Apr 21, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Hunter Brown (58) reacts after giving up a run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brown tosses gem in Astros 1-0 win over Rays
On Tuesday the Astros became the first team to shutout the Rays and the first visiting team to win at Tropicana Field in 2023, and on Wednesday they did it again. Hunter Brown held Tampa to two singles over seven innings, helping the Astros first inning run hold up for a 1-0 victory as they finished their road trip to Atlanta and Tampa Bay 5-1. After scoring eight runs on 14 hits in Monday’s series opener, the Rays were held scoreless on just seven hits over the final two games of the series.
Hunter Brown picks up where Luis Garcia left off
Garcia struck out seven in the first six innings of the Astros’ shutout win over the Rays on Tuesday, but as good as he was, Brown was better 24 hours later. The Astros right-hander held the best offense in baseball scoreless for seven innings, allowing just two singles while striking out eight. Manuel Margot accounted for both hits against him, but the rest of the Rays lineup went hitless in 19 at-bats.
Brown generated 12 swinging strikes, five on his slider, he threw strike one to 16-of-23 hitters, and of his 21 outs, only two were recorded in the air. After failing to get out of the fifth inning in his first start of the season, Brown has now thrown seven frames in three of his last four starts, and he lowered his ERA to 2.37 on Wednesday.
Hector Neris replaced Brown and retired the side in order in the eighth, and Ryan Pressly did the same in the ninth for his second save of the season.
Astros benefit from a miscue
The Astros lineup was kept at bay by the Rays staff, with their only run scoring with the aid of an error. Jeremy Peña singled with one out in the first inning and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. After Kyle Tucker walked, Alex Bregman hit into what could’ve been an inning-ending double play, but Wander Franco bobbled the ball, and everyone was safe, allowing Peña to score.
The Astros had traffic on the bases much of the night, but the trio of Calvin Faucher, Josh Fleming, and Nick Burdi limited them to five his and held the Astros hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position.
News and Notes:
•Mauricio Dubón’s fifth-inning single made him the 15th player in Astros history to hit in 20 straight games, and the first since Hunter Pence in 2011.
•Jake Meyers finished 0-for-4, ending his eight-game hitting streak.
•Michael Brantley had the day off for Triple-A Sugar Land on Wednesday after finishing 1-for-4 on Tuesday in Reno. Brantley is 2-for-5 through the first two games of his rehab assignment.
•Chas McCormick (back) swung the bat again before the game, but Dusty Baker told reporters he still didn’t know if he’d need a rehab assignment before being activated off the IL.
The Astros will return to Houston to open a six-game homestand when the Philadelphia Phillies visit Minute Maid Park in a World Series rematch on Friday night with Framber Valdez (2-2) taking the mound against Aaron Nola (1-2)