HOUSTON (AP)—The Houston Astros don’t want to make too much out of one win.
But in a season with so few, this one felt good.
Hours after the last-place Astros (15-27) confirmed that ace pitcher Roy Oswalt(notes) had requested a trade, the worst team in the National League beat baseball’s top team, handing the Rays just their 12th loss in 42 games.
“Every win right now is magnified for us,” Myers said. “We can’t look too far ahead, but we’ll enjoy it tonight and try to come back tomorrow and get another one.”
Jeff Keppinger(notes) doubled in the sixth inning before Garza walked Lance Berkman(notes) on four pitches. Berkman was forced out, but Carlos Lee(notes) reached after the one-hop throw to first was late. Pence’s line drive single to shallow center sent Keppinger home and gave Houston a 2-1 lead.
“We just continue to play hard and things like that can happen,” Pence said. “Every win you want to be a springboard, but really and truly you just have to keep coming every day prepared.”
Tampa Bay had runners at first and second with one out in the eighth inning after singles by Evan Longoria(notes) and John Jaso(notes). Brandon Lyon(notes) retired Willy Aybar(notes) before striking out Reid Brignac(notes) to get out of that inning. Brignac threw his bat and batting helmet down in disgust after the strikeout.
“We looked like we got in at 4 a.m. this morning,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We didn’t have the same energy that we normally have. We made some mental mistakes that we normally don’t make. With runners in scoring position tonight, we didn’t have that normal good at bat.”
Lindstrom gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth for his 10th straight save this season and 22nd overall dating back to last season. The streak is the longest current one in the majors.
Myers had some trouble in the third when he gave up a single before hitting Carlos Pena(notes) with a pitch and walking Jaso to load the bases. He got out of jam by striking out Sean Rodriguez(notes) for the third out.
Houston evened the score at 1-1 on an RBI single by Keppinger in the third inning.
“That third inning I kind of got out of my game plan,” Garza said. “I felt like I was rushing myself, and I was. That’s what happens when you don’t stay within yourself.”
Zobrist got his second double in the fifth inning but was caught stealing third base. Longoria walked before second out on a pop fly by Pena. The Rays came away empty in that inning when Longoria was picked off at first while Jaso was batting.
NOTES: Friday was only Tampa Bay’s second trip to Minute Maid Park and the first since 2003. … Houston has won six of seven all-time meetings with the Rays.