Rays Beat Astros, But Lose Font

 

ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of a pair of Houston errors to put up three runs in the fourth inning and made them hold up, giving Wilmer Font his second win in as many starts, taking the second game of this four game series from the Astros 3-2 Friday at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay ended up jumping on Gerrit Cole in the fourth thanks to a pair of fielding miscues.  Danierl Robertson started by reaching on an infield single.  Joey Wendle singled him to third, and Adeiny Hechavarria lifted a deep fly ball to center that Marisnick tracked but had pop out of his glove as he hit the wall for an error, allowing Robertson to score and the shortstop to reach.  Mallex Smith sacrificed both runners up a base, and after Willy Adames struck out for the second out of the inning, Kevin Kiermaier grounded a ball to Marwin Gonzalez at short, but his throw could not be handed by A.J. Reed at first base and both runners came home to make it 3-0.

 

Font left the contest leading 3-0 in the sixth after allowing a leadoff walk to ninth-place hitter Jake Marisnick and falling behind by a 3-1 count to Alex Bregman when manager Kevin Cash and the training staff came out to check on the right-hander.  

 

Diego Castillo was immediately summoned to take over, and after pushing the count full, left a pitch in the zone and Bregman sent it into the seats in left-center to draw Houston back to within a single run.

Font was diagnosed with a right lat strain and according to Cash will likely miss "a significant amount of time."

But Castillo settled down after the homer, getting Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick and Evan Gattis to escape with the one-run lead, and following it up with a perfect seventh.

Chaz Roe worked a perfect eighth and Sergio Romo got the first two outs of the ninth before allowing a single to Gattis to end the stretch of eleven straight Astros hitters retired.  Cash brought in Jose Alvarado to turn Gonzalez around right-handed, and it took just one pitch to get him to ground into a fielder's choice to record his second big-league save

SATURDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (40-41) vs. Houston Astros (55-29), 4:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 3:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars

Rays starter - RHP Ryne Stanek (1-1, 1.85 ERA)

Astros starter - RHP Justin Verlander (9-3, 1.82 ERA)

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Sunday - Rays vs. Houston Astros, 1:10 p.m. first pitch

Monday - Rays at Miami Marlins, 7:10 p.m. first pitch

Tuesday - Rays at Miami Marlins, 7:10 p.m. first pitch

Wednesday - Rays at Miami Marlins, 1:10 p.m. first pitch

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