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Houston at Philadelphia

W: D. Wheeler (2-5) L: R. Madson (10-9)
S: B. Lidge (30)
HR: HOU - None   PHI - C. Ruiz (2)

Berkman fuels Astros past Phils with three-run double in ninth

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- Lance Berkman fell behind in the count, hoped for a pitch he could handle and made the most of an inside-out swing.

Berkman's bases-clearing double with two outs in the ninth inning gave the Houston Astros a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Andy Pettitte allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings for Houston. Dan Wheeler (2-5) retired the two batters he faced to earn the win. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth, allowing an unearned run, for his 30th save in 35 chances.

The Phillies dropped three games behind NL wild card-leading San Diego. They are tied with the Marlins at 70-69 going into a four-game series at Florida starting Thursday night.

Pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro singled to start the ninth against Ryan Madson (10-9). Brad Ausmus sacrificed pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett to second base, Mike Lamb was intentionally walked and Willy Taveras punched a single to right field to load the bases.

Madson fanned Craig Biggio for the second out, but Berkman lined a 1-2 pitch down the left-field line to score all three runners.

"I'm just trying to survive up there," Berkman said. "He throws a lot of plus pitches. It's hard to know what you're going to get."

Madson went with his third-best pitch, a curve ball, to Berkman. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he would've preferred a fastball inside, but Madson defended his decision.

"I got two guys out on the curve the previous inning so I had confidence in it," he said.

Jimmy Rollins had an RBI single in the ninth for the Phillies, but appeared to slow down running to second base and was thrown out trying for a double on a strong throw from Taveras for the second out.

"I was shocked he was out. It was a great throw," Manuel said.

The Astros, who finished one game ahead of the Phillies to win the wild-card berth last year and advanced to the World Series, entered the night five games behind the Padres in the wild-card chase.

"Absolutely a must-win for us," Astros manager Phil Garner said.

Phillies starter Randy Wolf, making his eighth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

The Phillies loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, but only scored one run to tie it at 2.

Shane Victorino singled to start the inning and Chase Utley walked. Ryan Howard, who leads the majors with 53 homers, followed with a bouncer back to the mound. Pettitte, perhaps distracted by the standing ovation the fans gave Howard during his entire at-bat, let the ball trickle through his legs for an error.

After Pat Burrell struck out swinging, Jeff Conine reached on a grounder to shortstop that scored Victorino to tie it at 2. Carlos Ruiz popped out to shallow left to end the inning.

Pettitte pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second by getting Abraham Nunez to ground into a double play.

"We didn't hit when we needed to and we didn't play smart baseball," Manuel said.

Ruiz, starting because Mike Lieberthal is out of the lineup with back spasms, homered to left leading off the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 2-1.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead on Berkman's RBI double in the first inning. Chris Burke hit a one-out double in the fourth and scored on a single to left by Ausmus.

The Phillies, who play the next 10 games on the road, are 36-38 at home and 34-31 away.


  • Phillies LHP Arthur Rhodes, who hasn't pitched since he blew his second straight save on Saturday, is day-to-day with shoulder stiffness.
  • The Astros improved to 51-25 when scoring first.
  • Philadelphia's starters have a 2.50 ERA in the last eight games.
  • Phillies LHP Matt Smith, one of four players acquired from the Yankees in the trade that sent Bobby Abreu to New York, struck out the only batter he faced, Berkman. Smith hasn't allowed a run in 15 innings in the majors, including 12 innings with the Yankees.
  • Utley, who hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning to win Monday's game against Houston, has two hits in his last 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Carlos Ruiz leads off the fifth inning by taking Andy Pettitte yard, cutting the Astros' lead to 2-1.  (AP)
Carlos Ruiz leads off the fifth inning by taking Andy Pettitte yard, cutting the Astros' lead to 2-1. (AP)

Players of the Game

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

C. Ruiz
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5120032 .277
Craig Biggio, 2B4100124 .253
Lance Berkman, 1B4034110 .308
Jason Lane, RF3000024 .208
   a- Luke Scott, PH-RF^LF1000100 .373
Aubrey Huff, 3B-RF5000014 .267
Chris Burke, LF3110000 .286
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Adam Everett, SS2000101 .235
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1010000 .224
    Eric Bruntlett, PR-SS0100000 .260
Brad Ausmus, C3011001 .229
Andy Pettitte, P2000001 .222
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Mike Lamb, 3B0100100 .307
a-grounded out for Lane in the 8th
b-singled for Everett in the 9th
2B - Lance Berkman 2 (23, Wolf, Madson), Chris Burke (21, Wolf)
SH - Brad Ausmus (8), Andy Pettitte (10)
RBI - Lance Berkman 4 (116), Brad Ausmus (34)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman 3 (34)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Willy Taveras 1
DP - Everett-Biggio-Berkman
E - Aubrey Huff (6, ), Andy Pettitte (2, )
Houston Astros
Andy Pettitte 6.1721241 4.34
Trever Miller 1000020 3.35
Dan Wheeler (W,2-5) 0.2000000 2.61
Brad Lidge (S,30) 1110000 5.06
HBP - Dellucci (by Brad Lidge)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 104-74, Trever Miller 12-8, Dan Wheeler 7-5, Brad Lidge 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 12-3, Brad Lidge 2-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 28, Trever Miller 3, Dan Wheeler 2, Brad Lidge 5
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5021000 .281
Shane Victorino, CF5120002 .294
Chase Utley, 2B3000123 .305
Ryan Howard, 1B4000010 .306
Pat Burrell, LF3000113 .255
Jeff Conine, RF4011000 .264
Carlos Ruiz, C3121002 .220
   a- Randall Simon, PH1000000 .400
Abraham Nunez, 3B4100001 .194
Randy Wolf, P2000020 .200
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .250
    Matt Smith, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Hernandez, PH1010000 .281
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .182
    Fabio Castro, P0000000 .000
   c- David Dellucci, PH0000000 .292
a-grounded out for Ruiz in the 9th
b-singled for Smith in the 7th
c-hit by pitch for Castro in the 9th
HR - Carlos Ruiz (2, Pettitte)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (66), Jeff Conine (53), Carlos Ruiz (4)
Team LOB - 8
Philadelphia Phillies
Randy Wolf 6522340 4.97
Geoff Geary 0.2000020 3.06
Matt Smith 0.1000010 0.00
Ryan Madson (L,10-9) 1.2333120 5.93
Fabio Castro 0.1000100 1.84
IBB - Lamb by Ryan Madson
HBP - Burke (by Randy Wolf)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 94-52, Geoff Geary 13-9, Matt Smith 4-3, Ryan Madson 36-20, Fabio Castro 8-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 4-10, Ryan Madson 3-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 27, Geoff Geary 2, Matt Smith 1, Ryan Madson 9, Fabio Castro 2
Game Information
Attendance - 33521
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Kevin Causey, Third Base - Joe West