Astros bullpen blows another late lead to end homestand

Astros bullpen blows another late lead to end homestand

Astros bullpen blows another late lead to end homestand

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on April 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 17 at 4:45 PM

 

HOUSTON—Will Venable hit a two-run single in a four-run eighth inning and the San Diego Padres rallied for an 8-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Sunday.

Heath Bell got his 38th consecutive save the hard way. He loaded the bases with one out in the ninth and then got the last two batters on a strikeout and groundout.

The Padres salvaged a split in the four-game series. Houston hasn’t won a series over San Diego since June 29-July 2, 2009, and the Padres haven’t lost a series in Houston since 2005.

Trailing 6-4 at the start of the eighth, the Padres got one run on Jason Bartlett’s one-out RBI single. Pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe walked to load the bases prior then Venable singled to right field for the go-ahead hit off Mark Melancon (1-1).

Jeff Fulchino came on and walked pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson to load the bases again and Jorge Cantu walked to force in the fourth run of the inning.

Ernesto Friero (1-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the victory. He struck out three and allowed one hit.

Jason Michaels singled off Bell to start the Astros ninth. Chris Johnson struck out and Brett Wallace walked. Humberto Quintero hit a long fly to Venable, the right fielder, who missed the ball for an error loading the bases. Matt Downs struck out of a full count and Jason Bourgeois grounded out to end the game.

Brett Myers extended his string of pitching at least six innings to 36 of his last 37 starts. He allowed a solo homer to Nick Hundley in the second and a two-run shot to Cantu in the fifth. Myers struck out four and walked two.

San Diego’s Clayton Richard pitched 5 1-3 innings, and allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out five.

Hundley led off the second inning with a first-pitch home run, his third of the season. Myers then struck out Ryan Ludwick and Cameron Maybin tripled over center fielder Bourgeois’ head.

Maybin was caught in a rundown on a grounder by Bartlett and Myers struck out Richard to keep it a one-run game.

Bill Hall, hitless in his previous 10 at-bats, gave the Astros the lead with a two-run single in the second. Michaels walked and Johnson doubled before Hall singled down the first base line. He was caught trying to take second.

Houston got two more runs in the third on an RBI double by Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee’s RBI single.

Cantu’s two-run homer in the fifth continued his success against Myers. Cantu is hitting .450 for his career against Myers.

NOTES: Hudson’s 11-game hitting streak ended Saturday night but he still has reached base in all 15 games this season. He was 0 for 3 Saturday with a walk. He is 6 for 6 on stolen bases this season. Brad Hawpe has the second best batting average against Houston among active players (50 for 145, .345.)

 

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