A four-run first inning was all Erasmo Ramirez and the Tampa Bay Rays needed to beat the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Monday night. Houston’s Scott Kazmir got the first two outs of the inning relatively easily before giving up five straight base-runners, capped by Tim Beckham‘s sixth homer of the year, a three-run shot onto the train tracks in left field to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch spoke about that four-run first after the game.
“We just couldn’t get that inning to stop,” Hinch said. “A lot of bad things happened that inning to put us down. They did a good job of hitting with two strikes. They competed in their at-bats the whole time and put a lot of runners on base.”
Houston had their chances as they left nine runners on base, multiple times in scoring position. In the second, Carlos Gomez led off with a bunt single that snapped an 0-for-17 streak. He later scored on an error by Beckham on an Evan Gattis single. The only other run for Houston came on Gattis’ 18th home run of the year, a solo shot hit to right field that cut the lead to 4-2.
The Rays then added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. A sacrifice fly from Asdrubal Cabrera scored Brandon Guyer in the fifth, and a John Jaso pinch-hit single in the sixth scored Daniel Nava to give Tampa Bay their second four-run lead of the night. The visitors added three unearned runs off of Oliver Perez in the ninth and Enny Romero closed out the Astros for a 9-2 victory.
WP: Erasmo Ramirez (10-4)
LP: Scott Kazmir (6-8)