Astros
Mets
6 - 4 Final/10
  for this game

Late homers lift Astros past Mets

Aug 25, 2008 - 4:50 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- For Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper, this one was all about his reserves.

Brad Ausmus led off the top of the 10th inning with a home run as the Astros rallied for a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon.

Darin Erstad also homered in the 10th, as the Astros defeated the Mets (72-59) for the fifth time in six games by rallying twice off New York's bullpen. The Philadelphia Phillies (71-59) beat Los Angeles later on Sunday, trimming the Mets' lead to just one-half game in the National League East.

The win came on a day that Cooper gave All-Star first baseman Lance Berkman the day off to rest a sore left hamstring. Cooper also started reserve Reggie Abercrombie in center field and Erstad at first base in place of Berkman for just the sixth time all year.

"It's great," Berkman said. "You can't win without contributions from all 25 players. It's just impossible to over the course of 162 games.

"That's one thing that the long grueling schedule will bring to life, who has the best 25 guys, not who has the best seven or eight guys. You've got to use everybody, and today we did."

Cooper also got contributions from other reserves, as David Newhan's RBI single in the seventh off Aaron Heilman forged a 4-4 tie and eventually sent the game into extra innings.

"I can't say enough about the bench," Cooper said. "Those guys continue to play well. Every time you call them, they go up and they do it. Newhan getting base hits, Erstad playing first and hitting the home run, Ausmus coming off the bench and getting one swing and getting the game-winner. Everybody that played contributed."

Ausmus came up against lefthander Pedro Feliciano (2-4) and sent a 2-2 breaking ball just over the left field wall. It was Ausmus' second home run of the season and first in 127 at-bats since connecting at San Francisco on May 14.

"I hit a breaking ball," said Ausmus, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh. "It was slurvy. Feliciano is tough. He's pitched very well. It's just a case of a blind squirrel finding an acorn."

Houston struck again just three batters later when Erstad hit a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for his third home run and first since June 12 against Milwaukee.

"I think the one to Ausumus, he got it underneath and it went out," said Feliciano, who had not given up a home run since July 2.

The home runs enabled LaTroy Hawkins (2-0) to earn his second win since being acquired from the New York Yankees last month. Hawkins was one of three relievers that contributed to retiring the final 15 hitters.

Jose Valverde completed the game by notching his 33rd save in 39 opportunities.

Carlos Beltran homered twice for New York, which lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Beltran's second multi-home run game came off Randy Wolf, who pitched six innings and allowed four runs and seven hits.

The lefthander worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third when second baseman Mark Loretta made a diving catch on Damion Easley's pop-up.

The Mets staked starter Oliver Perez to a 3-0 lead. New York scored two first-inning runs when Beltran blasted a two-run shot over the left-center field wall with two outs. New York was up, 3-0, after Fernando Tatis drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the third.

Houston forged a 3-3 tie, but Beltran restored New York's lead by homering down the left-field line in the fifth. However, the Mets managed just one hit the rest of the contest.

"They've got good pitching," Beltran said. "We're going out there, trying to get on base. They're shutting us down."

Perez allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.






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    Astros 6, Mets 4  Final/10Aug 24 10:39 PM


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    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0
    NY METS 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
    10 R H E
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    HOUSTON 2 6 8 0
    NY METS 0 4 7 0 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: HOU

    Aug 24 4:21 PM


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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DARIN ERSTAD (3) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 10TH OFF PEDRO FELICIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6, NY METS 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.287, 1-FOR-4)

    Astros 6, Mets 4  Top 10, 0 OutsAug 24 4:07 PM


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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD AUSMUS (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    10TH OFF PEDRO FELICIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5, NY METS 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.226, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Astros 5, Mets 4  Top 10, 0 OutsAug 24 4:03 PM
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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID NEWHAN SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D NEWHAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    NY METS 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: R WOLF (.130, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 4, Mets 4  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 24 3:09 PM
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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY HUNTER PENCE (18) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF OLIVER PEREZ SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3, NY METS 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J CASTILLO (.243, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 3, Mets 3  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 24 2:18 PM


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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MARK LORETTA SCORED DARIN ERSTAD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEJADA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    NY METS 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.259, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 1, Mets 3  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 24 2:18 PM


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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO FERNANDO TATIS SCORED NICK EVANS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F TATIS ON FIRST, C BELTRAN ON SECOND, D
    WRIGHT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    NY METS 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: D EASLEY (.264, 1-FOR-1)

    Astros 0, Mets 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 24 2:02 PM


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    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS BELTRAN (18) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF RANDY WOLF SCORED DAVID WRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, NY METS 2
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: C DELGADO (.260, 26 HR, 84 RBI)

    Astros 0, Mets 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 24 1:21 PM
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