Tampa Bay at Houston

Tampa Bay
W: A. Cobb (2-4) L: C. McHugh (4-4)
HR: TB - None   HOU - J. Singleton (4)

Rays 6, Astros 1

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon peered at the box score through his thick, black-framed eyeglasses after Friday night's game against the Houston Astros and kept repeating one word.

"Wow," Maddon said three times as he read off his pitcher's strikeout totals. "I didn't realize we had that many."

Alex Cobb had 11 of the Rays' season high-tying 16 strikeouts, helping Tampa Bay to its first road win in almost a month, 6-1 over the Astros.

Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria drove in two runs apiece to break a 10-game road skid dating to May 16. It's just the third win in the last 17 games overall for the Rays, who have the worst record in the majors at 26-42.

"This was more like we're supposed to play, like we can play," Maddon said. "Got the hits, a couple hits when we needed it."

The six runs they scored on Friday night matched the total number of runs they'd managed in their previous six games combined.

Cobb (2-4) rebounded from his worst start of the year to allow three hits and one run with a season best in strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up 10 hits and seven runs in a season-low 4 1/3 innings in his last outing.

"You go borderline crazy after bad starts," Cobb said. "You start running your mechanics through your mind thousands of times and it keeps you up at night sometimes. It feels good to come out and see that your adjustments paid off."

Joyce put the Rays up with his two-run double in the second and Zobrist, who finished with three hits, extended the lead to 4-1 with a triple that drove in two in the fifth inning. Longoria padded the lead with his bases-loaded, two-run single in the ninth.

Houston rookie Jon Singleton continued his hot start, hitting his fourth homer in his 11th career game. He also homered on Thursday night. But the rest of the Astros couldn't get anything going as the team managed just three other hits and set a season high for strikeouts.

Houston manager Bo Porter believes that some of his team's struggles on Friday night could be attributed to second baseman Jose Altuve sitting out. Altuve missed the game after being hit in the hand by a pitch on Thursday night and is day to day.

"Any time you don't have Jose in your lineup, it's going to hurt you from the standpoint of he's arguably our best player and leads Major League Baseball in hits for a reason," Porter said. "His presence will be missed any time he's not in the lineup."

Collin McHugh (4-4) allowed five hits and four runs in five innings for the loss.

James Loney reached on an error by shortstop Jonathan Villar to start the second inning before a double by Zobrist. Joyce's double made it 2-0.

Houston's Chris Carter singled with two outs in the second inning for his first hit that wasn't a homer since June 3. He had hit five straight homers in that span. Robbie Grossman walked after that but Cobb struck out Marwin Gonzalez to end the threat.

Singleton sent Cobb's first pitch of the fourth inning opposite field into the Crawford Boxes in left field to cut the lead to 2-1.

Cobb walked Matt Dominguez with one out in that inning before he got rolling, retiring the next eight, including striking out the side in the sixth inning. He also struck out the first three batters of the game.

The Astros didn't get another hit until Dominguez singled to start the seventh. Carter followed by knocking a ball about 425 feet to straightaway center field, but Jennings raced up the hill to grab it.

Brad Boxberger replaced Cobb and struck out two batters in 2/3 innings and Joel Peralta fanned the side in the eighth.

Jennings doubled with no outs in the fifth before Loney drew a two-out walk. Zobrist made it 4-1 with his triple to center field which snapped an 0 for 26 streak with runners in scoring position.


Houston recalled RHP Josh Zeid from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned LHP Rudy Owens to the minor-league team before the game. ... Tampa Bay RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) made his second rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Durham. He allowed six hits and four runs in 2 1/3 innings. Maddon said he isn't as concerned about the results as he is how he's feeling. He could rejoin the rotation at the end of the month. ... The series continues on Saturday when Tampa Bay's Chris Archer opposes Jarred Cosart.

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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
Tampa Bay

A. Cobb
IP 6.1
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 11

Related Video

Tampa Bay Rays
Desmond Jennings, CF5220011 .243
Kevin Kiermaier, RF5020021 .352
Evan Longoria, 3B5012022 .261
James Loney, 1B4200112 .282
Ben Zobrist, 2B4132000 .256
David DeJesus, DH2000113 .260
   a-Jerry Sands, PH-DH1000001 .111
Matt Joyce, LF2012210 .265
Yunel Escobar, SS4000001 .247
Ryan Hanigan, C4120003 .217
Alex Cobb, P0000000 .000
   Brad Boxberger, P0000000 .000
   Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
   Kirby Yates, P0000000 .000
   Jake McGee, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for DeJesus in the 8th
2B - Desmond Jennings (15, McHugh), Ben Zobrist (11, McHugh), Matt Joyce (12, McHugh)
3B - Kevin Kiermaier (2, McHugh), Ben Zobrist (1, McHugh)
RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (29), Ben Zobrist 2 (15), Matt Joyce 2 (26)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (6)
Team LOB - 7
Tampa Bay Rays
Alex Cobb (W,2-4) 6.13112111 3.99
Brad Boxberger (H,2) 0.2000120 2.42
Joel Peralta (H,8) 1000030 3.94
Kirby Yates 0.2100100 0.00
Jake McGee 0.1000000 1.52
WP - Kirby Yates (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 97-60, Brad Boxberger 15-7, Joel Peralta 16-11, Kirby Yates 23-13, Jake McGee 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 6-2, Jake McGee 1-0
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 24, Brad Boxberger 3, Joel Peralta 3, Kirby Yates 4, Jake McGee 1
Houston Astros
Dexter Fowler, CF4000020 .282
George Springer, RF4000040 .254
Jon Singleton, 1B4111030 .250
Jason Castro, C4010010 .225
Matt Dominguez, 3B3010111 .242
Chris Carter, DH4010013 .200
Robbie Grossman, LF2000212 .184
Marwin Gonzalez, 2B3000114 .259
Jonathan Villar, SS3000022 .197
Collin McHugh, P0000000 .000
   Josh Zeid, P0000000 .000
   Darin Downs, P0000000 .000
   Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
2B - Jason Castro (10, Yates)
HR - Jon Singleton (4, Cobb)
RBI - Jon Singleton (10)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Zeid-Singleton, Zeid-Singleton-Villar-M. Gonzalez-Singleton, Zeid-Singleton-Villar-M. Gonzalez-Singleton-Farnsworth-Villar-Singleton
E - Jonathan Villar (9, Dropped fly)
Houston Astros
Collin McHugh (L,4-4) 5543360 3.03
Josh Zeid 2100110 3.00
Darin Downs 1100010 1.15
Kyle Farnsworth 1422000 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Collin McHugh 100-61, Josh Zeid 18-9, Darin Downs 13-9, Kyle Farnsworth 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Collin McHugh 4-6, Josh Zeid 1-3, Darin Downs 1-0, Kyle Farnsworth 2-0
Batters Faced - Collin McHugh 24, Josh Zeid 7, Darin Downs 3, Kyle Farnsworth 6
Game Information
Attendance - 26829
Game Time - 3:30
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Marcus Pattillo, Third Base - Mark Carlson