Cristian Javier continues to dominate on the mound as Astros beat Rays

Cristian Javier extended his scoreless streak to 25 1/3 consecutive innings as the Houston Astros evened their three-game series with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays with a 2-1 win on Saturday.

Javier (11-9) produced his fourth consecutive scoreless start, limiting the Rays (86-72) to a pair of singles and two walks while recording seven strikeouts over six innings. Javier threw 95 pitches, 62 for strikes, and induced 13 swings and misses — 10 among 58 four-seam fastballs.

Javier faced the minimum through three innings and did not allow a hit until Rays left fielder David Peralta opened the fourth inning with a single. Javier did issue a one-out walk to Randy Arozarena in the first, but Astros catcher Martin Maldonado erased Arozarena as he attempted to steal second base to conclude that frame. Javier also walked shortstop Taylor Walls in the fifth but sandwiched that free pass between strikeouts of Jonathan Aranda and Miles Mastrobuoni.

Peralta recorded a two-out single off Javier in the sixth for his 1,000th career hit, but Javier followed by getting Arozarena to pop out to Maldonado in foul territory to close that inning.

The Astros (103-55) made a two-spot in the third inning against Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan (12-8) stand. McClanahan had surrendered just one baserunner prior to the third, a two-out double to Yuli Gurriel in the second, before Jake Meyers opened the frame with a single. A wild pitch and sacrifice bunt from Maldonado pushed Meyers to third, and he subsequently scored when Jeremy Pena delivered an RBI single that gave Houston a 1-0 lead.

McClanahan uncorked a second wild pitch in the inning, this one scoring Jose Altuve.

McClanahan allowed consecutive one-out hits to Maldonado and Altuve in the fifth but escaped that frame unscathed and surrendered two runs on five hits and one walk over five innings.

Right-handers Hunter Brown and Rafael Montero worked a scoreless inning of relief each for the Astros.

In the ninth, Astros closer Ryan Pressly issued a pair of one-out walks before surrendering a pinch-RBI single to Yandy Diaz with two outs. He then got pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez to fly out to right field to end the game, giving Pressly his 32nd save.

The Astros matched the 2018 squad for the second-most victories in club history behind the 2019 American League champions that finished 107-55.

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