for this game

Lee's late double propels Astros past Nationals

May 7, 2008 - 5:12 AM By Jeremy Rakes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Carlos Lee hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday, sending the Houston Astros to a 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals.

Lance Berkman added a career-high five hits and scored four runs, including the game-winner for the Astros (17-16), who crept over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

"We've won some good games here recently," Berkman said. "We have won and that goes a long way to building confidence. We have had success and that fosters a good feeling in the clubhouse.

"I feel comfortable, but in order to have these types of nights, you have to get lucky too. I hit a cue-ball off the end of the bat. You have to have a couple of those."

After Austin Kearns gave the Nationals their fourth lead of the contest at 5-4 with his third home run of the season in the eighth, Miguel Tejada and Berkman responded with consecutive singles off Washington reliever Luis Ayala (1-2).

Lee followed with a sinking line drive to right that skipped past Kearns in right field, enabling Tejada and Berkman to score.

"I was trying to hit the ball the other way," said Lee, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. "I was trying to go the opposite way with it. When things are going good, things happen. That ball was just out of his reach. He dove for it and we came back and won the game."

The comeback made a winner of Doug Brocail (2-0), who surrendered Kearns' blast that temporarily gave Washington the lead.

Closer Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in 10 chances.

The game was a back-and-forth affair that saw the teams exchange the lead on six different occasions.

"It says a lot about the character of the team to continue fighting and never giving up," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "They don't quit, they keep fighting and we ride the backs of Tejada, the Big Puma (Berkman) and the Big Caballo (Lee). We just keep riding them, and we keep fighting.

"Anytime you have to go through those three guys, it's not easy. They are three of the best RBI guys in the game. One of them is going to get you."

Washington went ahead for the third time in the seventh inning when pinch hitter Aaron Boone led off the frame with the team's first pinch-hit homer of the season, sneaking it just inside the left field foul pole for a 4-3 lead.

The Astros tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the inning. Berkman led off with a double and stole third before scoring on a balk from Saul Rivera.

Kearns led off the top of the eighth with his solo shot, leading to the finish that allowed Houston to collect its fourth straight victory.

"In order for one team to win, another has to make mistakes, that was the result," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "(Kearns) had to make a play on it. On the road, you play to win."

Houston starter Shawn Chacon recorded his seventh straight no-decision, becoming the first Astros starter to ever go seven starts without a decision and the first pitcher since Mark Grant in 1987 to start the season without a win or a loss in that many games.

Chacon, who went seven innings, allowed four runs on eight hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.

"My goal coming out is to give us a chance to win," Chacon said. "I threw a lot easier, a lot smoother. I made a couple of mistakes. The offense has the potential to score every inning, and I just wanted to keep it there."








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

    BATTERIES: WAS - SHAWN HILL, JESUS COLOME (6TH), SAUL RIVERA (7TH), LUIS AYALA
    (8TH) AND PAUL LO DUCA, WIL NIEVES (8TH)
    HOU - SHAWN CHACON, DOUG BROCAIL (8TH), JOSE VALVERDE


    May 6 11:04 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 5, Astros 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 6 10:59 PM


  • NL
    WASHINGTON AT HOUSTON
    NOTE: HOUSTON'S MIGUEL TEJADA EXTENDED HIS HITTING STREAK
    TO 10 GAMES WITH A SINGLE IN THE EIGHTH INNING.

    Nationals 5, Astros 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 6 10:57 PM
  • 5
    roots
    undertaker Added 5 roots

    Nationals 5, Astros 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 6 10:56 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AUSTIN KEARNS (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF DOUG BROCAIL.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.217, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 5, Astros 4  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 6 10:38 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BALK BY SAUL RIVERA ALLOWED LANCE BERKMAN TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.222, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 4, Astros 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 6 10:31 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AARON BOONE (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF SHAWN CHACON.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 4, Astros 3  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 6 10:10 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, C LEE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.229, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 3, Astros 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 6 9:41 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    HOUSTON 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N JOHNSON (.220, 1-FOR-1, BB, HR, RBI)

    Nationals 3, Astros 2  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 6 9:29 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN SCORED WILY MO PENA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUZMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    HOUSTON 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.214, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 2, Astros 2  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 6 9:27 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.269, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Nationals 1, Astros 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 6 8:54 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C LEE ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.254, 4 HR, 16 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Astros 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 6 8:41 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY NICK JOHNSON (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF SHAWN CHACON.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: L MILLEDGE (.263, 1 HR, 11 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Astros 0  Top 2, 0 OutsMay 6 8:19 PM