for this game

Moehler sharp as Astros edge Rangers

Jun 25, 2008 - 5:06 AM By Andrew Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- It took Brian Moehler more than eight years to beat the Texas Rangers again, but he and his Houston Astros teammates will take it.

Moehler was nearly flawless Tuesday as the Astros beat the Rangers, 4-3, in interleague play.

Ty Wigginton and Humberto Quintero each drove in a run and Lance Berkman drilled a two-run shot for Houston, which evened the interleague season series at 2-2 against its intrastate rival.

"I am not a big stat guy so I didn't even know that," Moehler said about the gap between his wins over Texas. "But all I know is our game plan tonight was to keep their top-of-the-lineup guys off the bases and stay ahead of hitters."

Mission accomplished.

Moehler (4-3) yielded a run, five hits and two walks while striking out five to improve to 6-4 in 12 career outings vs. Texas. The righthander, who had won five of his first seven career starts against the Rangers, was tagged for 20 runs in his last four prior outings against Texas - going 0-2 in the process.

The 36-year-old Moehler's gem was nearly identical to his last outing when he yielded a run and six hits in 6 1/3 frames in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore last Wednesday.

"I feel really good right now and I am trying to get as deep as I can into games," Moehler said. "I was just trying to get ahead of these guys. They are a really good hitting team and I don't want to get behind their hitters. I did a pretty good job of that."

Astros manager Cecil Cooper has watched Moehler emerge as one of the team's better starters in 2008,

"He has pitched really well for us this year," Cooper said. "He has been consistent and effective and that is all you can really ask from your starters."

Wesley Wright and Doug Brocail each pitched two-thirds of an inning before Jose Valverde struck out Marlon Byrd to end the eighth inning. Valverde surrendered a two-run homer to Ramon Vazquez in the ninth before fanning the final two batters to record his 19th save in 23 opportunities.

"Easy or not, we'll take the win," Berkman said. "They hit that two-run homer in the ninth to make us a little bit uncomfortable, but going into the ninth I felt pretty good about our chances.

"We have thrown really well in those situations and anytime that we take a lead late into the game, we usually get it done."

With the home team trailing, 1-0, in the bottom of the second, the Astros got things started against Rangers rookie Eric Hurley (0-1). With a runner on second and two outs, Wigginton grounded a single to left, plating Berkman from second to knot the score at 1-1. One batter later, Quintero doubled in Wigginton to give the Astros a one-run lead.

Hurley gave up two runs, six hits and three walks in six innings, getting the loss in the first decision of his career.

Berkman added a two-run homer of Joaquin Benoit in the eighth for his 21st blast for Houston.

"We need to figure out what is wrong with (Benoit)," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He is one of our guys. I don't think health is really an issue for him right now, but we'll have to see. It could be a lot of things."

As for Hurley, he was pleased with his outing and is not all that concerned with the lack of run support he has received in his first three starts.

"I will take that outing every time," Hurley said. "This team will put up a lot of runs and nine times out of ten we will win a game like this. We have a lot of good hitters and we are going to win a lot of games."

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who leads the majors in RBI, left Tuesday's game with left knee inflammation. Hamilton said he first felt discomfort in the Rangers' series against the Atlanta Braves last week.

"I'm all right, it's just a little sore," Hamilton said. "We're going to see if we can get it calmed down."

Washington confirmed that Hamilton's knee was checked out by a doctor, but that no X-rays were taken. He is listed as day-to-day.








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - ERIC HURLEY, FRANK FRANCISCO (7TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH), JOSH
    RUPE (8TH) AND JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    HOU - BRIAN MOEHLER, WESLEY WRIGHT (7TH), DOUG BROCAIL
    (8

    Jun 24 10:58 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RAMON VAZQUEZ (5) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF JOSE VALVERDE SCORED JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J RUPE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rangers 3, Astros 4  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 24 10:52 PM
  • 42
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 3, Astros 4  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 24 10:52 PM
  • 7
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Rangers 1, Astros 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 24 10:38 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (21) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    0 OUT IN THE 8TH OFF JOAQUIN BENOIT SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 1, Astros 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 24 10:35 PM
  • 2
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Rangers 1, Astros 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 24 10:35 PM
  • 37
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 1, Astros 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 24 10:08 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HUMBERTO QUINTERO SCORED TY WIGGINTON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, H QUINTERO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B MOEHLER (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rangers 1, Astros 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 24 8:34 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TY WIGGINTON SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H QUINTERO (.217, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rangers 1, Astros 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 24 8:33 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - ERIC HURLEY
    HOU - BRIAN MOEHLER

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.232, 3 HR, 13 RBI)
    M LORETTA (.264, 2 HR, 16 RBI)
    M TEJADA (.294, 10 HR, 43 RBI)

    Rangers 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 24 8:14 PM