The NL's Houston Astros cracked Tampa Bay's home dominance by taking two out of three games in a weekend series. All three games of the hard-fought series were decided by one run.
Roy Oswalt got the Astros off on the right foot with a strong pitching performance in the opener. The Rays squeaked out a win with a ninth-inning rally in the second game, making former Houston reliever Dan Wheeler the winner. Brad Backe outdueled Rays ace Scott Kazmir in the finale for a 3-2 victory.
The Rays continue to trail the Boston Red Sox by 1.5 games.
Evan Longoria had another good series against Houston, even spelling Jason Bartlett effectively at shortstop. Though Longoria has no shot at--and frankly does not deserve--All-Star consideration this year, he might finish the year as one of the top third basemen in the American League. Longoria is tied for the team lead in homers with Eric Hinske--both players have 12. Longoria has fielded his position a a Gold Glove level.