McCullers leads Astros over Rays 9-2, 1st meeting since ALCS

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Lance McCullers Jr. struck out nine in seven shutout innings, and the Houston Astros beat Tampa Bay 9-2 Friday night in the first meeting of the teams since the Rays won Game 7 of last year's AL Championship Series.

Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa had four hits each, and Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who have won seven of nine following a 1-9 skid.

McCullers (2-1) won for the first time in four starts since April 3, giving up three hits and three walks while throwing a season-high 111 pitches.

Bregman's fourth home run this season came with Brantley on base in a 35-pitch third inning against starter Ryan Yarbrough. Brantley, Bregman, Yordan Álvarez and Correa had consecutive hits in the three-run inning that put the Astros up 4-0.

Aledmys Díaz had two of Houston's 15 hits and drove in drove in four runs.

Yarbrough (1-3) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out five.

Willy Adames drove in Tampa Bay's runs with a bases-loaded single in the ninth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: RHP Andre Scrubb (sore right shoulder) was activated from the injured list and pitched the ninth inning. ... RHP Peter Solomon was optioned to the alternate training site Thursday to open a roster spot.

Rays: LHP Rich Hill was placed on the COVID-19-related injured list, but the Rays are hopeful he can start Sunday's game. . . . 1B-OF Yoshi Tsutsugo was 0 for 3 with a walk after spending one day on the list.

UP NEXT

RHP José Urquidy (1-2, 4.67) will make his sixth start of the season for Houston on Saturday against LHP Josh Fleming (1-2, 1.23 ) or an opener.

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Dick Scanlon, The Associated Press