for this game

Lee's clutch hit propels Astros past Nationals

May 8, 2008 - 4:38 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Carlos Lee helped the Houston Astros remain sizzling hot at home.

Lee's game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday lifted the Houston Astros to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals.

The victory was the Astros' fifth straight and also was their third consecutive in their last at-bat.

The win also gave Houston an eight-game winning streak at Minute Maid Park, the longest since winning nine in a row here from July 8-30, 2005.

""When you've got a guy (Lance Berkman) who's 14 of his last 15, I'd take my chances with the next guy," said Lee, referring to himself. "They were just being smart about it. In my previous at-bat, I was very disappointed with the approach I took at the plate.

"At the end, I was trying to put the ball in play up the middle because they were shifting big time. Even if they caught it, I knew it would be a sacrifice fly."

In the ninth with the game knotted at 3-3, Kaz Matsui led off the frame with a walk, stole second and, one out later, Berkman was intentionally walked by Washington reliever Joel Hanrahan (0-2).

With Lee at the plate, Matsui went to third on a wild pitch before the Houston slugger lined a pitch from reliever Jesus Colome into center field, plating Matsui for the victory.

Hanrahan said there was no one to blame but himself.

"I'm just not throwing strikes," Hanrahan said. "Maybe I'm trying too hard and it's getting in my head.

"I've got no answer for it now, but I can't win games walking people."

Jose Valverde (4-1) picked up the victory after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Matsui created the victory with his aggressive baserunning.

"There was no doubt I was going on the wild pitch," Matsui said. "I try to make use of my speed. I just wanted to set up the big guys.

"We're just playing as a team and making things happen."

Ryan Zimmerman helped account for all three Nationals runs, belting a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the sixth off Astros ace Roy Oswalt.

"I'm hitting the ball hard," Zimmerman said. "If I stay like this, I'll be fine for the rest of the year."

Berkman led off the fourth inning with his 11th homer and Oswalt added a two-run single later in the frame to give the Astros a 3-2 advantage. The blast by Berkman was his franchise record-tying eighth consecutive hit.

Zimmerman's blast in the sixth was his fifth of the season and tied the score at 3-3.

Oswalt gave up three runs, six hits and two walks while striking out nine in seven frames. Nationals starter Odalis Perez allowed three runs, five hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings.

It wasn't Perez's effective stint that got under the skin of Nationals manager Manny Acta.

"We gave up too many walks in the bottom of the lineup," Acta said. "When you do that, you'll pay for it."

Astros manager Cecil Cooper was elated Houston could capitalize late again.

"It's good when you're on the edge of your seat every pitch, especially when you can turn it into a win," Cooper said. "Other than a couple of mistakes, Roy pitched terrific. He was electric early.

"(In the ninth inning), I probably would have taken my chances of loading the bases and try to get a double play. Carlos has done this so many times. He's an RBI guy. Tonight he delivered again."








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

    BATTERIES: WAS - ODALIS PEREZ, MICHAEL O'CONNOR (6TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (7TH),
    JESUS COLOME (9TH) AND PAUL LO DUCA, WIL NIEVES (7TH)
    HOU - ROY OSWALT, DOUG BROCAIL (8TH), JOSE VA

    May 7 11:00 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    FINAL SCORE: HOUSTON 4, WASHINGTON 3

    Nationals 3, Astros 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 7 11:00 PM
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    undertaker Added 5 roots

    Nationals 3, Astros 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 7 11:00 PM
  • 82
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 3, Astros 3  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 7 10:38 PM
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    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Nationals 3, Astros 3  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 7 9:53 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN (5) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF ROY OSWALT.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N JOHNSON (.217, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Nationals 3, Astros 3  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 7 9:33 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROY OSWALT SCORED HUNTER PENCE AND TY WIGGINTON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R OSWALT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.191, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 2, Astros 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 7 9:16 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (11) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF ODALIS PEREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.276, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Astros 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 7 9:05 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: WAS - ODALIS PEREZ
    HOU - ROY OSWALT

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.194, 3 HR, 5 RBI)
    K MATSUI (.284, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
    M TEJADA (.344, 5 HR, 25 RBI)

    Nationals 2, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 7 8:11 PM
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    Nationals vs. AstrosMay 7 12:39 PM