for this game

Astros hold on in ninth to edge Phillies

May 25, 2008 - 4:30 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) - There was one obvious reason Gold Glove winner Darrin Erstad made a cameo appearance in left field in the ninth inning of the Houston Astros' dramatic 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday.

Erstad, entering the game as a defensive replacement, rocketed a throw to home plate to nail Pedro Feliz to complete a game-ending double play and preserve the Houston win.

Philadelphia had loaded the bases with one out before Shane Victorino lofted a medium deep fly to left to set the stage for Erstad's heroics.

Erstad got a bead on the fly ball, gained momentum forward, caught it and threw a perfect one-hop strike to catcher Brad Ausmus, whose swiping tag of Feliz ended the game.

"You have your chances off the bench, and you have to make the most of them," Erstad said.

The veteran outfielder-first baseman said the win felt like a walk-off home run as an Astros mob scene ensued on the pitcher's mound after the play at the plate.

"It's a different way to do it ... the celebration," Erstad said. "In this game you get a lot of different wins.

"But tomorrow it's over, and I separate days pretty good. You just put the work in and you're on auto-pilot. Obviously, it was a big situation and half the time you throw the ball too hard."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel felt the odds were certainly in his favor when he sent Feliz.

"I thought Erstad had a bad arm," Manuel said. "He made a helluva throw. It's a tough way to lose a game."

Victorino also believed his fly was plenty deep.

"Everything had to go right for them," Victorino said. "And it did. Nine out of 10 times, you're going to score on that play. Next time, I'll have to hit it farther."

Carlos Lee drove in three runs and Brian Moehler (2-1) pitched six effective innings for Houston, which eyes its third straight win over the Phillies Sunday.

Feliz and Chris Coste opened the ninth inning with singles off Doug Brocail and Jimmy Rollins drew a one-out intentional walk to load the bases with Philadelphia trailing 4-3.

That set up the game's undisputed defensive gem, a play that left Brocail stunned and elated.

"The elephant hurt my rump a bit pulling it out," Brocail said. "Honestly, I thought we were going to go extra innings or I was going to get booed like a banshee.

"I was talking to (Lance) Berkman and saying that isn't amazing we've won games like that the last four or five years. When I'm in the game, my defense is awesome. I can't think of an error they've made behind me. The defense is unbelievable."

Brocail said he experienced the emotions of a Little Leaguer at the end.

"I swear I felt like a four year old child running out to high-five Erstad," he said. "The fans are packing the stadium, we're making plays ... I hope it continues."

Mark Loretta's pinch-hit single scored Ty Wigginton in the sixth inning to give the Astros a 4-3 lead.

Ryan Howard accounted for all three Philadelphia runs, doubling home a run in the first and hitting a two-run home run, his 14th of the season, in the third inning. Houston's winning rally began with a one-out infield single by Wigginton, who advanced to second on Ausmus' fly out.

Loretta then poked a single to center off Phillies' starter Brett Myers (2-6), and Wigginton easily beat Victorino's throw to the plate.

Moehler allowed four hits, three earned runs walking one and striking out three.

"I watched (Brandon) Backe throw last night, how he changed speeds and went in and out," Moehler said. "That was my approach - not try to do anything too tricky and not get behind in the count.

"Brocail is unbelievable. I played with him a number of years in Detroit, and you go to battle with him."

The Astros scored twice in the first when Michael Bourn singled, Lance Berkman walked and Lee doubled. Lee also singled home Bourn in the fifth to tie the game, 3-3.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 0
    HOUSTON 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 x 4 10 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PHI - BRETT MYERS, CHAD DURBIN (7TH) AND CHRIS COSTE
    HOU - BRIAN MOEHLER, TIM BYRDAK (7TH), OSCAR VILLARREAL
    (8TH), WESLEY WRIGHT (8TH), DOUG BROCAIL (9TH) AND BRAD

    May 24 9:53 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Phillies 3, Astros 4  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 24 9:41 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED TY WIGGINTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.222, 2-FOR-3)

    Phillies 3, Astros 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 24 9:01 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MICHAEL BOURN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3
    HOUSTON 3 END BOTTOM, 5TH

    Phillies 3, Astros 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 24 8:42 PM
  • 5
    roots
    davipilot Added 5 roots

    Phillies 3, Astros 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 24 8:10 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (14) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF BRIAN MOEHLER SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies 3, Astros 2  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 24 7:54 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MICHAEL BOURN AND LANCE
    BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.294, 7 HR, 29 RBI)

    Phillies 1, Astros 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 24 7:33 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PHI - BRETT MYERS
    HOU - BRIAN MOEHLER

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.215, 3 HR, 9 RBI)
    K MATSUI (.273, 1 HR, 12 RBI)
    M TEJADA (.335, 5 HR, 35 RBI)

    Phillies 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 24 7:20 PM