|Houston (17-16) «||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||2||x||6||12||1|
HOUSTON -- Lance Berkman, Miguel Tejada and Carlos Lee have suddenly made the Houston Astros a tough team to beat.
Lee hit the go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning and Berkman had a career-high five hits to lead the Astros to a 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night, Houston's fourth straight victory.
Tejada and Berkman both singled in the eighth before Lee's hit to right field. Austin Kearns dived for the ball, but it bounced just in front of him.
After scoring, Tejada stood near the plate and motioned for Berkman to head home. Berkman, whose five hits tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game, has nine hits in the last two games. He added two stolen bases on Tuesday.
"They're three of the best RBI guys in the league," manager Cecil Cooper said. "It's not easy going through those guys. They're tough to handle when they're playing great. Right now, they're all starting to look pretty good."
In the last five games, Berkman has hit .590 with two homers, four doubles and nine RBI. Tejada has a 10-game hitting streak and Lee finished with three hits and three RBI.
Nationals manager Manny Acta didn't have an answer for Berkman Tuesday.
"There's only so much you can do against him," Acta said. "He's one of the best players in the league. He's so good."
The Astros had tied it in the bottom of the seventh on a balk before Kearns' homer to left off Doug Brocail (2-0). Before the home run, Brocail hadn't allowed a run in six straight appearances and 13 of his last 15 games.
Brocail still got the win, while Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save. Houston has a winning record (17-16) for the first time since April 22.
Luis Ayala (1-2) allowed three hits and two runs in the eighth inning for the loss.
The bottom of the seventh was marred by Washington blunders. Berkman got a double when his fly to center bounced off the glove of Lastings Milledge to start the inning.
"He got a bad jump on it and he turned the wrong way," Acta said. "That started the whole thing."
Berkman stole third before Hunter Pence walked. Berkman tied it at 4 when he scored on a balk by Saul Rivera.
Berkman likes the way his team was able to come back time after time Tuesday.
"We've won and I think that goes a long way toward building confidence as a team if you're never out of the game," he said. "When you have success, it fosters a good feeling in the clubhouse."
Astros starter Shawn Chacon received his seventh straight no-decision. The last pitcher to start seven games without a decision was Doug Davis in 2005. He allowed eight hits and four runs with eight strikeouts and four walks in seven innings.
Cooper joked that he was going to start calling him Shawn "No Decision" Chacon, but the pitcher said it's not a big deal to him.
"It's kind of crazy," Chacon said. "I'm not worried about it. As long as we keep winning and I keep pitching well and pitching deep into ball game, the wins will come."
Aaron Boone's pinch-hit homer in the seventh gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead.
Pence hit Houston's third single of the fifth inning to score Berkman and tie it at 3.
Cristian Guzman's double scored Wily Mo Pena to tie it at 2 in the fifth. Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double to give Washington a 3-2 lead.
Milledge singled after Nick Johnson was intentionally walked, but Zimmerman was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Houston took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a run-scoring single by Berkman.
Johnson put Washington ahead early with his home run in the second. Houston evened it at 1 in the bottom of the second when Berkman doubled and scored on a double by Lee. Shawn Hill intentionally walked J.R. Towles to get to Chacon, but the pitcher singled to load the bases. Hill got out of trouble by striking out Michael Bourn to end the inning.
|Players of the Game|
New Era Houston Astros Hat
$29.95 Shop Now!
|Felipe Lopez, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||4||2||.267|
|Cristian Guzman, SS||5||1||1||1||0||0||1||.305|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||5||0||2||1||0||0||0||.224|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||1||1||1||1||3||0||0||.220|
|Lastings Milledge, CF||4||0||1||0||0||3||5||.262|
|Austin Kearns, RF||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.222|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.213|
|Wil Nieves, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.379|
|Wily Mo Pena, LF||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.234|
|Willie Harris, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Shawn Hill, P||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.000|
|Jesus Colome, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Aaron Boone, PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.263|
|Saul Rivera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Ronnie Belliard, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.211|
|Luis Ayala, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-homered for Colome in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Rivera in the 8th|
|2B - Cristian Guzman (9, Chacon), Ryan Zimmerman (7, Chacon)|
|HR - Nick Johnson (5, Chacon), Austin Kearns (3, Brocail), Aaron Boone (2, Chacon)|
|SH - Shawn Hill (3)|
|RBI - Cristian Guzman (15), Ryan Zimmerman (15), Nick Johnson (17), Austin Kearns (14), Aaron Boone (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman (3), Ryan Zimmerman (5)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Guzman-F. Lopez-N. Johnson|
|E - Shawn Hill (2, Throwing)|
|Luis Ayala (BS,1; L,1-2)||1||3||2||2||0||1||0||4.19|
|IBB - Towles by Shawn Hill|
|Pitches-Strikes - Shawn Hill 107-58, Jesus Colome 14-7, Saul Rivera 23-9, Luis Ayala 20-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shawn Hill 9-3, Jesus Colome 1-1, Saul Rivera 1-2, Luis Ayala 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Shawn Hill 27, Jesus Colome 3, Saul Rivera 6, Luis Ayala 6|
|Michael Bourn, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||4||.194|
|Kazuo Matsui, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||5||1||1||0||0||0||3||.344|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||5||4||5||1||0||0||0||.353|
|Carlos Lee, LF||4||0||3||3||1||0||1||.279|
|Jose Cruz Jr., PR-LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.091|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||0||1||1||1||1||3||.254|
|Ty Wigginton, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.222|
|J.R. Towles, C||2||0||0||0||2||1||2||.171|
|Shawn Chacon, P||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.231|
|a- Darin Erstad, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.298|
|Doug Brocail, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Valverde, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Chacon in the 7th|
|2B - Kazuo Matsui (5, Hill), Lance Berkman 2 (13, Hill, Rivera), Carlos Lee 2 (11, Hill, Ayala)|
|SH - Shawn Chacon (1)|
|RBI - Lance Berkman (32), Carlos Lee 3 (20), Hunter Pence (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (8), Hunter Pence (6)|
|SB - Lance Berkman 2 (6, 2nd base off Hill/Lo Duca, 3rd base off Rivera/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1|
|DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman|
|E - Ty Wigginton (2, Throwing)|
|Doug Brocail (W,2-0)||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||2.89|
|Jose Valverde (S,7)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.00|
|IBB - N. Johnson by Shawn Chacon, by N. Johnson|
|WP - Shawn Chacon (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Shawn Chacon 115-67, Doug Brocail 12-9, Jose Valverde 5-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shawn Chacon 7-5, Jose Valverde 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Shawn Chacon 32, Doug Brocail 4, Jose Valverde 3|
|Attendance - 30335|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Greg Gibson|