for this game

Backe carries Astros past Brewers

May 4, 2008 - 4:01 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Astros' offense needed a lift Saturday night, and Brandon Backe supplied it.

Backe hit a leadoff homer to ignite a five-run fifth inning as the Astros posted a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park.

With the game tied at 1-1, Backe hit his third career homer off Brewers starter Manny Parra (1-2) to put Houston ahead. Michael Bourn followed with a line-drive blast to right field, giving the Astros a 3-1 bulge.

"I woke them up a little bit, I guess," Backe said of the Astros' offense. "I knew I hit it well, but wasn't (sure it was going out). Thank God for the Biggio boxes."

"That was a big hit," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "It gave us a little breathing room."

The Biggio boxes are actually known as the Crawford boxes for the street on that side of the park. Righthanded hitters have been taking advantage of the short distance - 315 feet - down the left field line.

Backe takes pride in his hitting.

"I don't think I'm an easy out," he said. "I saw a lot of pitches. I got a lot of pitches out of the opposing pitchers, which is the main goal. Seeing four or five pitches an at-bat really helps out. A hit's a bonus. A home run's a bonus."

It was the second straight game in which Houston hit back-to-back homers. Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee belted consecutive homers on Friday.

Tejada doubled in a run later in the fifth, Hunter Pence delivered an RBI single and Parra uncorked a wild pitch to plate Tejada for a 5-1 lead.

But Backe (2-3) couldn't make it through the sixth, surrendering three walks and a run before Cooper called on Oscar Villarreal to get the final out of the inning with the bases loaded.

"(Backe) did lose command in the sixth," Cooper said. "He threw the ball well for the most part. He used his changeup a little more. He had to sit for a while (in the five-run fifth). He batted twice in that inning."

"I got a little tired," Backe said. "It affects you a little bit (the long inning). You have a nice break in there, I don't know how long it was, it might have thrown me off a little bit."

Backe gave up two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings for his first win in four starts. The righthander walked five and struck out three.

The Astros also received some excellent work from their bullpen.

Villarreal, Wesley Wright and closer Jose Valverde combined for 3 1/3 innings of relief without a hit.

Wright came in to face Prince Fielder after Villarreal walked Ryan Braun to open the eighth. Wright got Fielder, Corey Hart and Bill Hall to all fly out to end the inning.

"I wanted to challenge (Fielder)," Wright said. "I wanted to make him earn that base. I was able to get in on him with a fastball. It was a good night for the whole pitching staff."

"I have to give kudos to the bullpen the last two nights," Cooper said.

The Astros, who climbed within one game of .500, won their fifth in a row at home. They have scored six or more runs in each of their last four games.

Parra, who has not won since April 5 and entered the game with three straight no-decisions, allowed six runs and nine hits in four-plus frames.

"(Parra) should start by being more consistent with his fastball down," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "You're not going to pitch a perfect game."

"It wasn't a good curve to Backe," Parra said. "Then I fell behind Bourn. I didn't want him on base, so I went right after him."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 5 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 x 6 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIL - MANNY PARRA, DAVE BUSH (5TH), MITCH STETTER (6TH), GUILLERMO
    MOTA (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    HOU - BRANDON BACKE, OSCAR VILLARREAL (6TH), WESLEY
    WRIGHT (8TH), J

    May 3 10:11 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY COREY HART SCORED MIKE CAMERON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C HART ON FIRST, R BRAUN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    HOUSTON 6 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B HALL (.229, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Brewers 2, Astros 6  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 3 9:05 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, C LEE ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.269, 1-FOR-2)

    Brewers 1, Astros 6  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 8:45 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY MANNY PARRA ALLOWED MIGUEL TEJADA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.277, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Brewers 1, Astros 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIGUEL TEJADA SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M TEJADA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.299, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Brewers 1, Astros 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 8:36 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MICHAEL BOURN (3) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF MANNY PARRA.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: K MATSUI (.259, 0-FOR-0, 2 BB)

    Brewers 1, Astros 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 8:31 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON BACKE (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF MANNY PARRA.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.188, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers 1, Astros 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 8:29 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.270, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Brewers 1, Astros 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 3 7:56 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: MIL - MANNY PARRA
    HOU - BRANDON BACKE

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.191, 2 HR, 4 RBI)
    K MATSUI (.259, 1 HR, 8 RBI)
    M TEJADA (.350, 5 HR, 24 RBI)

    Brewers 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 3 7:11 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Pasta2000 Added 5 roots

    Brewers vs. AstrosApr 10 2:25 PM