After a day when they traded away a former first pick overall, the Tampa Bay Rays started a four game series vs the American League’s best team with a 14-7 loss Monday Night in Houston to the Astros. The day started with the Rays trading away shortstop Tim Beckham for a minor league pitching prospect to Baltimore & ended with catcher Jesus Sucre pitching the eighth inning. That’s because Rays starter Alex Cobb, who came into the game with a 5-1 record & 2.224 ERA in his last nine starts couldn’t make it past the third inning. Cobb allowed 8 runs, all earned, 9 hits including two home runs, both in the third inning.
The Astros started the scoring vs the Rays in the bottom of second when they got an RBI double from shortstop Alex Bregman & a two run single by second baseman Jose Altuve. The Rays tried climbing their way back into the game when outfielder Corey Dickerson hit a two run home run in the top of the third to make it a 3-2 game. But in the bottom of the inning Cobb surrendered back to back home runs, the first one with two on to centerfielder Jake Marisnick then a solo shot right fielder Derek Fisher.
Cobb eventually got Altuve to end the third but only after the Astros scored five runs in the inning & took an 8-2 lead. Cobb didn’t come out for the fourth & was replaced by Chase Whitley, who in his first inning allowed two more runs. Then in the fifth, Whitley gave up the third home run of the night by the Astros & the second one to Marisnick, this one with no one on.
The Rays did get another home run off Corey Dickerson’s bat in the eighth inning along with RBI singles from Wilson Ramos & Mallex Smith plus Taylor Featherston was hit by pitch with the bases loaded to help cut the deficit to five. But with not wanting to burn out the bullpen, Rays Manager Kevin Cash used Sucre to take the mound in the bottom of the eighth & the Astros strung together three more runs vs the Rays catcher to make it a 14-6 game. In the ninth, Lucas Duda hit a solo home run, his third as a Ray, to finish the scoring for both teams.
The Rays try to bounce back from Monday’s loss on Tuesday but it won’t be easy as Austin Pruitt 5-2 6.63 ERA gets the start while Houston sends Dallas Kuechel 9-0 1.94 ERA to the mound. Coverage begins on 620 WDAE at 7pm with the Inside Pitch, hosted by Steve Carney.