Houston at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
Houston (54-65) «0001060007100
L.A. Dodgers (60-59)1000011014101

Astros 7, Dodgers 4

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- The Houston Astros pulled off an unorthodox double play at the end of the game at the expense of Mark Sweeney, one of the Los Angeles Dodgers' most recent acquisitions. Baseball's second-best pinch-hitter of all time may not be pinch-running any time soon.

Sweeney, who singled home a run while pinch-hitting for reliever Eric Hull, was leading off the bag with one out in the ninth when Juan Pierre hit a towering popup to catcher Brad Ausmus in foul territory. Suddenly, the Astros were doing everything short of cartwheels to get their Ausmus' attention - because Sweeney was almost at second base.

Ausmus completed the rare game-ending 2-3 double play with his throw to Lance Bergman, and the Astros escaped Dodger Stadium with a 7-4 victory on Tuesday night.

"I have no clue what happened," Ausmus said. "After I caught it, there was noise coming from out dugout area, and I saw Lance jumping up and down waving his arms. I then realized that Sweeney wasn't near the bag, so I just threw it over there. It was just a freak play that ended the game. It probably has never happened before and may not ever happen again."

Brad Lidge, who pitched the final inning for his ninth save in 14 chances, was glad he didn't have to face on-deck hitter Matt Kemp - who homered in the first inning against Matt Albers.

"Obviously, I'll take it," Lidge said. "I don't get a whole lot of double-play balls."

Perhaps the most frustrated person in a Dodger uniform, other than first base coach Mariano Duncan, was Kemp.

"Things happen, man. People make mistakes. We're all human," said Kemp, who misplayed Mark Loretta's first-inning single to right field into three bases with his third error of the season.

Sweeney didn't speak to reporters after the game.

Chris Burke capped a six-run sixth inning with a two-run single and Mike Lamb also drove in a pair of runs for the Astros, who have taken the first two games of this four-game set.

The Dodgers, who led the NL West by 1½ games on July 26, have lost 13 of 16 since then and trail first-place Arizona by 6½ games. Now in fourth place, their postseason chances took another hit before the game when third baseman Nomar Garciaparra was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left calf.

Albers (3-5) won for the first time in three starts since returning to the Astros' rotation. It was the right-hander's second start in place of rookie Chris Sampson, who is on the disabled list because of a sprained elbow. Albers allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out one and walking two in his Dodger Stadium debut.

Albers induced groundball outs by 10 of his first 15 batters, including Jeff Kent, who hit into a double play. The Dodgers' cleanup hitter snapped an 0-for-25 drought with an RBI double in the sixth.

"I was throwing sinkers, got some ground balls that were hit right at my defense, and they played well," Albers said. "I was trying to throw a lot of strikes to try to get the guys swinging early in the count so I could work deep into the ballgame."

Brett Tomko (2-10) allowed five runs, six hits and four walks over five-plus innings and struck out five. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.06 ERA in seven starts at home this season.

The Astros broke open a 1-1 tie in the sixth after loading the bases with none out. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt went to the mound for a chat with Tomko, but it didn't help as Luke Scott capped a nine-pitch at-bat with an RBI single to right field to put Houston ahead to stay.

Joe Beimel replaced Tomko, giving up Lamb's sacrifice fly, a run-scoring infield hit by Jason Lane and an RBI single by Eric Munson. In his previous 60 appearances this season, the Dodgers' left-hander had allowed only four of 35 inherited baserunners to score.

Notes

Home plate umpire Jerry Crawford worked the first 3½ innings before 1B ump James Hoye took over for him. Crawford would not disclose the reason for his early exit, but Astros manager Phil Garner said it was a back problem. ... The Dodgers are planning to salute Houston 2B Craig Biggio on Thursday night with a pregame ceremony before he plays his final game at Chavez Ravine. The 20-year veteran, who is retiring at the end of the season, has 96 hits, nine home runs and a .264 average here - including his first career grand slam. ... The Astros also had a six-run sixth inning against the Dodgers in a 7-4 victory on July 24 at Houston. ... Rene Cardenas, who spent 21 years calling Dodgers games in Spanish on radio - including the 1959 and 1988 championship seasons and the Fernando Valenzuela era -- is working this series as an analyst for the Astros' Spanish-language radio network.

 
Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

C. Burke
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
Chris Burke, 2B5022010 .233
Mark Loretta, SS4120011 .288
    Eric Bruntlett, SS1000000 .260
Lance Berkman, 1B4210113 .262
Carlos Lee, LF4120111 .303
Luke Scott, RF3111122 .256
Mike Lamb, 3B3002000 .292
Jason Lane, CF2111201 .179
Eric Munson, C4111012 .268
    Brad Ausmus, C0000000 .233
Matt Albers, P2000021 .133
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   a- Ty Wigginton, PH1000001 .279
    Mark McLemore, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Totals33710759  
a-popped out for Borkowski in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Burke (14, Hull)
SF - Mike Lamb (2)
SH - Matt Albers (3)
RBI - Chris Burke 2 (21), Luke Scott (55), Mike Lamb 2 (36), Jason Lane (24), Eric Munson (13)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Burke 2 (12)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Lamb-Burke-Berkman, Ausmus-Berkman
Houston Astros
Matt Albers (W,3-5) 6.2733211 5.99
Trever Miller0100000 5.08
Dave Borkowski (H,6) 0.1000000 5.40
Mark McLemore 1211120 4.32
Brad Lidge (S,9) 1000010 3.20
WP - Mark McLemore (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Albers 98-63, Trever Miller 3-3, Dave Borkowski 2-1, Mark McLemore 23-15, Brad Lidge 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Albers 15-3, Dave Borkowski 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Albers 28, Trever Miller 1, Dave Borkowski 1, Mark McLemore 6, Brad Lidge 2
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS3000213 .276
Juan Pierre, CF5120003 .284
Matt Kemp, RF4121003 .316
Jeff Kent, 2B4011001 .288
James Loney, 1B4010011 .323
Russell Martin, C4000022 .289
Andre Ethier, LF4120000 .302
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B3110101 .252
Brett Tomko, P1000000 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Rudy Seanez, P0000000 .000
   a- Olmedo Saenz, PH1001000 .180
    Scott Proctor, P0000000 .000
    Eric Hull, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Sweeney, PH1011000 .263
Totals34410434  
a-grounded out for Seanez in the 7th
b-singled for Hull in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jeff Kent (26, Albers), Andre Ethier (25, McLemore)
3B - Shea Hillenbrand (1, Albers)
HR - Matt Kemp (7, Albers)
SH - Brett Tomko (5)
RBI - Matt Kemp (24), Jeff Kent (61), Olmedo Saenz (16), Mark Sweeney (11)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Kemp (7)
SB - Rafael Furcal (13, 2nd base off Albers/Munson)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Loney-Furcal, Hillenbrand-Kent-Loney, Kent-Furcal-Loney
E - Matt Kemp (3, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Brett Tomko (L,2-10) 5655450 5.67
Joe Beimel 0.2222000 4.35
Rudy Seanez 1.1100030 3.75
Scott Proctor 1000100 3.60
Eric Hull 1100010 6.23
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Tomko 91-51, Joe Beimel 18-11, Rudy Seanez 21-16, Scott Proctor 14-7, Eric Hull 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Tomko 5-3, Joe Beimel 1-1, Eric Hull 2-0
Batters Faced - Brett Tomko 23, Joe Beimel 4, Rudy Seanez 5, Scott Proctor 4, Eric Hull 4
Game Information
Attendance - 49399
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Travis Reininger, Third Base - Tom Hallion