Houston improves to 15-12

Urquidy, Astros hold on to early runs to secure series against Rays

Astros' Jose Urquidy
Jose Urquidy cruised through the Rays on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Jose Urquidy cruised through the Rays on Saturday.

After dominantly taking the series opener the night prior, the Astros returned to Tropicana Field to try and lock up a series win with a victory against the Rays on Saturday. They would do so, albeit with fewer runs scored but with a similar formula from their pitching, with Jose Urquidy giving his team another great outing from their starter.

Final Score: Astros 3, Rays 1

Astros' Record: 15-12, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Josh Fleming (1-3)

Astros get their damage done early

At least in the first inning, Houston's offense was able to pick up right where they left off on Friday night, getting early damage against Josh Fleming. Jose Altuve started the game by getting into scoring position, driving the game's first pitch for a double. That set up Alex Bregman for a one-out RBI single, then he and Yordan Alvarez, who worked a walk, would come around to score on a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel, putting the Astros out to the early 3-0 lead.

Urquidy cruises to seven scoreless

That gave Jose Urquidy runs on the board before he even took the mound, not that he needed all of them. On his 26th birthday, the right-hander from Mexico had himself a day, blanking the Rays over seven innings while allowing just four hits. At one point, he retired eleven straight, five on strikeouts. All told, it was a great start: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 91 P.

Houston secures the series

The 3-0 score held long into the game, with Tampa Bay moving to their bullpen in the top of the seventh, then Houston in the bottom of the eighth when they brought in Brooks Raley. He kept the Rays off the board, retiring the three batters he faced, two via strikeout, to send the three-run game to the ninth.

Ryan Pressly would come in for the save opportunity, eventually converting it despite allowing a run to break up the shutout. The victory secures the series win for the Astros and temporarily moves them back into a tie with Seattle for second place in the division.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will start at 12:10 PM Central on Sunday from St. Petersburg. Cristian Javier (3-0, 0.87) will look to help Houston complete the sweep by continuing his early success in 2021, while Rich Hill (1-1, 7.25 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay.

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.


Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.


Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.


Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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