for this game

Loretta's homer propels Astros past struggling Rockies

Jun 30, 2007 - 5:27 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Mark Loretta and the Houston Astros continue to make life miserable for closer Brian Fuentes and the Colorado Rockies.

Loretta hit a two-run homer off Fuentes as the Astros defeated the Rockies, 8-7, on Friday, sending them to their eighth straight loss.

It was the fourth consecutive blown save for Fuentes (0-4), who has seven so far in 2007.

"This is the craziest situation I've ever been in in anything," said Colorado first baseman Todd Helton, who once played quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers.

After Colorado had taken an 8-7 lead in the seventh inning on an RBI single from pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs, Loretta and Houston dealt another blow to Colorado in the ninth.

Carlos Lee, who hit a walk-off grand slam Thursday against Fuentes, drew a two-out walk walk. Loretta then sent a 1-1 offering into the left field seats for only his second homer of the season to send the Rockies to another loss.

"I was just trying to make good contact," Loretta said. "I didn't go up there trying to win the game. I'm not a home run hitter. It was an inside fastball I was able to pull. (Fuentes) throws hard. You don't want to be late on the fastball."

Lee predicted that Loretta would deliver.

"Carlos said before the inning, 'I have a feeling you're going to do it tonight,'" said Loretta, whose only other walk-off homer happened last year for Boston against Seattle.

Fuentes did not talk with the media after the game.

"Tito's as tough a guy as I've ever known," said Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe of Fuentes, whose nicknamed after former San Francisco infielder Tito Fuentes. "He's our closer, and we're really glad he is."

"The guy is going to be fine," added Helton. "Basically he's just run into some bad luck."

Houston manager Phil Garner defended Fuentes.

"He probably did a smart thing by walking Lee," Garner said. "You think a walk is not going to hurt you that much. There'd be a lot of people who would like to have him, even though he's struggled on the road trip."

When asked if he might remove Fuentes from the closer's role temporarily, Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said it was an option.

"The ball (Thursday night) against Lee just got away from him," Hurdle said. "He couldn't get a ball where we wanted to against Loretta."

Reliever Dave Borkowski (2-3) pitched the ninth for Houston to earn the victory. Mark McLemore kept the Astros in the game by allowing only one run in 2 1/3 innings.

"I was just trying to chew up some innings, keep the game as close as I can," said McLemore, recalled Thursday from Class AAA Round Rock (Texas) for the second time this season. "I'm not making any long term plans, but you get more comfortable every time (you get to the majors) and that's huge in baseball."

After sweeping the Yankees at home, Colorado lost the first seven on this road trip, including three at Toronto, three at the Chicago Cubs and Thursday's opener of a four-games series here.

The Rockies' bullpen, which had blown five save opportunities in the previous seven losses, pitched superbly Friday until Fuentes lost it. Reliever Taylor Buchholz, a former Astro, threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings before Jorge Julio and Manny Corpas each pitched the seventh and eighth innings, effectively.

Lance Berkman drove in three runs for Houston with a homer and two-run triple.

"He struck the ball well tonight," Garner said of Berkman. "Particularly from the left side, it looks like he's getting his groove back."

"I feel pretty good right now," said Berkman, who raised his average to .262. "For a while I was not feeling good. I'm still trying to climb out of a hole. There's a long way to go. It's all timing and feel."

Trailing, 6-3, in the fifth, the Astros scored four in the inning to knock out Rockies starter Josh Fogg.

Fogg, who gave up six runs and 11 hits in five innings in his last start against Houston June 6, surrendered seven runs on seven hits this time in 4 2/3 innings.

Down a run, the Rockies tied it in the sixth. Willy Taveras was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on catcher Eric Munson's throwing error, before scoring on Matt Holliday's RBI single to make it 7-7.

Starter Chris Sampson wasn't any better for the Astros, giving up seven runs on eight hits, in 5 2/3 innings.

Garrett Atkins hit two homers and Todd Helton also homered for Colorado, giving the Rockies back-to-back three-homer games.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 2 0 3 1 1 1 0 0 8 13 0
    HOUSTON 0 2 1 0 4 0 0 0 2 9 9 3 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: COL - JOSH FOGG, TAYLOR BUCHHOLZ (5TH), JORGE JULIO (7TH), MANNY
    CORPAS (8TH), BRIAN FUENTES (9TH) AND CHRIS IANNETTA
    HOU - CHRIS SAMPSON, MARK MCLEMORE (6TH), DAVE

    Jun 29 11:23 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK LORETTA (2) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF BRIAN FUENTES SCORED CHRIS BURKE.
    FINAL SCORE: HOUSTON 9, COLORADO 8

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 11:23 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 11:02 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN SPILBORGHS SCORED BRAD HAWPE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SPILBORGHS ON FIRST, T TULOWITZKI ON
    SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 8
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: W TAVERAS (.314, 1-FOR-2, BB, HBP, 2 RBI)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 10:32 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT HOLLIDAY SCORED WILLY TAVERAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M HOLLIDAY ON FIRST, K MATSUI ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 7
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.316, 2-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 10:09 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE LAMB SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M LAMB ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 6
    HOUSTON 7 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.241, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CARLOS LEE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 6
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.327, 0-FOR-1, HBP)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 9:43 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO AND HUNTER
    PENCE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 6
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.296, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 9:40 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TODD HELTON (7) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF CHRIS SAMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 6, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.252, 2-FOR-2, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 9:26 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILLY TAVERAS SCORED TROY TULOWITZKI AND CHRIS
    IANNETTA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W TAVERAS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 5
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: K MATSUI (.297, 0-FOR-2)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 9:15 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GARRETT ATKINS (11) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF CHRIS SAMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 3, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.293, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 9:05 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (13) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JOSH FOGG.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.294, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 8:59 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ERIC MUNSON SCORED CARLOS LEE AND MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E MUNSON ON SECOND, L SCOTT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C SAMPSON (.211, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 8:41 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GARRETT ATKINS (10) TO CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF CHRIS SAMPSON SCORED TODD HELTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.294, 13 HR, 54 RBI)

    Rockies vs. AstrosJun 29 8:24 PM