Sun, Apr 23, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Beltran home run leads Houston against Rays

AP, ST PETERSBURG, Florida

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Derek Norris, right, looks to catch a pop foul off the bat of the Houston Astros’ Carlos Beltran during their game in St Petersburg, Florida, on Friday.

Photo: AP

Carlos Beltran homered for the Houston 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 on Friday night.

Beltran homered in five straight games for Houston during the 2004 post-season, earning a US$119 million, seven-year contract from the New York Mets on the free-agent market. He signed a more modest US$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, while Eddie Murray has 1,099 and Chipper Jones has 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.

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