Astros
Reds
7 - 6 Final
  for this game

Berkman, Pence help Astros edge Reds

Sep 27, 2007 - 3:51 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Lance Berkman used his big bat to help knock off the Cincinnati Reds.

Berkman hit two home runs and rookie Hunter Pence drove in the decisive run as the Houston Astros posted a 7-6 victory over the Reds on Wednesday night.

Carlos Lee homered and scored the game-winning run and Pence also hit a solo shot for Houston, which is 10-4 vs. Cincinnati this season, including 7-1 here.

The loss is the fourth straight for the Reds, who are just a game ahead of the Astros for fourth place in the National League Central with only four games remaining.

With the score tied at 6-6 in the top of the eighth, Lee hit a two-out double off rookie Jared Burton (4-2), the sixth of seven pitchers used by Cincinnati. Pence then slapped a base hit up the middle, allowing the burly Lee to just beat the throw of center fielder Norris Hopper at home plate to give Houston a one-run lead.

"We had to go for it," Astros interim manager Cecil Cooper said. "We had to get that run home with two outs. Lee did what he had to do. He slid away from the tag and reached back with his hand.

"Carlos also hustled his hit into a double. People say he doesn't hustle but he plays hard. He may not always get down the first base line, but when the games are on the line he hustles. He's been a very, very good camper since I've been here."

Astros rookie Dennis Sarfate (1-0) earned his first major league victory by pitching two innings of one-hit relief. Chad Qualls worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to collect his fifth save of the season.

"(The win) feels good," Sarfate said. "I've been a starter my whole life, I'm just trying to get my foot in the door. Chad Qualls gave me the ball. I guess we'd have had to fight over it if it was his first career save."

Berkman, who was 4-for-4 with four RBI, continued to make Great American Ballpark look like a Little League field.

The four-time All-Star has blasted 17 homers here - the most of any opponent - since the stadium opened in 2003.

Berkman put the Astros out front early when, with runners on second and third and no outs in the first, the nine-year veteran belted a 3-0 pitch from rookie Tom Shearn over the center field wall to give Houston a 3-0 lead.

"When you've had success in a ballpark, you feel comfortable," Berkman said. "I can't explain the home runs, but I do like it here. I see the ball well."

Lee immediately followed with a solo shot to left to increase the lead to four.

Shearn, who didn't finish the inning, was replaced by Kirk Saarloos with two outs in the frame.

The Reds halved their deficit in the bottom half of the inning when rookie Joey Votto hit a two-out double and scored on Brandon Phillips' 30th homer of the season. The two-run shot off Houston rookie Juan Gutierrez helped Phillips become just the third player in club history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in one season.

Eric Davis (1987) and Barry Larkin (1990) are the other two Reds players to reach that feat.

"It hasn't really settled in," Phillips said. "I can believe I achieved my goals. It is a great feeling to be in the same category as my favorite player (Larkin) growing up."

He also joins Alfonso Soriano as the only second basemen to be members of 30-30 club.

"Larkin and Soriano," Phillips added. "I've always liked the way (Soriano, who has done it three times) swings. I feel like I've lost five pounds. I finally got the monkey off my back."

"Everybody is happy for him, he's a great kid," Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "We're glad he got it for a number of reasons, one of which is that he can stop going for it."

Saarloos put Cincinnati out front in the bottom of the second when he hit a two-run double and scored on a double-play groundout to give the Reds a 5-4 advantage.

Pence led off the third with his 17th homer to knot the game at 5-5, and Berkman untied it one inning later by drilling a two-out homer off Saarloos to make it 6-5.

It was the 33rd homer of the season for Berkman, who is one ahead of Lee for the team lead. It was also his 100th RBI, the fifth time he's reach the century mark for runs driven in.

"It's a team game but there's an individual component," Berkman said. "Reaching 100 RBI makes me feel like I've done a good job."

Cincinnati tied it in the sixth when Edwin Encarnacion led off with a double off reliever Mark McLemore and scored on a double by rookie Buck Coats.






  • 40
    roots
    ekabrazi Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. RedsSep 28 12:06 AM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 7 15 0
    CINCINNATI 2 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - JUAN GUTIERREZ, MARK MCLEMORE (6TH), DENNIS SARFATE (7TH),
    CHAD QUALLS (9TH) AND ERIC MUNSON, J.R. TOWLES (4TH)
    CIN - TOM SHEARN, KIRK SAARLOOS (1ST), MIKE GO

    Sep 26 10:22 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 10:04 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 7
    CINCINNATI 6 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.257, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 9:55 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY BUCK COATS SCORED EDWIN ENCARNACION.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B COATS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6
    CINCINNATI 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J ELLISON (.171, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 9:19 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (33) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF KIRK SAARLOOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6, CINCINNATI 5
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.301, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 8:32 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HUNTER PENCE (17) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF KIRK SAARLOOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5, CINCINNATI 5
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.256, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 8:09 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    JEFF KEPPINGER HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING KIRK SAARLOOS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    CINCINNATI 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J VOTTO (.338, 1-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 8:03 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KIRK SAARLOOS SCORED BUCK COATS AND JASON
    ELLISON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K SAARLOOS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    CINCINNATI 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: N HOPPER (.338, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 8:00 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRANDON PHILLIPS (30) TO RIGHT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF JUAN GUTIERREZ SCORED JOEY VOTTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4, CINCINNATI 2
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: E ENCARNACION (.291, 15 HR, 74 RBI)

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 7:43 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 4 4 4 0
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - JUAN GUTIERREZ
    CIN - KIRK SAARLOOS

    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: N HOPPER (.338, 0 HR, 14 RBI)
    J KEPPINGER (.342, 5 HR, 32 RBI)
    J VOTTO (.328, 3 HR,

    Astros vs. RedsSep 26 7:34 PM