It's been a while since we would could dust off the Kstros monicore for the surging Astros. Alex Cobb brought it back with full force, as he struck out 11 Astros hitters Friday. He was in complete control through his 6.1 innings of work - Cobb fanned 11 of the 24 batters he faced. The Rays' starter allowed one run on three hits and two walks.
Astros' miscues in the field and the mound didn't help the team's chances either. Jonathan Villar, who looks like complete shell of him, dropped a lazy fly ball to short left-center to start the second inning. The error would put James Loney on first, and give an extra out to the Rays. Ben Zobrist would double to put men on second and third. Friday's Astros starter, Collin McHugh proceeded to strike out the next batter David DeJesus. Without the error the Rays would have had a man on second with two outs, and maybe McHugh attacks the next batter differently. In reality, Matt Joyce proceed to double-in two runs.
The Rays took what McHugh was giving them, taking pitches the other way for extra-base hits. The Rays had five extra-base hits in total against the Astros starter - McHugh gave up three earned runs on five hits and three walks.
The one Astros offensive highlight came in the fourth as Jon Singleton continues his warpath against baseballs - stroking a pitch the overway into the Crawford Boxes. That makes four home runs in 42 at-bats in the majors.
2-to-1 was the closest the Astros got tonight, as they were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Rays bullpen slammed the door shut after Cobb left the game. Brad Boxberger and Joel Peralta together struck out five to get the game to the ninth. Marwin Gonzalez and Villar did their best impression of the Adam Everett and Brad Ausmus at the bottom of the Astros lineup. Villar struck out swinging in the seventh with two on to end the Astros' threat, and Gonzalez ground to the pitcher with two on in the ninth to end the game.