HOUSTON -- In these lean times for the Houston Astros, Chris Carter is showing more and more that he can be a difference-maker for this young team. Carter homered twice, including a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh, to back seven strong innings from Bud Norris and give the Astros a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. The victory breaks a five-game skid for the Astros, who had been shut out in their last two games. Carter broke a 22-inning scoring drought for Houston with his solo homer in the second off Roberto Hernandez (4-10) that tied it 1-1. He connected on a full-count pitch from Jake McGee on his second home run to make it 4-1 in the seventh. Carter leads the Astros with 17 homers and his 44 RBIs are tied for the team lead. He is the first Astro to reach 17 homers by July 3 since Lance Berkman in 2009. Just over halfway through the season, Carter is one homer shy of the 18 Justin Maxwell hit all of last season to lead the club. The Astros are enamoured with Carters power and impressed with his increased discipline at the plate recently. "He has a chance to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "When you see that kind of progression and you see the adjustments being made, you really say to yourself moving forward that this guy has a chance to be a middle-of-the-order bat who can be very productive." He has reached base safely in 15 of his last 16 games and his hitting .315 with four homers and 10 RBIs in that span. Carter was just glad he could help the team get back on track after a tough couple of games. "Its nice to score some runs and get a win after the last two games where we didnt score and they outscored us by 20 runs," he said. "Im just happy we came out with a win right there." Norris (6-7) allowed six hits and one run with five strikeouts to break a three-game losing streak and pick up his first win since June 1. Jose Veras allowed a hit in a scoreless ninth for his 17th save. "Bud was absolutely outstanding," Porter said. "I thought he threw probably the best game of the season this year. His slider just had unbelievable depth ... hes our No. 1 guy and he pitched like a No. 1 guy again tonight." Hernandez allowed four hits and three runs in six-plus innings for his fourth consecutive loss. James Loney had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and Ben Zobrist drove in Tampa Bays only run with a sacrifice fly in the first. Carters homer in the second pinged off the facade on the wall above the Crawford Boxes in left field, giving the Astros their first earned run in 31 innings. It also broke a team record-tying 24-inning scoreless streak for Rays pitchers. It was the third time in team history theyd reached the mark. Jose Altuve singled with two outs in the third, but was caught stealing second to end the inning. Hernandez starting rolling after that and retired the next nine straight. He ran into trouble in the seventh when Brett Wallace doubled with no outs before he was chased by a single from Jason Castro. He was replaced by McGee, and Carter sent his 98 mph fastball to the train tracks atop the wall in left field. It was Carters second multi-homer game of the season and of his career. "Carter hurt us," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He didnt miss two pitches. That one from Jake (McGee) was properly struck. That is back wall anywhere. That was incredible. You have to give them credit for the way they bounced back today, and their pitcher set up the whole thing." Norris hasnt had much run support lately, with the Astros scoring just three runs combined in his last three losses. A relieved-looking Norris greeted Carter with a hug and a huge smile in the dugout after his homer put Houston on top. The feeling Norris had when as he watched Carters homer was simple. "Pure joy," he said. "CCs (Carter) done it a few times for me, so weve just got to keep it going." The Rays had trouble stringing together hits against Norris. Their best chance to add to their run total came in the fifth. Jose Molinas comebacker sailed just inches above Norriss head for a single to start the inning. Norris then struck out Yunel Escobar and Molina was caught stealing second on the play. Norris walked consecutive batters, but escaped the jam by retiring Zobrist for the third out. Escobar singled with one out in the seventh before Jennings grounded into a double play to end the inning. NOTES: The series wraps up Thursday when Tampa Bays Chris Archer opposes Jordan Lyles. ... Houston DH Carlos Pena was back in the lineup after taking time to travel to the Dominican Republic following the drowning death of his nephew. He returned to the team on Tuesday after missing two games, but did not play. Pena said it was a difficult time for his family, but the support the team showed him made it a bit easier. "We have a lot of signs around here that we have family first and thats something that I saw firsthand, how they reacted to this situation," Pena said. "They did everything they could to make sure my family was all right and taken care of, which I appreciate."... Evan Longoria was Tampa Bays designated hitter for the second straight game after missing the previous three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Manager Joe Maddon said he doesnt know when the All-Star third baseman will feel good enough to play defence, but thats OK with him. "Well just have to wait to get him on the field, but we have him as a DH well take it," Maddon said. Kurt Coleman Jersey . Many of those eyes are in the United States of America, a country that the sport has wanted on its side for some time. On Sunday the football Gods delivered once again, only this time it was time for good old USA to experience as much heartache as joy. Matt Kalil Jersey . - Leon Draisaitl scored a hat trick as the Prince Albert Raiders stormed past the Swift Current Broncos 5-2 in Western Hockey League action Tuesday. http://www.footballpantherspro.com/panth...lue-jersey/.com) - The Los Angeles Kings werent playing their best hockey before the league went on break during the Winter Olympics. Vernon Butler Jersey . Heather, the first Gaiter to win the award, set a Canadian Inter-university Sport record with 3,132 passing yards in eight league games, an average of 391.5 yards per game. That beat the mark of 3,047 set only one week earlier by Westerns Will Finch, a Hec Crighton finalist. Shaq Thompson Jersey . Cammalleri scored two goals, Corban Knight netted the winner in a shootout, and the Flames erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Stars 4-3 on Friday night. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Ryan Hunter-Reay deftly guided his car around the rain-soaked track, stayed out of trouble and wound up with a much happier ending. Hunter-Reay coasted to his second straight victory at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday when the rain-shortened IndyCar race finished under caution, with Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti behind him. The win came two weeks after Hunter-Reay touched off what turned into a seven-car pileup with an ill-timed attempt to pass Josef Newgarden at Long Beach to end what had been a dominating performance. "The week after Long Beach was a pretty long one," Hunter-Reay said. "It was one where I just wanted to get back in a racecar as soon as I could. "We knew it would be tough here. When it came to race time, I had the car in the wet, I had the car in the dry. They gave me exactly what I needed. I knew it was going to be close to make it all work out because it was so easy to make a mistake today. Just thrilled. This victory feels real good." A full-course caution came out for the final seven minutes of the timed race after rookie Mikhail Aleshin lost control and went off the track. That left Hunter-Reay unchallenged. Scott Dixon was third, followed by Simon Pagenaud and pole-sitter Will Power, a two-time winner at Barber who had a slight but costly misjudgment on a slippery track in the tight Turn 5. "He was out there cutting the grass," Hunter-Reay said. "I had to take advantage of that. It was so easy to do that today. I almost lost this race three times." There was some slipping and sliding, especially in the minutes after the field switched from the wet tires with several drivers leaving the track. He passed Power on lap 16 when the Australian left the track and skirted by the tire barrier before pulling back on. "I kept creeping my braking point a little bit further and further, and I went too far," Power said. "Its tough to not push past the limits with wet patches everywhere. We really didnt have the pace in the dry anyway, but that sure didnt help our cause when I went off course." The turn is called "Charlottes Web" because of a huge spider sculpture stationed there. "I almost threw it away three or four times there myself," Hunter-Reay said. "It was just tiptoeing around.dddddddddddd It was a very fine line between getting it all right or getting it all wrong. "Any guy thats been in an IndyCar on the Web will tell you thats how it is. Youve got to go up the risk side to the get the reward out of it, but its really easy to throw it all away." Its the 12th career win for Hunter-Reay, who was alone up front during the caution until Andretti pulled even at the finish line to savour the moment with his teammate. He led three times for a total of 40 laps. "Theyve given us great cars here, and a second win in a row for Ryan is awesome," said Andretti, whose radio worked only sporadically down the stretch. Dixon said running a time race was "kind of annoying" and Andretti said it removed some strategy from the formula. They wound up going 69 laps, and Hunter-Reay was up front for the final time starting on No. 52. "The race should be the full distance," Dixon said. "To have to shorten these races for TV, you know, I understand the difficult predicament that everybody is in, but these are championship races. They all pay the same amount of points. "You decide to take 30 laps off them ... I think it changes strategy a lot and youre constantly chasing that window. Then ultimately you finish on a caution, too, which is also a bit of a bummer for the fans. In the future, hopefully we can find a way around that." Drivers were focused on handling the track conditions, not payback from any lingering anger over Long Beach clashes. It ended badly for Aleshin, who walked back to pit road while the rest of the field finished. Earlier Sebastien Bourdais had spun the Russian from behind, leaving him stalled. Bourdais received a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. The race was a change-up for Dixon, who finished second in each of the first four races at Barber. "We went the wrong way, but it was an interesting day," Dixon said. "Whenever you have a rain delay it sort of puts a strain on everybody trying to figure out what we need to do. "The cars were pretty good. The track suits wet conditions. There were a few troublesome areas with standing water and a few of the guys found those spots. But generally the race went fairly smoothly." Cheap NFL Jerseys ChinaWholesale Jerseys ChinaCheap JerseysWholesale Jerseys ChinaWholesale Jerseys 2019Cheap Jerseys WholesaleCheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '