Poor offense, pitching in loss to Rays

Poor offense, pitching in loss to Rays
July 2, 2013, 1:00 am
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Porter: 'It's just one of those nights'

Jul 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) and left fielder Kelly Johnson (2) celebrate against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Rays won 12-0.

(Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports)

Prior to Monday’s game with Tampa Bay, Astros manager Bo Porter said the Astros would need to play better than they did in losing three straight games to the Angels if they were to beat the Rays.

Well, they didn’t. The Rays outscored the Astros 12-0, out-hit the Astros 17-2 and just dominated in all aspects of the game, sending the Astros to their fourth straight loss.

“It seemed like were on defense the whole game,” said first baseman Chris Carter, who along with Jake Elmore had the only Houston hits, both singles.

The 12-run differential is the third highest in a Houston loss this season. The Astros lost 17-2 at Detroit and 19-6 to Cleveland.

“We didn’t score any runs this game, the other games we at least scored,” said Carter, who has reached base safely in 14 straight games.

Matt Moore (11-3) picked up the win, allowing the two hits over seven innings, and getting plenty of offensive support. Ryan Roberts had two homers, giving him five on the season, and Sean Rodriguez had a career-high four hits. Roberts was part of the bottom of the batting order, along with Jose Lobaton and Sam Fuld, to combine for nine hits, six runs and six RBIs.

Houston starter Dallas Keuchel (4-5) got out of a bases-loaded situation in the first inning, but things began to unravel for the left-hander in the third inning, which included a two-run home run from Roberts. In 4 2/3 innings, Keuchel allowed five runs and eight hits with five walks and four strikeouts.

“I can’t expect to walk five guys and come out unscathed,” said Keuchel. “I walked a tight rope there for a few innings, and they got me.”

The Rays scored twice in the fifth off Keuchel with two-out RBI hits and he was one strike away from getting out of the inning. And if Moore needed any more support, the Rays broke the game open with a four-run seventh and three-run eighth.

“It boils down to not making pitches with two outs,” said Keuchel, who had his last turn in the rotation skipped and pitched in relief instead on June 25 vs. St. Louis.”That’s the most frustrating part. I put myself in a situation. I’ve been on a good roll with no walks, attacking guys. It was one of those days where I couldn’t get one more pitch.”

After Carter’s one-out single in the fourth inning, the Astros did not get a hit the rest of the game. Rays reliever Cesar Ramos retired all six batters he faced over the last two innings.

Moore walked six batters in his previous game. Porter had a game plan to make Moore throw strikes.

“I thought early in the game we did a good job,” said Porter. “His pitch count was starting to get up. As the game went along it looked like our at-bats got a little impatient.”

It was the eighth time the Astros have been shut out. In the fourth inning, Carter’s single advanced Jason Castro to third base with no outs. But J.D. Martinez struck out swinging and Matt Dominguez grounded into a double play.

“It’s one of those things that just you chalk up and say you didn’t play well and move on,” said Porter. “Not too much to dwell about.”

 

 

 

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