With this year's ace on the mound and a 2-1 early lead, it looked like Houston was on its way to grabbing a split with the Rays in a four-game set. That would have salvaged a road trip that's proved pretty win-poor and given Houston some momentum heading home.
Alas, Dallas Keuchel proved to be human once again, giving up three runs in the bottom of the sixth and another in the bottom of the eighth to catch the loss. He did give the bullpen a rest heading into the off-day by pitching all eight inning, but got no run support from the offense.
Dexter Fowler and Jose Altuve proved dependable, going 3-for-8 with a home run (from Fowler) and a walk (from Altuve). The offense struggled past that to get anything going. They had seven hits, but couldn't put anything together. Springer's power outage continued. Matt Dominguez proved he's probably overmatched in the cleanup spot (or the fifth spot...or the sixth spot).
What's worse, Houston once again struck out way too much. The Rays pitching staff (and advanced scouting) did a great job of exploiting Houston's hitting tendencies. The Astros have fixed some of their strikeout problems this season, but there's enough guys on the roster with some swing-and-miss that this will continue.
Bad end to a bad trip for Houston. Let's hope Carlos Correa gets better and this team starts hitting as a group before the Braves come to town.