Astros
Giants
7 - 3 Final
  for this game

Berkman homers as Astros keep rolling

May 13, 2008 - 6:31 AM By Ryan McCrary PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) - Lance Berkman made sure Barry Zito would have to wait even longer for his elusive first win of the season.

Berkman clubbed a two-run home run to deep left center in the sixth inning, helping the Houston Astros to a 7-3 victory against the San Francisco Giants on Monday in the opener of a four-game series.

San Francisco jumped on the board first on back-to-back RBI doubles from Fred Lewis and Omar Vizquel, staking the Giants to a 2-0 lead. Rookie John Bowker hit his fourth home run of the season to the arcade in right off Roy Oswalt (4-3) in the fourth to put the Giants up 3-0.

For a while Zito took advantage of the run support, keeping the Astros scoreless through five innings and made it into the sixth for the first time since April 16 at Arizona.

"I was a little more aggressive," said Zito, who is off to an 0-7 start. "I left a few changeups up, gave up some hits - most of the hits were off changeups. That was the difference. I don't know if I'm building toward a win. That's out of my control, but I was trying to be more aggressive out there."

Things unraveled quickly in the sixth as Hunter Pence and Mark Loretta hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. A sacrifice fly by Tejada and a two-run home run by Berkman tied the score at 3-3.

"The guys are playing well and you want to try and win as many games as you can when its like this," Berkman said. "The offense hung around until we got the opportunity. We had some opportunities earlier we didn't capitalize on. It felt good to tie it because Roy doesn't give up much more than three runs."

Berkman extended his hitting streak to 11 games, batting .605 (26-for-43) with five homers and 15 RBI during the span.

"It doesn't look like he's swinging hard at all," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said of Berkman. "There was the one at-bat when he got out of himself, but the next time - in the same situation - he just took a nice smooth swing."

"I've watched him for eight years. I've seen him hot before, but I've never seen him this hot," Oswalt added. "A lot of times, he gets hot one side of the plate or other. This time he's gotten hot on both sides and is doing some damage."

Zito surrendered three runs and seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts over six innings.

"It's not about me getting wins; it's about my team getting wins," Zito said. "Unfortunately, it didn't happen tonight. For me to make pitches, be aggressive, those are things that make me feel good that make me satisfied out there."

"I thought he pitched well," Cooper said of Zito. "I thought he spotted his fastball and he had a good breaking ball. He made pitches. We hit two or three balls hard off him, but he made pitches."

Houston took a 4-3 lead off reliever Vinnie Chulk (0-1) in the seventh on Hunter Pence's sacrifice fly, which was enough for Oswalt.

After allowing the home run to Bowker, the Astros ace settled down and retired his next 14 batters before giving way to Geoff Geary in the ninth. Oswalt pitched eight innings, allowing three runs and five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

"I felt a lot better the last three innings," Oswalt said. "The way you pick up wins is by going deep in a ballgame. If you're not going deep in games, going in to the seventh or eighth inning, you're not going to win many."

Berkman capped his three-hit night with a double in the eighth, which led to a three-run rally to give Houston a 7-3 advantage.

San Francisco rallied and loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but closer Jose Valverde recovered and got pinch-hitter Ray Durham to fly out to left to end the threat and collect his ninth save of the season.

With a single to lead off the third, Brad Ausmus became just the eighth catcher in major league history to record 1,500 career hits and 100 stolen bases.








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

    BATTERIES: HOU - ROY OSWALT, GEOFF GEARY (9TH), JOSE VALVERDE (9TH) AND BRAD
    AUSMUS
    SFO - BARRY ZITO, VINNIE CHULK (7TH), MERKIN VALDEZ
    (8TH), KEIICHI YABU (8TH) AND BENGIE M

    May 13 1:05 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY EUGENIO VELEZ ALLOWED TY WIGGINTON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J CRUZ JR ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 7
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.244, 2-FOR-3)

    Astros 7, Giants 3  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 13 12:33 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY KEIICHI YABU ALLOWED CARLOS LEE TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J CRUZ JR ON FIRST, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.244, 2-FOR-3)

    Astros 6, Giants 3  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 13 12:33 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE CRUZ JR SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CRUZ JR ON FIRST, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, C
    LEE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.244, 2-FOR-3)

    Astros 5, Giants 3  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 13 12:28 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED JOSE CRUZ JR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B AUSMUS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.215, 1-FOR-3)

    Astros 4, Giants 3  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 13 12:08 AM
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    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Astros 3, Giants 3  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 13 12:02 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (13) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF BARRY ZITO SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3, SAN FRANCISCO 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.278, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 3, Giants 3  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 12 11:45 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 27 roots

    Astros 3, Giants 3  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 12 11:45 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIGUEL TEJADA SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.384, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros 1, Giants 3  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 12 11:43 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 27 roots

    Astros 0, Giants 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 12 11:30 PM
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    Nightcrawler447 Added 5 roots

    Astros 0, Giants 3  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 12 11:27 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHN BOWKER (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF ROY OSWALT.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, SAN FRANCISCO 3
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R AURILIA (.253, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 0, Giants 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 12 11:20 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY OMAR VIZQUEL SCORED FRED LEWIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, O VIZQUEL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R WINN (.286, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 0, Giants 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 12 11:07 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRED LEWIS SCORED EMMANUEL BURRISS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F LEWIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: O VIZQUEL (.429, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 0, Giants 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 12 11:05 PM