HOUSTON -- Rookie Austin Pruitt and three relievers combined on a five-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays handed Dallas Keuchel his first loss of the season, beating the Houston Astros 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Logan Morrison hit a two-run homer. He also connected Tuesday night, snapping his season-long 12-game homerless streak.
The AL West-leading Astros, whose powerful offense has taken a hit with All-Stars Carlos Correa and George Springer on the disabled list, went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and were shut out for the second time in a week.
Pruitt (6-2), who grew up in suburban Houston and attended the University of Houston, allowed five hits in a career-high 6 1/3 innings. Steve Cishek walked one in 1 1/3 innings and Dan Jennings got the last out of the eighth before Alex Colome walked one in the ninth in getting his 32nd save.
Keuchel (9-1) gave up Trevor Plouffe's one-out single in the first and Morrison launched his 28th home run with two outs.
Keuchel allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings in his second start since missing almost two months with a pinched nerve in his neck.
The lefty ace was better than he was in his previous start, when he lasted just three innings and gave up three runs at Detroit. But he was far from the dominant pitcher he was before his second trip to the disabled list, when he was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 11 starts.
Keuchel had a lot of traffic on the bases early. Consecutive singles by Mallex Smith and Corey Dickerson loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning.
The Astros had runners at first and third with no outs in the third, but Pruitt struck out Derek Fisher and got Jose Altuve to ground into a double play.
Fisher singled to start Houston's sixth and stole second base with one out before Jose Reddick walked. Pruitt kept the Astros scoreless when Yuli Gurriel grounded into a double play to end that inning.
Rays: OF Steven Souza Jr. was a late scratch from the lineup for the second straight game because of a bruised left foot. Souza was injured on Monday night when he fouled a ball off his foot. Manager Kevin Cash said he was undergoing more tests to determine if the injury was worse than they initially thought.
Astros: Springer (left quadriceps strain) ran sprints and took batting practice before Wednesday's game, but the team doesn't have a timetable for his return. Springer hasn't played since July 24 because of the injury.
Rays: Blake Snell (0-6, 4.87 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay in the series finale on Thursday night. Snell looks to snap a 14-start winless streak and get his first win since Sept. 22. He allowed six hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees in his last start.
Astros: Collin McHugh (0-0, 4.22) is scheduled to make his third start of the season for Houston on Thursday. McHugh allowed four hits and one run in six innings of a 5-3 loss to the Tigers in his last start.
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