Morton wins Rays debut, beats former Astros teammates 4-2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) No one has tell the Houston Astros how good Charlie Morton can be.

The 35-year-old right-hander was solid in his debut for the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, pitching five innings and striking out eight against his former team in a 4-2 victory.

''It was an awesome experience,'' Morton said, noting it was every bit as ''weird'' as he envisioned facing the club he helped win a World Series two seasons ago.

''It was the fact I was out there against my former team. I was a little emotional, and it was the first start of the season,'' he added. ''To get it out of the way and come out with a great team win, it was a big deal.''

Morton (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits in his first outing since signing a $30 million, two-year contract as a free agent. In 2017, he won Game 7 of the World Series and Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Yandy Diaz lined an impressive solo homer off Astros starter Gerrit Cole (0-1), who also yielded three unearned runs in the third, when shortstop Aledmys Diaz's throwing error paved the way for Tampa Bay. Diaz has two errors in two games filling in for injured regular Carlos Correa.

Tommy Pham's RBI single trimmed Houston's lead to 2-1, and Ji-Man Choi followed with a two-run single to put the Rays ahead 3-2.

Morton, who gave up a two-run double to Michael Brantley in the third, walked three and also hit a batter during an 85-pitch outing.

''The same stuff we've seen for a couple years,'' Astros manager AJ Hinch. ''He had a really good breaking ball, a pretty good fastball. Mixed in some splits late, swing and miss breaking balls. He's tough.''

Cole was impressed, too.

''He was sharp. He looks good. About right where we expected him to be,'' the Houston pitcher said. ''Worth every dollar of that 30-million contract.''

Four relievers combined to pitch four scoreless innings for the Rays, with Jose Alvarado striking out Tony Kemp with two runners on in the ninth for his first save.

It's not the first time Morton faced a former team in his first outing with a new one. He also did it in 2009 after being traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The right-hander went 29-10 with a 3.36 ERA in 55 starts for Houston over the past two seasons. He was a first-time All-Star a year ago, when he won 15 games and posted a career-best 3.13 ERA.

Cole allowed five hits and four runs - one earned - while striking out 10 over six innings.

According to StatCast, the 420-foot, sixth-inning homer he yielded to Yandy Diaz on a 2-0 count left the bat at 112 mph. The low liner to straightaway center field rose just enough to hit the top of the wall and skipped over.

''I challenged Diaz with a fastball and lost that one,'' Cole said. ''It was out of a cannon, man.''

BREGMAN'S STREAK

When Houston's Alex Bregman went 0 for 4 in Thursday's season opener, it ended his 56-game road on-base streak. It was a franchise best and the longest of any player since Derek Jeter's 59-game run in 2006-07. Bregman also had a 17-game hitting streak against the Rays stopped. The third baseman was 0 for 4 again Friday.

THAT HURTS

Plate umpire Dan Iassogna recovered quickly to a call a strike after getting hit by a pitch on the knee in the third inning. Iassogna briefly went down when Rays catcher Mike Zunino was crossed up and failed to catch a pitch from Morton to Jose Altuve. After taking a moment to collect himself, Iassogna got back to work and called the pitch a strike.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: Correa missed his second straight game with neck stiffness and is not expected to play Saturday, either. ''I think we're getting to the point where he's going to have to do a full workout before he's ready to play,'' Hinch said. ''Hopefully that's tomorrow, which makes Sunday more likely. I will wait a day too long rather than a day too short.''

Rays: Alvarado rolled an ankle while running but was able to walk back to the clubhouse after sitting on the warning track in right field for several minutes.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (6-2, 1.99 ERA in 2018) will start the third game of the four-game series Saturday night. He's 1-4 with a 2.12 in seven career appearances against Tampa Bay, including five starts.

Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-7, 4.27 ERA last season) faces Houston for the first time in his career. He made 11 starts for the Rays after being acquired from Pittsburgh last July, allowing one run or fewer in five of those outings.

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123456789RHE
HOU1-1
002000000262
TB1-1
00300100X460
  • W: C. Morton (1-0)L: G. Cole (0-1)S: J. Alvarado (1)
  • HR: TB - Y. Diaz (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF30100121.250.333.625.9581.0
J. Altuve 2B31000102.286.375.8571.2322.0
A. Bregman 3B40000013.000.000.000.000-0.5
M. Brantley LF40220001.500.5001.0001.5005.0
Y. Gurriel 1B30100110.429.500.5711.0711.5
J. Reddick RF40100002.250.250.250.5001.0
A. Diaz SS30000022.000.000.000.000-1.0
a- T. White PH10100000.400.400.400.8001.0
M. Stassi C30000022.000.000.000.000-1.0
b- R. Chirinos PH00000100.333.600.6671.2671.0
T. Kemp DH31000022.000.250.000.2503.0
  • a-singled for Diaz in the 9th
  • b-walked for Stassi in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
A. Meadows DH40000022.125.125.500.625-1.0
T. Pham LF31110110.429.500.429.9295.5
J. Choi 1B40120012.125.125.125.2502.5
Y. Diaz 3B41211011.429.5001.0001.5006.5
J. Wendle 2B00000000.000.500.000.5000.0
A. Garcia RF40100012.250.250.250.5000.5
D. Robertson 2B-3B30000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
K. Kiermaier CF31100020.167.167.167.3331.0
W. Adames SS30000021.000.000.000.000-1.0
M. Zunino C31000021.000.000.000.0000.0
    BATTING
    • 2B - M. Brantley
    • RBI - M. Brantley 2 (3)
    • 2-Out RBI - M. Brantley 2 (2)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Altuve, M. Brantley, M. Stassi 2 (2), T. Kemp 2 (2)
    BATTING
    • HR - Y. Diaz
    • RBI - T. Pham, J. Choi 2 (2), Y. Diaz
    • 2-Out RBI - T. Pham, J. Choi 2 (2)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Choi, A. Garcia 3 (3)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - T. Kemp
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - T. Pham
    FIELDING
    • E - A. Diaz (2), Y. Gurriel
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - A. Garcia
    • DP - (Robertson-Adames-Choi)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    G. Cole (L, 0-1)6.054101011.500.8315.0
    H. Rondon1.00000200.000.004.0
    J. James1.01001100.002.001.5
    PITCHERSIP
    G. Cole (L, 0-1)6.0
    H. Rondon1.0
    J. James1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Morton (W, 1-0)5.03222803.601.0019.0
    D. Castillo (H, 1)2.02000100.001.004.5
    C. Roe (H, 1)0.20001000.001.50-1.0
    A. Kolarek (H, 1)0.10000000.000.000.0
    J. Alvarado (S, 1)1.01001100.002.008.5
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Morton (W, 1-0)5.0
    D. Castillo (H, 1)2.0
    C. Roe (H, 1)0.2
    A. Kolarek (H, 1)0.1
    J. Alvarado (S, 1)1.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. James
    • Pitches-Strikes - G. Cole 101-71, H. Rondon 11-9, J. James 21-13
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Cole 3-7
    • Batters Faced - G. Cole 25, H. Rondon 3, J. James 4
    PITCHING
    • HBP - C. Morton
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 85-54, D. Castillo 19-16, C. Roe 7-3, A. Kolarek 1-1, J. Alvarado 18-10
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 2-4, D. Castillo 4-0, C. Roe 1-1, A. Kolarek 1-0, J. Alvarado 2-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Morton 20, D. Castillo 7, C. Roe 3, A. Kolarek, J. Alvarado 5
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    HOU1-1
    002000000262
    TB1-1
    00300100X460
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF30100121.250.333.625.9581.0
    J. Altuve 2B31000102.286.375.8571.2322.0
    A. Bregman 3B40000013.000.000.000.000-0.5
    M. Brantley LF40220001.500.5001.0001.5005.0
    Y. Gurriel 1B30100110.429.500.5711.0711.5
    J. Reddick RF40100002.250.250.250.5001.0
    A. Diaz SS30000022.000.000.000.000-1.0
    a- T. White PH10100000.400.400.400.8001.0
    M. Stassi C30000022.000.000.000.000-1.0
    b- R. Chirinos PH00000100.333.600.6671.2671.0
    T. Kemp DH31000022.000.250.000.2503.0
    Total31262041015-----
    • a-singled for Diaz in the 9th
    • b-walked for Stassi in the 9th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Meadows DH40000022.125.125.500.625-1.0
    T. Pham LF31110110.429.500.429.9295.5
    J. Choi 1B40120012.125.125.125.2502.5
    Y. Diaz 3B41211011.429.5001.0001.5006.5
    J. Wendle 2B00000000.000.500.000.5000.0
    A. Garcia RF40100012.250.250.250.5000.5
    D. Robertson 2B-3B30000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    K. Kiermaier CF31100020.167.167.167.3331.0
    W. Adames SS30000021.000.000.000.000-1.0
    M. Zunino C31000021.000.000.000.0000.0
    Total3146411139-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Brantley
      • RBI - M. Brantley 2 (3)
      • 2-Out RBI - M. Brantley 2 (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Altuve, M. Brantley, M. Stassi 2 (2), T. Kemp 2 (2)
      BATTING
      • HR - Y. Diaz
      • RBI - T. Pham, J. Choi 2 (2), Y. Diaz
      • 2-Out RBI - T. Pham, J. Choi 2 (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Choi, A. Garcia 3 (3)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - T. Kemp
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - T. Pham
      FIELDING
      • E - A. Diaz (2), Y. Gurriel
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - A. Garcia
      • DP - (Robertson-Adames-Choi)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      G. Cole (L, 0-1)6.054101011.500.8315.0
      H. Rondon1.00000200.000.004.0
      J. James1.01001100.002.001.5
      Total8.06411131---
      PITCHERSIP
      G. Cole (L, 0-1)6.0
      H. Rondon1.0
      J. James1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Morton (W, 1-0)5.03222803.601.0019.0
      D. Castillo (H, 1)2.02000100.001.004.5
      C. Roe (H, 1)0.20001000.001.50-1.0
      A. Kolarek (H, 1)0.10000000.000.000.0
      J. Alvarado (S, 1)1.01001100.002.008.5
      Total9.06224100---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Morton (W, 1-0)5.0
      D. Castillo (H, 1)2.0
      C. Roe (H, 1)0.2
      A. Kolarek (H, 1)0.1
      J. Alvarado (S, 1)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. James
      • Pitches-Strikes - G. Cole 101-71, H. Rondon 11-9, J. James 21-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Cole 3-7
      • Batters Faced - G. Cole 25, H. Rondon 3, J. James 4
      PITCHING
      • HBP - C. Morton
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 85-54, D. Castillo 19-16, C. Roe 7-3, A. Kolarek 1-1, J. Alvarado 18-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 2-4, D. Castillo 4-0, C. Roe 1-1, A. Kolarek 1-0, J. Alvarado 2-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Morton 20, D. Castillo 7, C. Roe 3, A. Kolarek, J. Alvarado 5
      • 6TH INNING
        Diaz homered to center24
      • 3RD INNING
        Choi singled to center, Zunino and Pham scored23
        Pham singled to right, Kiermaier scored, Zunino to third21
        Brantley doubled to right, Kemp and Altuve scored, Brantley out at third20
      • 9TH INNING
        • Jose Alvarado relieved Adam Kolarek
        • Joey Wendle at second base
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gurriel grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Reddick grounded out to shortstop
        • Tyler White hit for Aledmys Diaz
        • T. White: Strike looking, Foul, White singled to right
        • Robinson Chirinos hit for Max Stassi
        • R. Chirinos: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Chirinos walked, White to second
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Kemp struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Chaz Roe relieved Diego Castillo
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Springer walked
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Altuve reached on fielder's choice to third, Springer out at second
        • A. Bregman: Bregman lined out to center
        • Adam Kolarek relieved Chaz Roe
        • M. Brantley: Brantley grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Josh James relieved Hector Rondon
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Pham walked
        • J. Choi: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Choi struck out swinging
        • Y. Diaz: Strike swinging, Ball, Pham to second on wild pitch, Diaz popped out to first
        • A. Garcia: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Garcia reached on an infield single to shortstop, Pham out at home
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • D. Castillo Pitching:
        • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Diaz struck out swinging
        • M. Stassi: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Stassi grounded out to third
        • T. Kemp: Kemp grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Hector Rondon relieved Gerrit Cole
        • W. Adames: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Adames struck out looking
        • M. Zunino: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Zunino struck out swinging
        • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Meadows flied out to left
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Diego Castillo relieved Charlie Morton
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman grounded out to second
        • M. Brantley: Ball, Foul, Brantley singled to center
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike swinging, Foul, Gurriel singled to center, Brantley to second
        • J. Reddick: Strike swinging, Reddick grounded out to shortstop, Gurriel out at second
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • Y. Diaz: Ball, Ball, Diaz homered to center
        • A. Garcia: Strike swinging, Garcia flied out to deep center
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Robertson flied out to right
        • K. Kiermaier: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Stassi: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Stassi struck out swinging
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Kemp struck out looking
        • G. Springer: Springer singled to right center
        • J. Altuve: Foul, Altuve fouled out to first
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • M. Zunino: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Zunino struck out swinging
        • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Meadows struck out looking
        • T. Pham: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Pham safe at first on 1st baseman Gurriel fielding error
        • J. Choi: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Choi grounded out to first
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Gurriel struck out swinging
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Reddick grounded out to first
        • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Diaz popped out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Robertson flied out to right
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
        • W. Adames: Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Adames struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • T. Kemp: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Kemp hit by pitch
        • G. Springer: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Kemp stole second, Ball, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Altuve walked
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Bregman struck out swinging
        • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Brantley doubled to right, Kemp and Altuve scored, Brantley out at third
        • Middle of the 3rd (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • K. Kiermaier: Kiermaier singled to shallow left
        • W. Adames: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Adames lined out to right
        • M. Zunino: Ball, Zunino safe at first on shortstop Diaz throwing error, Kiermaier to second
        • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Meadows flied out to deep center, Kiermaier to third
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Pham singled to right, Kiermaier scored, Zunino to third
        • J. Choi: Strike looking, Pham stole second, Foul, Foul, Choi singled to center, Zunino and Pham scored
        • Y. Diaz: Ball, Foul, Ball, Diaz singled to left, Choi to second
        • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Garcia fouled out to right
        • End of the 3rd (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Brantley flied out to left
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gurriel walked
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Reddick singled to left, Gurriel to second
        • A. Diaz: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Diaz struck out swinging
        • M. Stassi: Foul, Strike looking, Strike looking, Stassi struck out looking
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • Y. Diaz: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Diaz struck out swinging
        • A. Garcia: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Robertson struck out looking
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • J. Altuve: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Altuve flied out to deep center
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • A. Meadows: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Meadows struck out swinging
        • T. Pham: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Pham struck out looking
        • J. Choi: Strike swinging, Choi flied out to left
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)