American League Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Houston
(Thursday, July 4th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 7, Houston 5 (11 innings)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yunel Escobar drove in three runs, including a go-ahead RBI double in the top of the 11th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays edged the Houston Astros, 7-5, in the finale of a four-game series.
With Josh Fields (0-1) pitching for the Astros, Jose Lobaton walked to begin the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. Escobar then ripped an RBI double to right to give the Rays the lead. He later scored on a wild pitch thrown by Wesley Wright.
Jamey Wright (2-1) pitched a scoreless 10th to pick up the win and Fernando Rodney worked around a leadoff walk in the 11th to notch his 18th save.
"Overall, today's game was kind of like the definition of the Rays," said starting pitcher Chris Archer, who allowed two runs on two hits and three walks over six innings. "We pitched pretty well, we scored runs when we needed to and we played defense."
The Rays have won five of their last six games.
Brett Wallace went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI. Jake Elmore drove in the other run for the Astros, who have lost eight of 10.
"It was definitely crazy," said Wallace. "We were trying to fight hard to get a split ... I think you have to be proud of the fact that we kept battling, but at the same time, we came up a little short."
Desmond Jennings ripped a double to left center to start the game and Matt Joyce's single to right put runners at the corners, Following a fly out by Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria grounded out to third to score Jennings.
Houston got on the board in the fourth when Wallace homered on a 1-1 pitch to lead off.
An inning later, Brandon Barnes singled to right and Jimmy Paredes drew a walk. After a double steal, Elmore hit a sacrifice fly to right, giving the Astros the lead.
In the seventh, Lobaton drew a one-out walk but was forced out at second on a grounder by Escobar. Following a Jennings double to center, Escobar scored on a wild pitch thrown by Astros starter Jordan Lyles, tying the game.
The Rays had a chance to take the lead after Joyce drew a walk. However, Travis Blackley, coming in relief for Lyles, ended the rally when he got Zobrist to ground one back to the mound.
With Jose Cisnero pitching for Houston in the eighth, Longoria drew a leadoff walk. Sam Fuld came in as a pinch-runner and reached third on a Wil Myers double. Kelly Johnson was then intentionally walked, loading the bases. Lobaton grounded into a fielder's choice to second, but brought Fuld home to take the lead.
Next up was Escobar, who delivered a two-RBI double to center to give the Rays a 5-2 lead.
However, the Astros came back in the home half, thanks to a three-run homer by Wallace. Elmore walked to begin the inning and Jose Altuve smacked a line drive up the middle prior to Wallace's smash.
In the ninth, the Rays were retired in order. For the Astros, Barnes drew a one-out walk and stole second, but Paredes struck out and Elmore flew out to center, sending the game into extra innings.
Houston had a chance to win the game in the 10th. Wallace singled with one out in the bottom of the 10th and Jason Castro was hit in the foot to put a runner in scoring position. Chris Carter struck out swinging.
J.D. Martinez nearly drove in the game-winning run when he smacked a 1-1 pitch to right, but it fell into foul territory. He ended up striking out.
In the bottom of the 11th, Rodney walked Ronny Cedeno but retired the next three batters to end the game.
The Rays are 5-11 on Independence Day, including 2-9 on the road ... Rays first baseman James Loney went 1-for-4 and is on a career-high tying 15-game hitting streak ... Escobar has played 42 consecutive errorless games, second- longest in franchise history ... Barnes stole two bases. He has nine this season, which leads all rookies.