|San Francisco (50-70)||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||4||8||0|
|Houston (62-59) «||0||1||2||0||0||0||1||3||x||7||12||0|
Berkman hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to help lift the Houston Astros to their eighth straight win, 7-4 over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
It gave Houston, which has won 16 of 20, a four-game sweep of the Giants.
"It's unexplainable," Berkman said. "This is a fairly remarkable streak. When the guys are all playing well like this, you have this feeling that you can always come back. We definitely feel like we're going to win when it's close in the seventh."
Manager Cecil Cooper says pitching has carried the Astros lately.
"That's the main thing," Cooper said. "When we've won, we've always pitched well. When you're playing like we're playing, you start to feel a little invincible."
With the score tied 4-4 in the eighth, Miguel Tejada led off with a single against reliever Keiichi Yabu (3-5). The Giants then replaced Yabu with Alex Hinshaw, who allowed Berkman's 25th home run of the year.
Hinshaw had no excuses on Berkman's homer.
"Berkman is one of the best hitters in the National League," Hinshaw said. "His numbers speak for themselves. When I got him out two nights ago, I went away from him and with fastballs in.
"Today I went away from him, but I figured I would try to go in on him again, and he was sitting on it. I just caught too much of the plate, and he hit it pretty good," he said.
Manager Bruce Bochy saw his bullpen take two of the four losses against Houston.
"It wasn't a good series for the bullpen," Bochy said. "We couldn't get anyone hot out there. That's what it comes down to. We got the lead. We did what we wanted to do out there.
"He (Hinshaw) made a mistake. He threw one right down the middle, which is not what we want him to do in that situation. The guy (Berkman) is a great hitter. He shouldn't have gotten a pitch like that, but he did," he said.
Humberto Quintero topped off the scoring with an RBI single.
LaTroy Hawkins (1-0) pitched one-third of an inning for his first win as an Astro.
Jose Valverde pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 30th save in 36 tries. Valverde has saves in all six appearances against the Giants this season.
Brian Moehler started and went 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits.
Starter Kevin Correia lasted 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits and a walk. He struck out five.
Randy Winn's RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Pablo Sandoval gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
In the second inning, Hunter Pence doubled and went to third on a ground out. He scored on a wild pitch by Correia.
Winn's RBI double in the third made it 3-1.
The Astros tied it in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by Berkman and a sacrifice fly by Geoff Blum.
Fred Lewis' ninth homer put the Giants back on top 4-3 in the sixth. But Darin Erstad's RBI single tied it again at 4-4 in the seventh.
|First baseman Lance Berkman is the center of attention after his two-run homer in the eighth. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|San Francisco Giants|
|Dave Roberts, LF||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.240|
|Eugenio Velez, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.217|
|Randy Winn, RF||4||0||2||2||0||0||0||.295|
|Aaron Rowand, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.286|
|Fred Lewis, CF||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||.283|
|Pablo Sandoval, C||3||0||0||1||0||0||1||.000|
|Travis Ishikawa, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.333|
|Ryan Rohlinger, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.125|
|Alex Hinshaw, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tyler Walker, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ivan Ochoa, SS||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.273|
|Kevin Correia, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.150|
|Jack Taschner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Keiichi Yabu, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rich Aurilia, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.274|
|2B - Randy Winn (29, Moehler), Travis Ishikawa (1, Moehler), Ivan Ochoa (5, Moehler)|
|HR - Fred Lewis (9, Moehler)|
|SF - Pablo Sandoval (1)|
|RBI - Randy Winn 2 (50), Fred Lewis (36), Pablo Sandoval (1)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Velez-Ochoa-Ishikawa, Ochoa-Ishikawa|
|PB - Pablo Sandoval (1)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Jack Taschner (BS,3)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.15|
|Keiichi Yabu (L,3-5)||0.1||1||1||1||0||0||0||3.68|
|WP - Kevin Correia (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 95-58, Jack Taschner 1-1, Keiichi Yabu 12-7, Alex Hinshaw 21-14, Tyler Walker 8-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 9-5, Tyler Walker 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 27, Jack Taschner 1, Keiichi Yabu 2, Alex Hinshaw 4, Tyler Walker 2|
|Darin Erstad, CF-LF||3||0||2||1||1||1||0||.292|
|Ty Wigginton, LF-3B||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.288|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||2||1||0||0||0||3||.286|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||1||2||3||0||0||1||.333|
|Geoff Blum, 3B-2B||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.238|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.268|
|David Newhan, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.220|
|Jose Valverde, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Humberto Quintero, C||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.237|
|Brian Moehler, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.031|
|Geoff Geary, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tim Byrdak, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|a- Mark Loretta, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Wesley Wright, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|LaTroy Hawkins, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Michael Bourn, PH-CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.227|
|a-lined out for Byrdak in the 7th|
|b-hit into fielder's choice for Hawkins in the 8th|
|2B - Lance Berkman (36, Correia), Geoff Blum (7, Hinshaw), Hunter Pence (26, Correia)|
|HR - Lance Berkman (25, Hinshaw)|
|SF - Geoff Blum (4)|
|RBI - Darin Erstad (25), Lance Berkman 3 (87), Geoff Blum (36), Humberto Quintero (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Darin Erstad (9), Humberto Quintero (6)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|LaTroy Hawkins (W,2-1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.20|
|Jose Valverde (S,30)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.23|
|IBB - Ochoa by Geoff Geary|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 86-58, Geoff Geary 12-6, Tim Byrdak 14-8, Wesley Wright 15-7, LaTroy Hawkins 4-3, Jose Valverde 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 6-9, Tim Byrdak 2-1, Wesley Wright 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 24, Geoff Geary 3, Tim Byrdak 3, Wesley Wright 3, LaTroy Hawkins 1, Jose Valverde 3|
|Attendance - 33612|
|Game Time - 3:01|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi|