Javier throws 6 strong innings, AL-best Astros beat Rays 2-1

Oct 1, 2022, 7:14 AM | Updated: 7:48 pm
Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first ...

Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

              Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Houston Astros' Jeremy Pena (3) celebrates after hitting a RBI single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Houston Astros center fielder Jake Meyers looks at his glove after catching a fly ball by Tampa Bay Rays' Jose Siri during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Cristian Javier threw six shutout innings and Jake Meyers had two hits in the Houston Astros’ 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

It’s the 103rd victory for the American League-leading Astros. They are tied with the 2018 team for second-most wins in franchise history behind the 107 piled up in 2019.

Javier (11-9) allowed two hits and struck out seven to extend his scoreless streak to 25 1/3 innings, which is the longest active streak in the majors.

“He was real good,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He was locating his fastball, threw in a couple different sliders, threw more changeups and Maldy (catcher Martín Maldonado) directed him great through the game. I don’t think he shook him off all night that I saw. Boy, he was very good.”

Closer Ryan Pressly walked consecutive batters with one out in the ninth before pinch-hitter Yandy Diaz hit an RBI single on a grounder to left field with two outs to cut the lead to 2-1.

But Pressly retired pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez on a fly ball to end it and get his 32nd save.

“It just looked like he was a little rusty because he hadn’t been out there in a few days and hadn’t been in a save situation in I don’t know the last time,” Baker said. “He couldn’t find his location and didn’t have the feel on his breaking ball but he made his pitches when he had to. We’ll take it any kind of way you can get it.”

Jake Meyers, who had two hits, got things going with a single to start Houston’s third and he advanced to second on a wild pitch by Shane McClanahan. Meyers moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Maldonado before Jose Altuve walked.

Jeremy Pena put Houston up 1-0 on an RBI single. Yordan Alvarez then grounded into a forceout that left Pena out at second base.

A second wild pitch by McClanahan allowed Altuve to score and extend the lead to 2-0.

McClanahan (12-8) yielded five hits and two runs in five innings for his third straight loss.

Rays manager Kevin Cash was disappointed in the wild pitches.

“We’ve got to do a better job of executing in those moments,” he said. “Good teams are going to take advantage, and they did.”

David Peralta singled twice for two of Tampa Bay’s three hits to reach 1,000 hits for his career.

The Astros had a chance to add to the lead in the fifth inning when Maldonado singled with one out before a double by Altuve. McClanahan then struck out Pena before retiring Alvarez on a long fly ball for the third out.

There were two outs in the sixth inning when Peralta hit an infield single for his 1,000th career hit. Randy Arozarena was out on a fly ball to end that inning.

Ji-Man Choi doubled with one out in the seventh inning. But rookie Hunter Brown retired the next two batters to leave him stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Josh James had surgery on his right forearm this week. Baker said he did not have a timetable for his return.

CLOSING TIME

Pressly extended his career-high with his 32nd save Saturday. He has converted 10 straight save opportunities since Aug. 9.

His 32 saves rank fourth in the AL this season.

UP NEXT

Houston’s Luis Garcia (14-8, 3.81 ERA) opposes Corey Kluber (10-9, 4.36) when the series wraps up Sunday.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece arrives on court before playing Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the me...
Associated Press

Djokovic, Tsitsipas start Australian Open men’s final

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Australian Open men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas has started under an open roof at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. In addition to the championship, the winner will claim the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings. For the fourth-seeded Djokovic, it’s also a chance to win […]
1 day ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher, left, taunts Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras after Zebr...
Associated Press

Zegras scores in OT, Ducks beat Coyotes for 3rd win a row

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored at 3:34 of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season. John Klingberg stole the puck from Matias Maccelli in the offensive zone and found Zegras in the slot for a wrist shot for […]
1 day ago
Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) celebrate a goal against the Chicago Blackha...
Associated Press

Oilers head into All-Star break with win over Blackhawks

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Tyson Barrie scored twice, Connor McDavid had his NHL-best 41st goal and the Edmonton Oilers headed into their All-Star break with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod also […]
1 day ago
Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato, rear, watches as the puck rests behind Columbus Blue Jackets goa...
Associated Press

Wennberg scores against former team, Kraken top Blue Jackets

SEATTLE (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored midway through the second period against his former team to help the Seattle Kraken beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night. Wennberg, who was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round in 2013, had his 10th goal of the season in his 600th career game. […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Jera...
Associated Press

Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, […]
1 day ago
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) watches as the puck gets past him on a goal as M...
Associated Press

Gaudreau secures shootout win as Wild beat Buffalo 3-2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov and Freddy Gaudreau scored in the shootout, lifting the Minnesota Wild past the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Saturday night. Joel Eriksson Ek and Jared Spurgeon had goals in regulation for Minnesota, which headed into its All-Star break with two wins in a row. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped […]
1 day ago
Javier throws 6 strong innings, AL-best Astros beat Rays 2-1