for this game

Berkman, Astros quiet streaking Marlins

Apr 13, 2008 - 3:55 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Lance Berkman was typically effective, and Brandon Backe was admittedly "awful." Nevertheless, they proved to be a good enough combination for the Houston Astros.

Berkman highlighted a four-run second inning with a two-run homer as the Astros snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory over the surprising Florida Marlins on Saturday.

Astros starter Backe (1-1) encountered trouble throughout his five scoreless innings but earned his first win. He allowed five hits and five walks while permitting runners to reach base in every inning.

Berkman capped the scoring in the second with his blast to left off Florida starter Andrew Miller (0-2), which provided the final margin.

"Whenever you haven't been playing well, anytime you can come out and get on top early, it's good," Berkman said. "And Brandon threw well. It's probably one of the longest 5-0 games in the history of baseball, but we'll take a win anyway we can get it."

After the Astros had taken a 1-0 lead in the first, Jose Cruz Jr. and Brad Ausmus led off the second with consecutive doubles for a 2-0 advantage. Mark Loretta singled home Ausmus for a 3-0 lead before Berkman belted his fourth homer of the season.

"Fortunately, he (Miller) threw it in a spot where I could handle it," Berkman said. "He throws 95 miles-an-hour, and I thought there was a pretty good chance at 2-1 that I'd see a fastball.

"He's got great stuff - there's no doubt. When you see a lefty that has that kind of raw ability, it might take him a little bit to put it together. I think this guy has similar stuff (to Randy Johnson).

"I've faced both of them, and this guy has similar stuff. When he gets a good feel for his off-speed stuff, then I don't want to face him."

The Astros secured a 1-0 lead in the first on consecutive two-out singles from Berkman, Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada.

The 22-year-old Miller, who entered the game with a 12.91 ERA, allowed five runs and eight hits while walking four and striking out six.

Marlins star shortstop Hanley Ramirez singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. However, he was one of 12 runners stranded by the Marlins in the first seven innings.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez applauded Houston's defense.

"(Backe) kind of wiggled out of everything," Gonzalez said. "He hung in there like Miller did. He had people making some good plays behind him. (Geoff) Blum made a couple of really nice ones. That's just the way the game is."

Astros relievers Geoff Geary, Doug Brocail and Jose Valverde combined to shut out the Marlins over the final four innings.

Ramirez, Dan Uggla and Mike Jacobs each had two hits for Florida, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Backe became the first starter for Houston to win a game this season. The Astros had lost the final two contests of a three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals and the opener against the Marlins.

Backe didn't attempt to sugarcoat his performance.

"Awful, but the end result was good," Backe said. "Effectively wild. Thank goodness I have a good defense behind me. The quick early runs kind of got us through it. I felt pretty comfortable the first two starts.

"But I just didn't have it to today. They got themselves out, basically. My performance wasn't that great today. They hit some rockets."

Miller yielded five runs and eight hits while walking four and striking out six for Florida, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Marlins left 14 runners on base.

"I felt I threw the ball really well. The two singles (in the first inning), I felt I made my pitches," Miller said. "If I make those pitches again, those balls are probably not going to fall in.

"The pitch to Berkman was up. It was a bad pitch."

Gonzalez was pleased with his young pitcher.

"He did fine. He gave up five runs that first two innings, and a lesser pitcher would have folded the tent," Gonzalez said. "But he stayed in there and gave us five innings. He did a terrific job of staying in the game and pitching well."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
    HOUSTON 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 5 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - ANDREW MILLER, LEE GARDNER (6TH), LOGAN KENSING (7TH), TAYLOR
    TANKERSLEY (8TH) AND MIKE RABELO
    HOU - BRANDON BACKE, GEOFF GEARY (6TH), DOUG BROCAIL
    (8TH), JO

    Apr 12 10:23 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (4) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF ANDREW MILLER SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.267, 1-FOR-1)

    Marlins 0, Astros 5  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 12 7:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.308, 1-FOR-1)

    Marlins 0, Astros 3  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 12 7:48 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRAD AUSMUS SCORED JOSE CRUZ JR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B AUSMUS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B BACKE (.250, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Marlins 0, Astros 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 12 7:44 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIGUEL TEJADA SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEJADA ON FIRST, C LEE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: G BLUM (.320, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    Marlins 0, Astros 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 12 7:21 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Marlins vs. AstrosApr 12 5:03 PM