ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Lance McCullers pitched seven strong innings, Jake Marisnick homered and the Houston Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 Thursday night to tie a franchise record with their 11th straight road win.
McCullers (9-3) gave up three hits while striking out seven. The Astros have won his last six starts and have won 18 of 21 overall. Their latest win matched the club record set last May 14-June 5 on the way to winning the franchise’s first World Series title.
The Rays, who had won five straight overall and eight straight at home, had runners on first and third with none out in the eighth against reliever Chris Devenski, but Matt Duffy lined into a double play and Jake Bauers grounded out.
It was Devenski’s 12th straight scoreless appearance.
Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities.
Marisnick’s homer in the fifth came off Ryan Yarbrough (7-4) and was his seventh of the season. It ended the Rays’ streak of 26 scoreless innings, the second-longest in franchise history.
Tampa Bay “bullpen day” starter Ryne Stanek walked two and struck out three in 1 2/3 hitless innings before Yarbrough took over. The rookie left-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits while striking out four.
Rays reliever Jose Alvarado had a mini Gold Glove Award in his locker, a gift from a stadium security guard after the left-hander played one batter at first base in-between stints on the mound during the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Washington. “It was a little bit crazy,” Alvarado said through a translator. “I’m just happy the team won.”
Astros: SS Carlos Correa missed a third straight game with a stiff back and will be placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday. … INF Yuli Gurriel is on the paternity list but might return this weekend.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) had a three inning simulated game and should start a minor league rehab assignment next week. The opening-day starter could rejoin the rotation around the All-Star break.
RHP Gerrit Cole (9-1) will go for his eighth straight win for the Astros on Friday night against RHP Wilmer Font (1-1). Font pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees on Saturday, the longest outing of his career, and earned his first major league win.
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