Chris Carter hits bombs. Let's just start tonight's recap right there. After being shut out for the first two games of this series the Astros offense broke things open late on the strength of a Chris Carter three run home run to give the Astros a 4-1 lead. The four runs were the most runs that the Astros scored in the previous eight games (that little tidbit comes courtesy of Brownie.) The homer by Carter was his second on the night. The first one came in the second inning to tie the score at one. It was great to see Carter have a breakout game at home tonight.
Bud Norris was his usual self at home tonight as he pitched seven innings of one run baseball. The game didn't quite start out in Bud's favor however as the Rays played small ball in the first and manufactured a run on the strength of two singles and a stolen base. Over the next six innings Bud only allowed four hits. He also gave up three walks and struck out five batters. Bud lowered his ERA down to 3.22 tonight with the solid outing.
Setup man Jose Cisnero came in to work the eight and was able to put up a zero. Cisnero gave up a lead off single to start the eighth, but was able to quickly undo the damage by inducing a double play. He ended the eighth with a strike out to hand the game over to closer Jose Veras.
Veras came in to work a scoreless ninth and earn his 17th save of the year. He gave up a two out single, but otherwise kept things simple with two groundouts and a strikeout.
It's safe to say that the Astros offense has more than struggled in the first two games of this series, and tonight's game started the same way. The only difference was that they were no longer facing Matt Moore or David Price. The Astros were able to break their scoreless streak against the Rays thanks to Chris Carter.
Carter hit the first of two home runs in the second to tie the game at one. That was all the Astros would get until the seventh when Carter struck once again with two on this time around to give the Astros a 4-1 lead. Brett Wallace gets the credit for getting the rally started with a lead off double to left. Wallace hustled his way to second and barely beat the throw.
In conclusion, can't say enough about Chris Carter tonight. The Astros offense had been scuffling and hopefully this will help get things going again. The Astros will try to even the four game series against the Rays in the day game tomorrow as they go to battle with Jordan Lyles on the mound.