After missing two games due to fouling a ball off his foot, Steven Souza Jr. returned to the lineup, homered and drove in three as the Tampa Bay Rays finish their eight-game road trip by winning their third straight game, a 5-3 decision over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The Rays went into the seventh inning trailing 3-2 with Francisco Liriano making his Astros debut. The lefty retired Adeiny Hechaverria to start the inning, but gave up a base hit to Corey Dickerson and a walk to Lucas Duda before giving way to Chris Devinski. Evan Longoria then reached on a fielding error by Alex Bregman which allowed Dickerson to score the tying run. Logan Morrison struck out for the second out of the inning, but Souza picked him up with a two-run double into the left-field corner that broke the tie.
Tampa Bay would only get four innings of work from starter Blake Snell, who allowed a run in the first on back-to-back doubles by Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel, one in the third on a solo homer by Jose Altuve, and a third in the fifth inning on a base hit by Bregman, but Brad Boxberger would take over in the fifth, induce a popout and a double play grounder to keep the deficit at 3-1.
Boxberger (3-3) struck out the side in the sixth after Souza hit a solo homer in the top of the inning off Collin McHugh to cut the deficit back to 3-2. Sergio Romo kept Houston off the board in the seventh and Tommy Hunter worked a perfect eighth inning leading to a 1-2-3 ninth from Alex Colome to earn his league-leading 33rd save and third in as many nights.
The win gets Tampa Bay back to four games over .500 and allows them to finish their eight-game road trip 4-4 after dropping the first three games in New York.
The Rays now begin a nine-game homestand Friday with the first of three games against the Milwaukee Brewers. Jake Faria (5-1, 2.93 ERA) will get the start, taking on Brandon Woodruff (making his MLB debut). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.