Astros sweep flagging Rays, with good work from McCullers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Kyle Tucker hit a two-run homer, Lance McCullers Jr. pitched seven solid innings and the American League West champion Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep games over the Tampa Bay Rays, winning 5-2 on Wednesday.

Houston second baseman José Altuve was hit in the left elbow by a pitch from Corey Kluber in the fifth inning. He left an inning later and was replaced by Honduran Mauricio Dubón.

The entire series was attended by 28,675 viewers, including just 9,293 on Wednesday. The Rays have the third-lowest attendance this season, even though they started the day in a position that would give them the second wild-card berth in the AL postseason.

The Astros, who are 10-1 in the last 11 games, shut out Tampa Bay in the first two games of the series. They won 4-0 on Monday and 5-0 on Tuesday.

After Martin Maldonado hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly hit the bottom for his 30th save in 34 chances.

McCullers (4-1) allowed two runs and six hits in a job that included a pair of walks and eight strikeouts. The loser was Brooks Raley (1-2).

For the Astros, the Venezuelan Altuve 2-1. Honduran Dubón 2-0. The Dominican Jeremy Peña 5-1 with two runs scored. Cubans Yordan Álvarez 3-0, Aledmys Díaz 4-2 with a run scored and two RBIs, Yuli Gurriel 4-0. Puerto Rican Maldonado 4-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

For the Rays, the Mexicans Jonathan Aranda 3-0, Isaac Paredes 3-1 with one run scored and one produced. Colombian Harold Ramírez 4-1. The Dominicans Wander Franco 4-1 with a run scored, Manuel Margot 4-1, José Siri 3-0. Cuban Randy Arozarena 4-1. Venezuelans David Peralta 4-0 with an RBI, René Pinto 4-1.

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