for this game

Grand slam by Tejada propels Astros over Pirates

Sep 11, 2008 - 5:12 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Miguel Tejada's grand slam in the sixth inning lifted the sizzling Houston Astros to a 7-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Tejada's 13th home run of the season - and 11th career grand slam - helped give the playoff-hungry Astros their fifth straight win and 13th in 14 games.

Houston (79-67) remained four games off the pace in the National League wild card race. It trails the Milwaukee Brewers (83-63), who defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3, earlier Wednesday.

Tejada's blast came off Denny Bautista (4-3), who allowed five runs in the sixth inning.

"The way to hit home runs is not to try to," Tejada said. "The more relaxed I get, the better I can hit. I know who hits behind me, so I just try to get on base. I don't try to hit home runs."

"I was getting behind in the count," Bautista said. "If you get behind in the count, they are going to hit it, a fastball, whatever it is."

Houston 's Brian Moehler (11-6) pitched six innings, allowing two runs and five hits. The veteran righthander improved to 6-2 in 10 starts since the All-Star break.

"I located well and I used my curveball a little more," Moehler said. "Our defense was great. When you go out there, guys like myself and Wandy (Rodriguez) and (Brandon) Backe, we don't strike a lot of guys out. We rely on our defense to do it for us."

Jose Castillo led off the sixth with a single and Reggie Abercrombie followed with a double. After Humberto Quintero popped out, pinch hitter David Newhan walked to load the bases.

Darin Erstad then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to give Houston a 3-2 lead. Mark Loretta drew another walk before Tejada belted a 2-2 offering to left-center for a 7-2 cushion.

The blast kept Houston firmly in the playoff picture.

"You can see it in our eyes," Tejada said. "Just when we started getting close, now we're really in the race, and we're confident. It's not just one of us. Everybody believes we can win. Right now, I think we can beat anybody."

The Pirates got within three runs in the eighth on RBI doubles by Nate McLouth and Adam LaRoche. But Jose Valverde worked a scoreless ninth to record his National League-leading 42nd save.

Houston, which moved ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for third place in the NL Central, grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second on Hunter Pence's 22nd homer of the campaign.

LaRoche hit a solo blast in the fourth to halve the deficit, and Pittsburgh tied the game one inning later on Nyjer Morgan's RBI double to right.

Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny left the game in the third inning with an irritation to his left middle finger.

"I just felt a pop in my finger - I don't know what happened," Gorzelanny said. "We'll just check it when we get back tomorrow night. I jammed my finger a few days ago."

The Pirates lost for the 16th time in the last 19 games.

"Again, we're not hitting our spots when we need to," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "We put guys on base against a good hitting team. (Bautista's) velocity is still there, he just didn't have his breaking ball tonight."








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

    BATTERIES: PIT - TOM GORZELANNY, T.J. BEAM (3RD), DENNY BAUTISTA (5TH), JOHN
    GRABOW (7TH), TYLER YATES (8TH) AND RYAN DOUMIT
    HOU - BRIAN MOEHLER, CHRIS SAMPSON (7TH), WESLEY W

    Sep 10 10:58 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A LAROCHE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: B MOSS (.233, 0-FOR-3)

    Pirates 4, Astros 7  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 10 10:41 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NATE MCLOUTH SCORED JASON MICHAELS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MCLOUTH ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R DOUMIT (.323, 0-FOR-3)

    Pirates 3, Astros 7  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 10 10:35 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY MIGUEL TEJADA (13) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF DENNY BAUTISTA SCORED REGGIE ABERCROMBIE, DAVID NEWHAN
    AND MARK LORETTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2, HOUSTON 7
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.331, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Pirates 2, Astros 7  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 10 10:09 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DARIN ERSTAD SCORED JOSE CASTILLO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D NEWHAN ON FIRST, R ABERCROMBIE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.279, 1-FOR-3)

    Pirates 2, Astros 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 10 10:04 PM
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    Pirates 2, Astros 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 10 10:04 PM
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    Pirates 2, Astros 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 10 9:34 PM
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    Pirates 2, Astros 2  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 10 9:33 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 36 roots

    Pirates 2, Astros 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 10 9:31 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY NYJER MORGAN SCORED BRIAN BIXLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MORGAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    HOUSTON 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.278, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates 2, Astros 2  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 10 9:29 PM
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    Pirates 1, Astros 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 10 9:13 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ADAM LAROCHE (19) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF BRIAN MOEHLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: B MOSS (.237, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates 1, Astros 2  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 10 9:08 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY HUNTER PENCE (22) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    0 OUT IN THE 2ND OFF TOM GORZELANNY SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J CASTILLO (.244, 6 HR, 37 RBI)

    Pirates 0, Astros 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 10 8:35 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Pirates vs. AstrosSep 10 11:36 AM
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    Pirates vs. AstrosApr 2 4:36 AM