ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to snap the Astros' three-game winning streak in a 6-3 victory at Tropicana Field on Saturday. Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games.
After avoiding trouble all night, the Rays finally got to Astros starter Charlie Morton in the sixth. Steven Souza Jr. led off the inning with a double to center. Logan Morrison walked and Derek Norris singled to center to load the bases with no outs and end Morton's night. Astros reliever Will Harris entered and allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Player Page for Shane Peterson and Timothy Beckham that put the Rays ahead.
Two batters after Beckham, pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos punched a single through a drawn-in infield to score two more. Bourjos pinch-hit for Kevin Kiermaier, who is under the weather.
"[Bourjos] had a huge hit," Rays manager Kevin Cash said, "Kiermaier is not feeling well at all. Peter comes in, gets down 0-2 to a very good pitcher, stayed on it and hit the ball to center. That was the separator right there."
Beckham went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to push his average up to .254 this season.
"They did a pretty good job of putting five or six at-bats in a row where some positive things turned out on their end," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Credit to them for putting a couple of things together."
A pair of solo home runs gave the Astros the early advantage. Evan Gattis took a 1-1 fastball that caught too much of the plate from Rays starter Blake Snell and put it over the fence in right-center field for the game's first run. Jose Altuve hit his first homer of the season in the fourth, sending a towering fly ball over the fence in left-center field.
"Kind of a head scratching outing, a little confusing," Cash said of Snell's start. "He didn't get hit, gave up two solo homers and I think a bunt base hit that I had the guys out of position."
• Cash wants longer starts from lefty Snell
Snell finished the night allowing three earned runs on five hits over five-plus innings. He struck out four and walked five. Evan Longoria smashed a double to tie the game at 2 and get the Rays on the board in the fifth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Caught him napping: After drawing a walk to start off the top of the sixth, Altuve stole second base -- his sixth of the year. Then with Gattis at the plate and one out, the Astros' second baseman took off for third. On the pitch, Gattis hit a chopper to Morrison who got the force out at first, but he didn't notice Altuve heading home. Morrison's throw home was not in time to catching the streaking Altuve, who slid in to put Houston up 3-2. More >
Left 'em loaded: Tampa Bay had an opportunity to break through against Morton in the fourth. Longoria doubled down the left field line to lead off the frame. Souza reached on a slow-hitting grounder to shortstop, and. Morton then walked Morrison to load the bases with two outs. The Rays would have nothing to show for it, though, after Norris hit a roller to Yulieski Gurriel at first base to end the inning.
"I tried to cover first, and my right calf didn't want me to go. I got bit by a snake." -- Rays reliever Tommy Hunter, who left the game in the sixth inning with right calf tightness
Astros Up Next: Houston will wrap up its three game set with the Rays on Saturday at 12:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Joe Musgrove (1-1, 5.87 ERA) will make his first career start against the Rays. In his last outing, Musgrove gave up five earned runs in five innings against the Angels.
Rays Up Next: Tampa Bay will send right hander Matt Andriese to the mound to try and earn a series win against the Astros at 1:10 p.m. ET. Andriese (1.0, 3.38 ERA) gave up one run on four hits over six innings against the Tigers in his last start to earn his first win of the season. He has allowed two runs in 12 innings over his last two starts.
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