Houston, TX – Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Zobrist had three hits, including a two- run triple, as the Tampa Bay Rays took a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game set from Minute Maid Park.
Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce each supplied two-run hits for Tampa Bay, which won its second straight game after losing 14 of 15. Desmond Jennings and James Loney crossed the plate twice in the win.
Alex Cobb (2-4), who entered the game with losses in his last three starts, surrendered just one run on three hits and two walks with a season-high 11 strikeouts in his first win since April 12.
"Things are just starting to go our way a little bit," said Cobb. "I feel like those balls that were hit back at me, maybe just a week ago would have nestled in between the fielders. Things are starting to go our way a bit."
Jonathan Singleton homered and Jason Castro doubled for Houston, which mustered just four hits after entering the game with wins in four of its last five games.
Starter Collin McHugh (4-4) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and three walks over five innings.
"Not very good," McHugh said of his outing. "My fastball wasn't very good so I had to rely on breaking balls and changeups."
The Rays got on the board in the second. Loney reached on Jonathan Villar's fielding error and Zobrist's double put men on second and third. Two batters later, Joyce's double brought both runners around.
Kevin Kiermaier tripled to right with one out gone in the third, but McHugh struck out Longoria and Loney to end the frame.
Singleton's blast to left field to lead off the fourth made it a 2-1 game.
Tampa Bay responded in the fifth. Jennings got aboard with a leadoff double and three batters later, Loney walked before Zobrist tripled to center for a 4-1 advantage.
Longoria's bases-loaded single in the ninth drove in two runners to account for the final score.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, who exited Thursday's game after getting hit on the hand, sat out of the lineup on Friday ... The Rays snapped a 10- game losing streak on the road ... Tampa Bay has won 13 of the last 15 meetings and nine of the last 10 games against Houston at Minute Maid Park.