Final Score: Tampa Bay 7, Houston 2
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - B.J. Upton, Casey Kotchman and Evan Longoria each drove in two runs, as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Houston Astros, 7-2, in the middle portion of a three-game interleague series.
Wade Davis (7-5), making the 50th start of his career, gave up one run on five hits over seven innings for the Rays, who have won three in a row and seven of eight overall. Davis also struck out three and walked one en route to winning his third straight start.
Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee had an RBI apiece for the Astros, who lost 5-1 in the opener of this series on Friday.
Bud Norris (4-6) allowed three runs on six hits over five full frames to suffer the loss. He also struck out five and walked three.
The Rays scored one run in each of the first three innings to take an early lead. In the first inning, Ben Zobrist worked a one-out walk and came around to score on Longoria's double down the left-field line.
Reid Brignac hit a one-out single during the Rays' next at-bat. Brignac moved up to second on Davis' sacrifice bunt and scored on Johnny Damon's base hit to right. Brignac slid under the tag at home plate to make it a 2-0 game.
Longoria started the third with a walk and Kotchman followed with a single to put men on first and second. Two batters later, Upton hit an RBI single to left for a 3-0 edge.
Houston finally got to Davis in the fourth. Pence worked a two-out walk and crossed the plate on Lee's double to right-center field to make it 3-1.
Upton's solo homer to left off Fernando Abad in the sixth made it a 4-1 contest.
The Astros had a chance to get some runs back in the home sixth, but they left the bases loaded.
Houston scored a run in the eighth to make it a two-run game. Joel Peralta gave up a one-out single to Jeff Keppinger, who scored on Pence's double off the wall in left. Kyle Farnsworth took over on the mound and Lee smacked the ball to the warning track in left field. Sam Fuld dropped the ball to allow Lee to reach base. Matt Downs grounded into a double play to keep it a 4-2 contest.
The Rays tacked on three runs in the ninth to pull away. Fuld doubled Zobrist walked to begin the frame. Longoria followed with an RBI double to left. Sergio Escalona took over on the mound for Enerio Del Rosario and gave up a two-run single to Kotchman.
Farnsworth pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to record his 16th save of the season.
Astros catcher J.R. Towles left Friday night's game in the top of the third inning due to a cut on his chin caused by a foul tip. The cut required 11 stitches. Towles did not start Saturday's contest but came in a pinch-hitter in the seventh...The Rays (43-34) are nine games over .500 for the first time this season...Houston fell to 3-5 in interleague play this season, while the Rays improved to 8-3...The Astros purchased the contract of catcher Brian Esposito from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned pitcher Fernando Rodriguez to the same club...Houston went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven...Del Rosario gave up three runs on three hits.