Matt Dominguez broke the game open with a three-run double in the third as the Astros defeated the Rays 7-3 on Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park. The two-out hit capped off a five-run inning.
Chris Archer was sailing along in the first few innings. Then, the third inning happened. Even in the third, with Marwin Gonzalez at third, it appeared Archer might get out of trouble. Dexter Fowler hit a grounder to James Loney, but Loney’s throw was low, sending Archer tumbling as he tried to make the play at first. After that, the Rays pitcher just wasn’t the same. His control was off. He plunked George Springer. He walked both Jon Singleton and Jason Castro to force in a run. And then Dominguez hit his three-run double to make it 5-1. All of it started with the play at first where Archer fell and the Astros scored their first run. All the runs came with two outs.
Jarred Cosart gave up a run in the first, but limited the Rays after that, not giving up a run until Evan Longoria’s two-run home run in the fifth. The Rays did get their hits off him, but most importantly, they didn’t get too many runs. Also, Cosart was able to go through seven innings. His final line was seven innings, nine hits, three runs, with two strikeouts and a walk.
Tony Sipp got two outs in the eighth before Josh Fields completed the inning. Fields would've been asked to finish it in the ninth, but he had to leave with an apparent injury. And so, Josh Zeid pitched for the second consecutive day, but he was still lights out in finishing the game out.
AT THE PLATE
Dominguez’s three-run double, which very nearly was a grand slam, was extremely welcome given his tough night on Thursday, when he struck out three times and hit into two bases-loaded double plays. Dominguez had two hits. Marwin Gonzalez had three hits and scored on two of those. Jon Singleton and Jason Castro each had two walks.
IN THE FIELD
Castro nailed Kevin Kiermaier trying to steal third in the third. Matt Dominguez should also be given credit on the play for applying the tag. In the top of the sixth, Jonathan Villar was able to make a throw in time to first while running the opposite way. Gonzalez made a leaping grab to end the seventh.
In Sunday’s series finale, Brad Peacock takes on David Price. Price is known for his extreme strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 99.2 innings so far this year, Price has 111 strikeouts to only 10 walks. For the Astros, Peacock has developed a nice consistency in giving the team strong starts and, at the very least, giving them a chance to win.