ST PETERSBURG, Fla. — Carlos Beltran homered for the Astros in consecutive games once again.
Playing three days before his 40th birthday and a day after his first home run this season, Beltran led off the second inning with his 423rd home run as the Astros rallied past the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 Friday night.
Beltran homered in five straight games for Houston during the 2004 post-season, earning a $119 million, seven-year contract from the New York Mets on the free-agent market. He signed a more modest $16 million, one-year deal during the off-season to rejoin the Astros.
"Today was a good day for me. I had a good session in the cage," Beltran said. "Of course that translates to the game, and I felt like my swing was coming along very good."
Beltran homered off Alex Cobb (1-2) and also singled in the fourth as the Astros won for the ninth time in 11 games. With 1,040 extra-base hits, Beltran is one behind Pete Rose for third among switch-hitters behind Eddie Murray (1,099) and Chipper Jones (1,055).
Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison and Evan Longoria hit solo homers in the first three innings off Mike Fiers as the Rays took a 3-1 lead.
Houston tied the score in the fourth on RBI singles by Brian McCann and Yuli Gurriel, who had three hits each, and George Springer hit into a run-scoring forceout in the seventh for a 4-3 lead.
"We have come back in a few games before," Beltran said, "so we're confident that if we continue to put quality at-bats on, we're going to find a way to score."
Mike Feliz (1-0) pitched a perfect sixth in relief of Fiers, who allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.
Ken Giles retired the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save. Houston relievers allowed one hit in four innings.
"These guys are really good and we've got a lot of them, which is a good feeling," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's nice to have a lot of options, especially when these guys come in and pitch well."
Cobb (1-2) gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings while striking out seven. He picked off Jose Altuve at first base in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Tampa Bay had won its previous six home games. Longoria, a two-time Gold Glove third baseman, made a throwing error and failed to make two other plays that helped the Astros add runs.
"It's probably one of my worst days defensively in a while, ended up being the difference in the game," he said. "Jumbo (Diaz) came in and made the pitch he needed to make, and I just didn't make the play, and it ended costing the game, as simple as that. I'll take responsibility for it."
Rays centre fielder Kevin Kiermaier left the game after the fifth inning due to what the Rays described as an illness.
After the game the Rays placed left-hander Xavier Cedeno on the 10-day disabled list with left forearm tightness and recalled right-hander Ryan Garton from Triple-A Durham.
Hinch called RHP Chris Devenski "the hottest pitcher on the planet" after Devenski's seven-out save on Thursday, the longest save by a pitcher with a lead of three runs or fewer in more than four years. Devenski's 25 strikeouts ranked seventh in the AL going into Friday's games, and he has pitched only 13 1/3 innings.
Two calls were overturned quickly by replay challenges early in the game. The Rays' Shane Peterson was called out at first base in the second inning, but it took 48 seconds to return a verdict of infield hit. In the third, the Rays' Brad Miller was called safe on a stolen base attempt, but a replay changed the call to out in 43 seconds.
Astros: Correa went hitless for a second straight game after missing three games with a bruised right hand.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi is to have his first bullpen session Saturday since going on the 10-day DL Tuesday due to a strained left hamstring. ... OF Mallex Smith, who missed his eighth straight game with a strained right hamstring, ran the bases and is nearing a minor league rehab assignment.
Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (1-1) is to start the middle game of the three-game series Saturday night. He got his lone double-digit strikeout performance (11) in his only outing against Tampa Bay, on June 25, 2014.
Rays: LHP Blake Snell (0-2) has walked 10 and given up 12 hits over 16 1/3 innings in three starts this season. Six of the 11 runs he allowed were unearned.
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