Carter's blasts lift Astros over Rays

Carter's blasts lift Astros over Rays
July 3, 2013, 11:15 pm
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Porter on Carter: He's a dangerous man

The Astros snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Rays.

(USA Today Images)

Before Wednesday’s game with Tampa Bay, Astros manager Bo Porter said that Chris Carter is an exceptional hitter when he doesn’t expand his strike zone, and waits for his pitch to hit.

Carter was exceptional Wednesday night as his two home runs powered the Astros to a 4-1 win over the Rays at Minute Maid Park, snapping the Astros’ five-game losing streak in which they scored a total of five runs.

Both of Carter’s home runs – his 16th and 17th of the season – were on full counts. Carter was responsible for all the Astros’ runs, and his go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning put Houston starter Bud Norris (6-7) in line for the win.

“He was pretty good tonight,” said Porter. “When this guy stays on the ball and gets pitches in the strike zone, he is an extremely dangerous man. Tonight was no exception.

“He fouled off some tough pitches, laid off some tough pitches and was patient enough to get the ones that he can drive. He didn’t miss tonight.”

Carter’s second homer of the game off left-handed reliever Jake McGee traveled 413 feet and was up on the train track in left field.

“I knew it, there was no doubt,” said Carter. “I was trying to get the ball in the air in a tie-game situation. He was throwing fastballs away and I kept fouling them off. And I hit one.”

Norris, who snapped a three-game losing skid, allowed only a first-inning run in seven innings. He was appreciative of Carter’s seventh-inning home run.

“Sure enjoyment, to get in line for the win and to get the win for the team,” said Norris. “It’s a big one. You battle for seven innings, to have that was really special and C.C’s done it a few times for me. “

Carter‘s first homer off Roberto Hernandez (4-10) to lead off the second inning was measured at 370 feet and tied the game 1-1. It’s the second multi-homer game of Carter’s career and second of the season (April 9 at Seattle).

In the first two games of the four-game series, which concludes on Thursday for a 1:10 p.m. start, the Astros were outscored 20-0.

“It’s nice to score some runs and get a win,” said Carter. “I’m happy we came out with the win”

Carter has reached base safely in 15 of his last 16 games. He has 17 home runs through 85 games. Last season Justin Maxwell led the team with 18.