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Myers' stellar outing, Coste's four hits lead Phils' rout of Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- A poor bullpen session put Brett Myers in a foul mood before he took the mound. Once he got there, he settled in nicely.

Myers pitched seven impressive innings, Chris Coste tied a career high with four hits and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros 10-2 Thursday.

"My bullpen was terrible," Myers said. "I think that's what really ticked me off and made me focus in better. I wasn't making pitches, nothing was going right. When I saw (Astros leadoff hitter) Michael Bourn step in, that's when I locked it in."

Myers (2-1) allowed one run and five hits in his second straight solid outing. His eight strikeouts were a season-high for the Phillies.

A closer at the end of last year, Myers struggled his first two starts after moving back to the rotation. But he turned it around by going eight innings and outpitching Carlos Zambrano in his last trip to the mound, a 5-3 win over the Cubs.

Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell had back-to-back homers for the Phillies, who tied a season-high with 16 hits. Chase Utley added a two-run shot.

Carlos Lee and 33-year-old Miguel Tejada hit solo homers for the Astros. Tejada told reporters before the game that he's actually two years older than he's listed in the club's media guide and other baseball records.

So Taguchi and Greg Dobbs -- manager Charlie Manuel's latest 1-2 punch atop the lineup -- jump-started the Phillies' struggling offense. Each had a pair of hits and scored three runs combined.

"We finally scored some runs," Manuel said. "It's good to see the offense come alive."

Manuel has been forced to tinker with his batting order almost every game because leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are injured.

Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, hasn't started the last eight games because of a sprained left ankle. The switch-hitting shortstop won't return until Saturday at the earliest. He left the team to attend a funeral for an uncle.

Taguchi and Dobbs hit consecutive singles off Brandon Backe (1-2) in the first, and Howard and Burrell had RBI singles. Geoff Jenkins lined a double that made it 3-0.

Utley's two-run shot chased Backe and gave the Phillies a 6-1 lead in the fourth.

Howard and Burrell connected off Oscar Villarreal in the sixth. Burrell leads the Phillies with six homers and 17 RBI.

Coste, who was 4-for-5, had an RBI double in the third and homered off Astros closer Jose Valverde in the eighth. Valverde blew a 3-0 lead on Tuesday night and watched Doug Brocail finish a 2-1 win Wednesday.

"I miss you guys," Coste said to reporters. "It's been a while since I had you around this locker."

Backe allowed six runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings. The right-hander gave up a total of four runs in his first three starts.

"Today was a blunder day," Backe said. "I didn't pitch well and we didn't play well."

Tejada hit an opposite-field drive to right off Myers in fourth. The former AL MVP said he was 19 when he signed out of poverty-stricken Bani, Dominican Republic. At the time, he says, a local coach encouraged him to say he was 17.

"I was a poor kid," Tejada said. "I wanted to sign a professional contract, and that was the only way to do it. I didn't want or mean to do anything wrong. At the time, I was two years older than they thought."

A baserunning blunder by Myers cost Utley an RBI double in the second. Myers hesitated, then tagged up at second base and had to hold at third on Utley's liner off the right-field wall

Notes

  • Every Phillies starter had at least two hits except Myers and SS Eric Bruntlett, who was 0-for-5.
  • Philadelphia had 16 hits against Washington on April 3.
  • The Phillies are 4-4 without Rollins.
  • Bourn stole his ninth base in as many attempts.
  • Coste also had four hits on Aug. 3, 2006, at St. Louis.
 
Copyright 2014 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
Philadelphia

C. Coste
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 3
Houston

M. Tejada
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3000112 .224
Mark Loretta, 2B4000023 .229
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Lance Berkman, 1B4000022 .298
Carlos Lee, LF4121000 .297
Miguel Tejada, SS4131000 .328
Geoff Blum, 3B4000033 .222
Darin Erstad, RF4000012 .211
Humberto Quintero, C4020003 .500
Brandon Backe, P1000010 .167
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   a- J.R. Towles, PH1000001 .200
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
   b- Tomas Perez, PH-2B1010000 .222
Totals34282110  
a-flied out for Borkowski in the 5th
b-singled for Geary in the 8th
Batting
2B - Humberto Quintero (1, Myers)
HR - Carlos Lee (4, Condrey), Miguel Tejada (3, Myers)
RBI - Carlos Lee (7), Miguel Tejada (11)
SB - Michael Bourn (9, 2nd base off Myers/Coste)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Michael Bourn 1
DP - Loretta-Tejada-Berkman
E - Geoff Blum 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (L,1-2) 31065221 4.26
Dave Borkowski 1100220 3.00
Oscar Villarreal 2322022 6.55
Geoff Geary 1000000 2.84
Jose Valverde 1222011 12.27
IBB - Jenkins by Dave Borkowski
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 61-39, Dave Borkowski 26-13, Oscar Villarreal 34-21, Geoff Geary 14-8, Jose Valverde 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 5-2, Dave Borkowski 1-0, Geoff Geary 2-1, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 21, Dave Borkowski 6, Oscar Villarreal 9, Geoff Geary 3, Jose Valverde 5
Philadelphia Phillies
So Taguchi, CF-LF5120002 .286
Greg Dobbs, 3B5220002 .250
    Tom Gordon, P0000000 .000
    Jayson Werth, CF0000000 .370
Chase Utley, 2B5122022 .317
Ryan Howard, 1B4222111 .211
Pat Burrell, LF4222100 .373
    Clay Condrey, P0000000 .000
Geoff Jenkins, RF4121110 .236
Chris Coste, C5143000 .400
Eric Bruntlett, SS5000028 .176
Brett Myers, P3000116 .000
    Pedro Feliz, 3B0000000 .226
Totals4010161047  
Batting
2B - Geoff Jenkins 2 (4, Backe, Valverde), Chris Coste (3, Backe)
HR - Chase Utley (4, Backe), Ryan Howard (4, Villarreal), Pat Burrell (6, Villarreal), Chris Coste (2, Valverde)
RBI - Chase Utley 2 (11), Ryan Howard 2 (9), Pat Burrell 2 (17), Geoff Jenkins (3), Chris Coste 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Coste 2 (2)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Geoff Jenkins 1
Philadelphia Phillies
Brett Myers (W,2-1) 7511181 3.96
Tom Gordon 1100010 9.45
Clay Condrey 1211011 8.10
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 109-75, Tom Gordon 13-8, Clay Condrey 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 6-6, Clay Condrey 2-0
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 26, Tom Gordon 4, Clay Condrey 5
Game Information
Attendance - 33526
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Paul Emmel