Houston improves to 15-12

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

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

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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