Rays flex muscles early in 6-4 win
Longoria hits for cycle

Archer gets 8th win
(c) Associated Press

Evan Longoria blasted a 2-run home run in the first inning on his way to hitting for the cycle to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-4 victory over the Astros Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. Logan Morrison added a solo homer off Mike Fiers in the first to give the Rays a 3-run advantage before the Astros sent a batter to the plate.

Chris Archer was tough on Houston hitters, as usual, retiring 13 of the first 14 hitters he faced en route to his eighth win of the year. The Astros finally got to Archer in the fifth when solo homers by Carlos Beltran and Alex Bregman trimmed the Rays' lead to 5-2.

Beltran drove in another run with a seventh inning single that made it 6-3 and knocked Archer out of the game. A double by Evan Gattis and a ground out by Bregman trimmed the lead to 6-4 but that was as close as it would get.

Tommy Hunter and Alex Colome came out of the Tampa Bay bullpen to get the final seven outs without allowing a base-runner. Colome earned his 31st save as the Rays evened the 4-game series at a game apiece.

The Astros had only seven hits and a number of hard hit balls that were turned into outs by the Tampa Bay defense.

Despite an elevated pitch count in the early going and a 5-run deficit after three innings, Fiers was able to right the ship long enough to eat up 6-1/3 innings. Reymin Guduan got the final two outs in the seventh before Luke Gregerson and Ken Giles struck out three batters apiece to finish off the final two frames.

The two teams go at it again Wednesday night at 7:10. Austin Pruitt gets the start on the mound for the Rays. "Disappointed" Dallas Keuchel is scheduled to pitch for the homestanding Astros.

- Greg Thurston