The Houston Astros added to their series win totals (4) on Saturday, as they snagged game two from the Tampa Bay Rays. As Jose Urquidy hit the bump on his 26th birthday, the right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings to complete his best outing of this season.
While the offense has been on a hot streak, the 3-1 boxscore doesn’t show the true fall off of the Astros’ bats. Although scoring three runs early in the first, Houston would only have one more hit in the game, totaling four.
With the offense mostly quiet mid-game, Jose Urquidy was dealing.
The Astros entered Saturday’s ballgame looking to take their third consecutive series from an opposing team, and while doing so, they are now 15-12 on the season. While being half a game out of first place, it is obvious this team turned around well.
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As Urquidy went seven strong innings (91 pitches), the right-hander fanned five batters, while allowing five hits and one walk. Brooks Raley and Ryan Pressly followed, which is starting to look like an effective eighth-ninth inning combo, but the use of Ryne Stanek is also an option as the backend of the bullpen is shaking out well.
The Astros are back on the field on Sunday to close out a three game set with the Rays. While they have taken another series, don’t be surprised if someone like Alex Bregman or another big name gets the day off especially with the off day on Monday following it. The Astros are also nearing their 85 percent vaccination threshold, as reported by Chandler Rome, which will be essential since the lineup has taken huge blows due to COVID-19.
While Cristian Javier will hit the bump on Sunday at 12:10 p.m., there was a small confusion with the slated starters for the following series with the New York Yankees. Here is the expected rotation: