After working out of a bases-loaded, one out jam in the fourth inning to hold the Astros scoreless, Robbie Ray took the mound in the fifth and got two quick outs.
Then, the Astros got to him.
Jose Altuve’s double turned into a run when Carlos Correa drove him home. Evan Gattis followed with a home run to make it 3-1 Houston. After Marwin Gonzalez got the Astros’ fourth straight two-out hit, Ray got his sixth strikeout of the night to end the frame.
Ray looked sharp before he hit that damaging two-out rally, holding his team’s one-run lead. Still, he was inefficient. Before Altuve’s single, Ray had thrown 82 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. He finished the night with 99 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Coming into Wednesday’s 5-4 walk-off loss to the Astros, Ray was averaging 19 pitches per inning on the season.
“It’s an issue,” D-backs manager Chip Hale told Burns & Gambo on Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It’s a tough one because he’s still such a young kid, young pitcher. You see what he did against the Yankees: He gets through the seventh, but the next two starts, all of a sudden he has a hard time getting through the fifth.”
Ray gave up two earned runs on six hits over seven innings against the Yankees on May 16. In his next start in St. Louis, he allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings. On Friday against the Padres, he allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings.
“Those are issues,” Hale said. “It does tax our bullpen a lot and it has to change. But, it is also part of the development process.”
Later, as the D-backs entered the ninth with a 4-1 deficit, Jean Segura led off with a hit by pitch. Michael Bourn doubled home Segura before Paul Goldschmidt was robbed on a sharp lineout to the first baseman Gonzalez.
Jake Lamb followed up with a game-tying home run.
In the 11th, with Tyler Clippard on the mound, George Springer’s solo home run gave the Astros a walk off victory. Robbie Ray got a no-decision.
Ray’s ERA is now 4.74 for the year, and he remains at 2-4.
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