Keith Allison on Flickr
Longoria started his night off with a two-run shot in the top of the first, that landed on the train tracks in left field. Logan Morrison followed suit and hit a solo home run to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Longoria tripled on a ball hit into right field, scoring newly acquired Lucas Duda, putting the Rays up 4-0. Three batters later, Adeiny Hechavarria laced a single into right field scoring Longoria.
After popping out to second baseman Jose Altuve in the fifth, Longoria lined a single into left field, making him a double shy of the cycle. Following Longoria’s single, Morrison singled in Corey Dickerson, stretching Tampa Bay’s lead to three, 6-3.
Longoria got his shot at history in the top of the ninth inning against Astros pitcher Ken Giles. Longoria lined a two-out, 0-1 pitch into left field, but cutting the ball off before it could reach the wall was left fielder Derek Fisher. Fisher made a back hand stab at the ball, and fired the ball into shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, the cut-off man. Gonzalez caught the ball and threw it to Altuve who sold the tag to the umpire, calling Longoria out.
Longoria quickly looked into the dugout and signaled to challenge the call on the field. Rays manager, Kevin Cash, promptly challenged the call. After reviewing the play the umpire signaled that Longoria was infact, safe at second, giving Longoria the double he needed to complete the cycle.
Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer didn’t have the prettiest of games, but his performance was just enough for the win. Archer pitched six innings, giving up four earned runs, six hits (two home runs) and struck out five. Archer is now 8-6 on the season with a 3.89 ERA.
Steve Cishek took over in the seventh after Archer allowed back-to-back hits, and got two outs before surrendering the ball to Dan Jennings for a lefty-lefty match-up. Jennings walked the only batter he faced, giving the ball to Tommy Hunter who got the final out of the seventh and pitched a one-two-three scoreless eighth inning.
Closer Alex Colomé came into to pitch the ninth inning for the Rays. Colomé got the leadoff batter, Carlos Beltran, to fly out to center field, and Evan Gattis and Alex Bregman to ground out to Hechavarria for the final two outs. Colomé notched his 31st save of the season.
With tonight’s win, the Rays improve to 55-53 and will send rookie Austin Pruitt (5-2 6.63 ERA) to mound against the Houston Astros (69-37) tomorrow night. The Astros will send out the 2015 Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel (9-0, 1.94 ERA) in game two of the three game series.