Astros sweep struggling Rays behind Tucker, McCullers

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Houston Astros' Kyle Tucker (30) watches his two-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brooks Raley during the eighth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Catching for the Rays is Rene Pinto. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

By MARK DIDTLER

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Kyle Tucker hit a two-run homer, Lance McCullers Jr. pitched seven effective innngs and the AL West champion Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2.

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve was hit on the left elbow by Corey Kluber’s pitch in the fifth and left one inning later with elbow discomfort.

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He was replaced by Mauricio Dubón. Both Tucker and McCullers went to high school in nearby Tampa, Florida.