, Alex Torres 2-1, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1, Jamey Wright 1-0, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Archer 22, Alex Torres 4, Joel Peralta 5, Kyle Farnsworth 5, Jamey Wright 5, Fernando Rodney 4
Houston Astros
Jose Altuve, 2B5110002 .285
Brett Wallace, 3B5234010 .173
Jason Castro, C3000120 .262
Chris Carter, 1B4000123 .227
Carlos Pena, DH2000010 .217
    J.D. Martinez, PH-DH3000013 .243
Marc Krauss, LF2000000 .071
    Ronny Cedeno, PH-SS2000110 .231
Brandon Barnes, CF3110211 .253
Jimmy Paredes, RF4000123 .181
Jake Elmore, SS-LF2101202 .212
a-flied out for Pena in the 7th
b-grounded out for Krauss in the 7th
HR - Brett Wallace 2 (3, Archer)
SF - Jake Elmore (1)
RBI - Brett Wallace 4 (9), Jake Elmore (2)
SB - Brandon Barnes 2 (9, 3rd base off Archer/Lobaton), Jimmy Paredes (3, 2nd base off Archer/Lobaton)
Team LOB - 7
PB - Jason Castro (7)
Houston Astros
Jordan Lyles 6.2622330 3.87
Travis Blackley 0.1000000 5.47
Jose Cisnero 1233210 2.95
Jose Veras 1.1000010 3.38
Josh Fields (L,0-1) 1122110 5.54
Wesley Wright 0.2000010 4.11
IBB - Johnson by Jose Cisnero
WP - Jordan Lyles (3), Wesley Wright (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Lyles 98-57, Travis Blackley 4-2, Jose Cisnero 21-10, Jose Veras 17-9, Josh Fields 24-12, Wesley Wright 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Lyles 8-9, Travis Blackley 1-0, Jose Cisnero 1-1, Jose Veras 2-1, Wesley Wright 1-0
Batters Faced - Jordan Lyles 29, Travis Blackley 1, Jose Cisnero 7, Jose Veras 4, Josh Fields 5, Wesley Wright 2
Game Information
Attendance - 20470
Game Time - 4:16
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Bob Davidson