Astros
Giants
8 - 7 Final
  for this game

Berkman's blast boosts Astros past Giants

May 16, 2008 - 12:49 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Lance Berkman may be the hottest hitter on the planet and he isn't showing any signs of cooling off.

Berkman crushed a ball into McCovey Cove in the ninth inning to lift the Houston Astros to an 8-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon.

The Astros' first baseman went 2-for-4, driving in three runs and extending his hitting streak to 14 games. His major league-leading 15th home run off Vinnie Chulk (0-2) led off the ninth.

"To me it's our best comeback, it might be our best comeback that I've ever seen, just because who was on the mound for them and it's getaway day," Berkman said. "There are a lot of factors and what an unbelievable job by Darin (Erstad) to come in there off the bench and drive the ball out of the ballpark. It was unbelievable."

Erstad hit his first career pinch-hit home run, a three-run shot to highlight a four-run eighth inning that tied the game at 7-7. Carlos Lee started the rally with a solo homer to lead off the frame.

"Honestly, you're just trying to get a pitch, put a good swing on it and hit it hard and wherever it goes," Erstad said. "In those situations you can't get too technical about things."

Tyler Walker came in from the bullpen on his 32nd birthday and was tagged with three hits and four runs in just two-thirds of an inning. After Lee's home run, Geoff Blum reached first on a wild pitch after striking out. Mark Loretta singled to center and Erstad lined a shot just over the wall in right.

"Basically I blame this loss completely on my poorly executed pitches today," Walker said. "There's no way Vinnie should have been pitching in this game. This game should've been over. A four-run lead with six outs to get. They're good hitters over there, but if you execute your pitches you've got to be able to get through that."

Tim Byrdak (2-0) picked up the win, retiring two batters in the eighth, and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save. It was Houston's 11th win in its last 13 games.

"It continues to build and it gives a lot of character and shows what kind of guys you have in the other room there," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "They keep playing, they play hard. Every day it looks like somebody else steps up and does it."

San Francisco scored two runs in the first and four in the third off Houston starter Chris Sampson but could not hold the 6-0 lead.

"Anytime you lose a game like this they are tough ones," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You are really in command, you're five outs away with a four-run lead. Those are tough ones to lose."

Rookie John Bowker had three of the RBI, including a two-run double, and Aaron Rowand also drove in two for the Giants.

Berkman had a two-run single in the fourth and Loretta also had an RBI single in the inning, cutting Houston's deficit to 6-3.

The Giants got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when Omar Vizquel singled and Randy Winn doubled to right with two outs. Rowand then grounded to short but Loretta's throw to first pulled Berkman off the bag, allowing Vizquel to score.

Giants starter Tim Lincecum pitched six innings, allowing three runs and five hits while recording 10 strikeouts, but he did not get a no-decision after the Astros rallied late.

"He pitched well," Bochy said. "He worked hard today but overall he did a good job. A quality start, we just couldn't hold a six-run and a four-run lead. Those are games that we need to close out."






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    Astros 8, Giants 7  FinalMay 16 4:43 AM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 1 8 13 2
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - CHRIS SAMPSON, DAVE BORKOWSKI (7TH), GEOFF GEARY (8TH), TIM
    BYRDAK (8TH), JOSE VALVERDE (9TH) AND J.R. TOWLES, BRAD AUSMUS
    (8TH)
    SFO - TIM LINCECUM, JACK TAS

    May 15 7:11 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (15) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF VINNIE CHULK.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 8, SAN FRANCISCO 7
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.285, 2-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Astros 8, Giants 7  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 15 6:45 PM
  • 56
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    RUWTbot Took away 21 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 8, Giants 7  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 15 6:45 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 7, Giants 7  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 15 6:42 PM
  • 5
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    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Astros 7, Giants 7  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 15 6:10 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DARIN ERSTAD (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF TYLER WALKER SCORED GEOFF BLUM AND MARK LORETTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 7, SAN FRANCISCO 7
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: D BORKOWSKI (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Astros 7, Giants 7  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 15 6:08 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (9) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF TYLER WALKER.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4, SAN FRANCISCO 7
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: G BLUM (.209, 0-FOR-3)

    Astros 4, Giants 7  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 15 6:02 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MARK LORETTA ALLOWED OMAR VIZQUEL TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A ROWAND ON FIRST, R WINN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    SAN FRANCISCO 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: J BOWKER (.291, 1-FOR-1, SF, 3 RBI)

    Astros 3, Giants 7  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 15 5:05 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    SAN FRANCISCO 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J TOWLES (.155, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 3, Giants 6  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 15 4:53 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED KAZ MATSUI AND HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    SAN FRANCISCO 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.277, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 2, Giants 6  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 15 4:48 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHN BOWKER SCORED RANDY WINN AND AARON ROWAND.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J BOWKER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 6 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R AURILIA (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 0, Giants 6  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 15 4:37 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON ROWAND SCORED OMAR VIZQUEL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A ROWAND ON FIRST, R WINN ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: J BOWKER (.282, 0-FOR-0, SF, RBI)

    Astros 0, Giants 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 15 4:35 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RANDY WINN SCORED FRED LEWIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R WINN ON SECOND, O VIZQUEL ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: A ROWAND (.328, 0-FOR-1, RBI)

    Astros 0, Giants 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 15 4:34 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOHN BOWKER SCORED RANDY WINN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A ROWAND ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R AURILIA (.245, 3 HR, 11 RBI)

    Astros 0, Giants 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 15 4:03 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON ROWAND SCORED OMAR VIZQUEL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A ROWAND ON FIRST, R WINN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: J BOWKER (.282, 4 HR, 12 RBI)

    Astros 0, Giants 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 15 4:02 PM