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Houston at Colorado

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Houston (16-18) «3010000105111
Colorado (13-20)000300000353

Astros 5, Rockies 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Michael Bourn can't remember ever stealing home before.

Sure, he's wanted to. Even studied the tendencies of catchers just in case the opportunity ever arose.

Finally, his chance came Thursday. Bourn took off on a double steal and became the latest player to swipe home, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.

He joined Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury and Philadelphia's Jayson Werth as players who have stolen home this season -- although those two pulled off straight steals.

Bourn's came on a double steal as Carlos Lee took off from first, drawing a throw from Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba down to second. As soon as Torrealba released the ball, Bourn bolted for the plate and scored easily.

"I knew if he was throwing through I was going," said Bourn, one of baseball's fastest runners.

The Rockies took a gamble on trying to nab the much-slower Lee, who homered later in the game. But the All-Star outfielder beat the throw with a nifty slide into second.

"He can steal a few bases," Bourn said. "That's how he gets you, he'll lull you to sleep and he's gone."

Wandy Rodriguez certainly lulled the Rockies' hitters to sleep, striking out a career-high 11. It was the most strikeouts for a Houston left-hander since Randy Johnson fanned 12 on Sept. 18, 1998, at Pittsburgh.

  Rockies: Tulowitzki sits as precaution

"He was sharp," said Garrett Atkins, hitless in 25 at-bats before an RBI single in the fourth for Colorado. "Obviously, he's thrown the ball well all year and today was not much different."

However, manager Cecil Cooper didn't even think Rodriguez (4-2) had his best stuff.

"I think he's looked better," Cooper said. "Today, maybe not quite as sharp as he's been in the past, but he knows how to make pitches."

Despite allowing just two earned runs in seven innings, the left-hander saw his ERA climb slightly to 1.90 -- still among the lowest in the majors.

"I felt strong," Rodriguez said through a translator. "I felt very good."

Bourn felt confident at the plate, tying a career high with four hits and finishing with two stolen bases.

His decision to swipe home was made in a split second.

"I [saw] it out of his hand," Bourn said. "I was going."

Ellsbury stole home by taking off while Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte was in the windup, while Werth darted home on a return throw to the mound by Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.

Those type of thefts are much more rare than Bourn's way.

"I can probably get that done," Bourn said of a straight steal of home. "It hasn't happened yet."

Ever?

Not in Little League or the minors?

"Not that I remember," he said.

The Rockies committed three errors behind starter Jason Hammel, who yielded four runs -- one earned -- in 5 1/3 innings. Hammel (0-2) is still searching for his first win with Colorado since being acquired from Tampa Bay on April 5.

"The kid went out there and pitched today and gave us a chance to win," manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Astros took advantage of two errors by Atkins at third base to score three times in the first inning. Hunter Pence hit an RBI single with two outs.

"You're going to get knocked down in this game," said Hurdle, whose team finished 3-5 on its recent homestand. "Your ability to get back up, recover, is what's critical, and that's where we are right now. We've got to find a way to get up and get going."

Notes

  • Lee homered in the eighth, giving him seven this season.
  • Houston C Ivan Rodriguez had the bat fly out of his hands on a strikeout in the first inning, his lumber landing six rows up in the stands. Fans were able to scurry out of the way of the twirling bat.
  • Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was out of the lineup as a precaution, a day after he was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Alberto Arias. He said he should be available Friday night in Pittsburgh.
  • Rockies 1B Todd Helton had two hits and is three shy of 2,000.
 
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
Colorado

T. Helton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Houston

C. Lee
AB 5
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Houston Astros
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Michael Bourn, CF5240000 .317
Lance Berkman, 1B4001103 .209
Carlos Lee, LF5211013 .328
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
Miguel Tejada, SS2001010 .314
Hunter Pence, RF4021002 .333
Ivan Rodriguez, C4020011 .283
Jeff Keppinger, 3B4010001 .327
Wandy Rodriguez, P3000020 .000
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1000012 .214
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
    Darin Erstad, LF0000000 .171
Totals37511417  
a-struck out for Rodriguez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn (6, Hammel), Hunter Pence (8, Hammel)
HR - Carlos Lee (7, Embree)
SF - Miguel Tejada (2)
RBI - Lance Berkman (19), Carlos Lee (28), Miguel Tejada (20), Hunter Pence (15)
2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence (5)
SB - Michael Bourn 2 (13, off Hammel/Torrealba, 3rd base off Hammel/Torrealba), Carlos Lee (1, 2nd base off Hammel/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Lee 1
E - Lance Berkman (3, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,4-2) 75320110 1.90
Chris Sampson (H,5) 1000010 1.64
LaTroy Hawkins (S,5) 1000110 2.20
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 112-76, Chris Sampson 5-5, LaTroy Hawkins 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-6, Chris Sampson 2-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 25, Chris Sampson 3, LaTroy Hawkins 4
Colorado Rockies
Ryan Spilborghs, CF4010010 .272
Clint Barmes, SS4100010 .233
Todd Helton, 1B4121000 .351
Matt Murton, LF3000032 .235
   a- Seth Smith, PH0000100 .306
Brad Hawpe, RF4111021 .357
Garrett Atkins, 3B3011010 .198
Yorvit Torrealba, C3000010 .219
Ian Stewart, 2B3000010 .203
Jason Hammel, P2000020 .000
    Matt Daley, P0000000 .000
    Alan Embree, P0000000 .000
   b- Dexter Fowler, PH1000010 .250
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Totals31353113  
a-walked for Murton in the 9th
b-struck out for Embree in the 8th
Batting
2B - Todd Helton (7, Rodriguez), Brad Hawpe (11, Rodriguez)
RBI - Todd Helton (21), Brad Hawpe (28), Garrett Atkins (14)
CS - Ryan Spilborghs (2, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Spilborghs 1
DP - Stewart-Barmes-Helton
E - Garrett Atkins 2 (5, Throwing), Clint Barmes (1, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hammel (L,0-2) 5.1741040 4.62
Matt Daley 1.2100010 1.04
Alan Embree 1311011 4.50
Huston Street 1000110 4.40
HBP - Tejada (by Jason Hammel)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 89-57, Matt Daley 17-15, Alan Embree 22-15, Huston Street 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 6-7, Matt Daley 3-0, Alan Embree 1-1, Huston Street 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 25, Matt Daley 5, Alan Embree 6, Huston Street 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22696
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Dan Iassogna