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|07-11-2015, 07:10 PM||#1|
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Struggles on offense continue for Astros in 3-0 loss to Rays
Jake Odorizzi won in his first start in five weeks, Rene Rivera drove in two runs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the sliding Houston Astros 3-0 on Saturday.
Odorizzi (5-5) scattered two hits, walked three and struck out five over 5 2-3 innings in his initial appearance since straining his left oblique June 5. Brad Boxberger, the fourth Rays reliever, pitched the ninth for his 22nd save to complete a three-hitter.
Houston has scored just four runs during a five-game losing streak. The surprising Astros took over first place in the AL West on April 19, but they had their lead dwindle to a half-game over the Los Angeles Angels entering Saturday. The Angels were scheduled to play Seattle on Saturday night.
Houston's Dallas Keuchel (11-4), who was bidding to become the AL's first 12-game winner, allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. It was his 30th consecutive start of six or more innings, which is the majors' longest active streak.
Jake Elmore drew a two-out walk off Keuchel to load the bases in the second. He took a pitch earlier in the at-bat that could have been the third strike, but plate umpire Greg Gibson called it a ball. Rivera then drove in a pair with a single before Brandon Guyer made it 3-0 on another single.
Asdrubal Cabrera scored on Rivera' but strained his right hamstring on the play and needed assistance off the field. Elmore moved in from left field to replace Cabrera at shortstop.
Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth but failed to score when Hank Conger fouled out on the first pitch he saw.
The Astros had just five hits in a series-opening 3-1 loss Friday night.
Houston pitching coach Brent Strom was ejected during a visit to the mound in the seventh inning.
Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch said RHP Scott Feldman (right knee) might return next weekend after making two minor league starts.
Rays: RF Steven Souza Jr. (right finger cut) hit off a tee and could return around July 21. ... LHP Drew Smyly (torn labrum) bounced a number of pitches during his latest bullpen session.
Astros: Rookie RHP Lance McCullers (4-2), who went to high school in nearby Tampa, will face the Rays for the first time Sunday.
Rays: LHP Matt Moore, 0-0 with an 8.00 ERA in two starts, looks for his first win since Sept. 29, 2013, on Sunday. The 2013 AL All-Star made two starts in April 2014 before having elbow ligament replacement surgery.
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