HOUSTON (AP) — Brandon Lowe hit a three-run homer early and José Siri doubled and scored the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The game was tied entering the ninth when Siri, who played for Houston last season, doubled to left field off Ryan Pressly (3-3) and moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Christian Bethancourt. The Rays took a 4-3 lead when Siri scored on a sacrifice fly by Yandy Díaz.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash raved about Siri’s work in the ninth.
“It was a big at-bat against a really tough pitcher … that’s what he can do,” Cash said. “He can change the game with his speed and certainly impacted it right there.”
Siri said that it meant “very much” to lead the Rays to a win against his former team.
“They know the capabilities and the abilities that I have from when I played here,” he said in Spanish through a translator. “And that’s life that I was able to do it against them.”
Houston manager Dusty Baker noted that not many people would have gotten to second on a ball hit to shallow left field.
“That was a hustle double and Siri, out of the box he was thinking two,” Baker said. “That was good baserunning on his part.”
Wander Franco singled after that before Pressly hit Luke Raley with a pitch. But Randy Arozarena popped out to leave them stranded.
Pete Fairbanks walked Chas McCormick with one out in the ninth, but he was erased when pinch-hitter Yainer Díaz grounded into a force out. Fairbanks then struck out pinch-hitter Mauricio Dubon to get his 13th save.
The victory was just Tampa Bay’s third in the last 11 games and the team’s sixth this month.
Lowe’s three-run homer came in the first inning and Houston tied it on a two-run shot by José Abreu in the fourth.
Tampa Bay starter Shane McClanahan allowed eight hits and three runs in five innings. Colin Poche (8-3) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.
Houston’s Cristian Javier yielded three hits and three runs with eight strikeouts in six innings to remain winless since June 3.
“His velocity was good … he was, he was a lot better tonight than he had been in probably four or five starts,” Baker said.
Franco tripled with one out in the first before Javier plunked Arozarena with two outs in the inning.
Lowe then smacked his homer to the seats in right field to make it 3-0.
Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the inning with a triple and scored on a groundout by Jeremy Peña to cut it to 3-1.
Javier retired seven straight after Lowe’s homer before walking Arozarena to start the fourth. Arozarena stole second before moving to third on a single by Lowe. Javier hit Isaac Paredes with a pitch to load the bases.
But he escaped the jam by striking out Josh Lowe and Siri before René Pinto lined out to end the inning.
Yordan Alvarez singled with no outs in the fourth before Abreu’s soaring shot to left field tied it at 3-3.
Cash said RHP Zach Eflin (left knee discomfort) is still day to day after injuring his knee Wednesday. Cash said they’re hoping he can make his next start but that they’ll know more in the next day or two.
The Astros acquired reliever Kendall Graveman from the White Sox in exchange for minor league catcher Korey Lee Friday. Graveman spent the last two months of the 2021 season with Houston after being traded from Seattle.
Tampa Bay RHP Taj Bradley (5-6, 5.30 ERA) opposes RHP Hunter Brown (6-7, 4.19) when the series continues Saturday night.
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