Beckham's 3-run homer helps Rays over Astros, 9-2
HOUSTON (AP) Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer in the first inning and the Tampa Bay Rays cruised to a 9-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
The Rays were up 1-0 when Beckham connected on his first home run since May 22 to give them a big early lead.
Asdrubal Cabrera added three RBIs for the Rays, who got back on track after being swept by the Rangers in a three-game series this weekend.
Erasmo Ramirez (10-4) yielded six hits and two runs in 5 2-3 innings for his second straight win.
Houston starter Scott Kazmir (6-8) tied season highs by allowing nine hits and six runs in 5 1-3 innings, falling to 0-3 this month after going 2-0 with a 0.26 ERA in July. He's won just one of his five starts since a trade from Oakland.
Tampa Bay's 15 hits tied the most Houston has allowed this season.
Evan Gattis hit a solo homer in the fourth inning for the AL West-leading Astros, who had trouble stringing hits together and stranded nine runners.
Evan Longoria singled with two outs in the first before Logan Forsythe walked. Cabrera's RBI single made it 1-0. Beckham then sent a two-out changeup into the seats in left field to extend the lead to 4-0. Daniel Nava singled after that, but Kazmir finally escaped the inning by striking out Kevin Kiermaier.
Carlos Gomez reached on a bunt single with no outs in the second and scored when Gattis singled with one out and Beckham made an error on the play. Gattis' 18th homer got Houston within 4-2.
Brandon Guyer and Desmond Jennings hit consecutive singles to start the fifth inning and a walk by Forsythe loaded the bases with one out. A sacrifice fly by Cabrera drove home a run to make it 5-2.
Kazmir was replaced by Josh Fields with runners on first and second with one out in the fifth inning. He was greeted with a pinch-hit RBI single by John Jaso to leave the Rays up 6-2.
Gattis reached on Beckham's second error of the night with two outs in the sixth and Luis Valbuena walked to chase Ramirez. He was relieved by Steve Geltz, who struck out Jason Castro to end the threat.
Curt Casali hit a two-run single in Tampa Bay's three-run ninth to give every player in the starting lineup at least one hit.
Rays: Jennings, who returned on Friday after missing 96 games following arthroscopic knee surgery, said he's feeling good since his return but it will take a while before he feels completely back to normal after such a long layoff. ''You have to get back in shape, you've got to get your timing, there's so much you have to do,'' he said. ''It's just like coming off from the offseason and starting spring training.''
Astros: OF George Springer (broken right wrist) has been throwing and catching in the last couple of days since being cleared for baseball activities on Friday, but it will likely be a while before he is able to hit on the field. Manager A.J. Hinch said they're slowly increasing his activity to see how he tolerates the added work. There is no timetable for his return.
Houston's Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.17 ERA) will oppose Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 3.09) when the series continues on Tuesday. Feldman got his first win since coming off the disabled list July 18 in his last start by throwing six scoreless innings in Houston's 2-0 victory over the Giants.