Wilson Ramos produced an RBI single in the eighth inning, and the visiting Tampa Bay Rays snapped the Houston Astros’ 12-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.
Ramos, who leads all American League catchers in voting for the All-Star Game, lined a pitch from Astros right-hander Hector Rondon that just cleared the glove of leaping third baseman Yuli Gurriel and scored Matt Duffy, who opened the frame with a double to right field.
Rondon (1-2) had worked 13 consecutive scoreless appearances, and he stranded Adeiny Hechavarria at second base after entering in relief of Justin Verlander with two outs in the seventh. Duffy and Ramos both went 2-for-4 while Joey Wendle also posted a multi-hit game.
Verlander and Rays left-hander Blake Snell (9-4) engaged in a tense duel, with Verlander recording 10 strikeouts while allowing one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. Designated hitter C.J. Cron blasted a solo homer off Verlander with one out in the second inning to provide the Rays a 1-0 lead, an advantage that was erased when the Astros pulled even in the third.
Snell issued seven walks over seven innings yet proved resourceful. The Astros mustered only five at-bats with runners in scoring position against Snell, with Alex Bregman hitting a run-scoring single in the third that plated George Springer. Bregman, however, overslid the bag at second attempting to stretch his single into a double, with Rays right fielder Carlos Gomez delivering a strong, accurate throw that nabbed Bregman and snuffed the rally.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the first but failed to score when Gomez turned a fly out from Evan Gattis into an inning-ending double play by erasing Springer at the plate when Springer attempted to tag from third. Snell walked the first two batters of the sixth but Gurriel followed by grounding into a double play to stall that rally. Snell allowed three hits and one run.
The Rays prevented Houston from setting a franchise record for consecutive wins. Right-hander Sergio Romo notched his fourth save by recording the final two outs of the ninth.
—Field Level Media