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Rays 4, Astros 3: WE SWEEPIN'

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Today's win locks down a sweep of the Astros, and puts our Tampa Bay Baseball Club over .500 heading into the All Star Break.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The winning streak continues! Our Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros for the third straight time, and officially enter the All Star Break with a winning record.

Matt Moore got the win, but clearly was not his sharpest today. He struggled with his fastball command at times, but did sprinkle in some delightful breaking balls throughout his outing as well. Post-TJ-Matt continues to be a work in progress, but he was able to hold the Astros to just three runs over five innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen to secure the victory. I'm very pleased with that.

The Astros got on the board early. After Moore walked Marwin Gonzalez and gave up a double to Carlos Correa in the first, Evan Gattis bounced a grounder to third base that Longoria grabbed and quickly fired to first. An alert Loney quickly fired the ball back to Forsythe now covering third to try and catch the advancing Correa. The throw was just a touch late, but a heads up play nonetheless. Unfortunately, Gonzalez scored on the Gattis RBI grounder. 1-0 Stros.

Our beloved Trop grabbed a souvenir in the top of the first. Colby Rasmus hit a foul pop up that surely would have been an out, but the ball stayed in the rafters and gave Rasmus another chance. Moore would later walk him.

Lance McCullers was a beast today, striking out ten Rays over six innings. Luckily, two of those innings were a bit troublesome for Lance, including the second. After a James Loney leadoff walk, Logan Forsythe ground into a force out to keep one on with one out. David DeJesus followed up with a shot to the gap in right center that scored a hard-charging Forsythe from first base and ended with DeJesus standing on third base with a triple. Have I mentioned how much I love the triple? It very well could be my favorite play in baseball. I digress. After an Elmore strikeout, with Kevin Kiermaier at the plate, McCullers bounced an 0-1 wild pitch into the dirt and past Jason Castro that allowed DeJesus to score standing up. 2-1 Rays.

The Astros wrestled the lead back in the fourth inning. After an L.J. Hoes single, Jose Altuve launched Moore's 2 out, 0-2 offering into the left field seats to put the Stros back up 3-2.

McCullers ran into trouble again in the 5th, as the Rays took their lead back for good. After giving up back to back singles to DeJesus and Elmore, and walking Curt Casali to load the bases with one out, McCullers was clearly struggling to put the ball where he wanted it. John Jaso took the count to 3-1, and watched as McCullers threw a fastball upstairs for a bases loaded walk. Jaso stood there awkwardly for a while after the pitch, seemingly unsure of the count, but would eventually take his base and enjoy his RBI walk. 3-3.

Unlikely hero, Grady Sizemore, was responsible for the deciding run as he ground to second with the bases loaded for a fielder's choice. It looked like a sure double play to end the inning, but Jaso's slide broke up the chance and allowed the run to score. Jaso seems to be learning, as this slide was feet first and he held both hands on his helmet to try and prevent any kind of knee to noggin contact. 4-3 Rays.

Moore was then able to hand the ball to his bullpen with the lead, one they would not relinquish. The battery of Brandon Gomes, Steve Geltz, Kevin Jepsen and All Star Brad Boxberger combined for four innings, a walk, two hits, three strikeouts and most importantly... no runs.

Today's win puts the Rays 3.5 games back from the AL East lead, with a 46-45 record at the break. With the absurd amount of injuries this team has faced in the first half, a winning record at this juncture is a respectable achievement. Let's hope the break allows for some rest and healing, before our boys come back to play well into October.

For now, we can sit back and enjoy Archy & the Box as they represent our Rays on Tuesday night.

Go Rays!

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<th colspan=2>Roll Call Info</th>

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<tr><td width=150>Total comments</td><td>85</tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Total commenters</td><td>17</tr>

<tr><td>Commenter list</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Adam%20Sanford">Adam Sanford</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Badancil">Badancil</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/BravesRays">BravesRays</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/CSG%20BBR">CSG BBR</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Dome%20Biscuit">Dome Biscuit</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/EvenLongoria">EvenLongoria</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/JRTW612">JRTW612</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays1118">Rays1118</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Salizar77">Salizar77</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Spurrier%3F%20I%20Hardly%20Know%20Her">Spurrier? I Hardly Know Her</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/budman3">budman3</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/dirtyarcade">dirtyarcade</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/kfharlock">kfharlock</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/npolackw">npolackw</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Story URLs</td><td><div><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak">http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak</a></div>

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<th width=60># Recs</th><th>Commenter</th><th>Comment Link</th>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/budman3">budman3</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316053472">Rays have scored 10 runs so far this series.</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/BravesRays">BravesRays</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316060920">Gotta love the resiliency.</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316067202">Shaffer with a warning track flyout to deep center and 2 K's swinging over balls in the dirt.</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316060570">Sweeeeeeep!</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316057708">Maybe he'll close it out, keep Boxberger fresh for the ASG</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316048962">Nice AB from Casali</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316039424">HR Derby Monday night, All Star game Tuesday night.</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/BravesRays">BravesRays</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/7/12/8936979/gdt-the-rays-have-a-winning-streak#316048942">Good at bat, Casali!</a></td>

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