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Houston at Arizona

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Houston (29-32) «301002200880
Arizona (27-37)200100000370

Pence, Berkman power Astros over struggling D-Backs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Hunter Pence gave Lance Berkman and the Houston Astros some needed offensive help.

Pence ended a slump with a home run and Berkman also homered to help the Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 on Sunday.

"If you're going to be a good ball club you can't rely on one or two guys to carry the team," Berkman said. "This is the most balanced lineup we've had since I got here."

In addition to Berkman and Pence's power, Miguel Tejada had a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Michael Bourn added an RBI and scored twice.

Bourn scored Houston's final run when he hit a run-scoring single, stole second and third and scored after waiting for third baseman Mark Reynolds to throw to first on a soft grounder by Tejada.

"He pretty much stole home the way he waited," Berkman said. "That was the textbook definition of manufacturing a run."

Brian Moehler (3-4) scattered six hits over six innings for the Astros, who won for the fourth time in five games. The right-hander yielded three runs, struck out two and walked two for his third win in four starts.

"It was bend but don't break," Moehler said. "We won the series which is a good start to the road trip."

The Astros have won five consecutive series for the first time this season.

"I've said it and I'll keep saying it," said Astros manager Cecil Cooper. "Good baseball is the point. Good baseball is what we've got to play and what we've been playing."

Stephen Drew and Reynolds homered for the Diamondbacks, who have lost five of seven. Arizona is 0-5-1 in six homestands under A.J. Hinch, who took over for the fired Bob Melvin on May 8.

"It's good we're playing hard and working our tails off to turn this around but the wins haven't come as well as they should have," Hinch said. "We have to find a way to get wins. It's mentally grueling. But I've said it before and I'm sorry for saying the same thing over again. The rest of the league doesn't care. It doesn't feel sorry for us."

The Astros wasted little time against Diamondbacks starter Billy Buckner (2-3).

Pence was hitless in his last 12 at-bats before homering.

Bourn walked to lead off the game and scored when Tejada's looping liner into right field skipped under Justin Upton's glove and rolled to the wall for a double. Buckner struck out Pence before Berkman homered onto the porch overhanging center field to make it 3-0.

"I got us down early and we were never able to come back from that," Buckner said.

Drew's two-out, two-run homer off Moehler in the bottom of the first cut the lead to 3-2. Pence hit a two-out home run in the third to extend Houston's lead to 4-2.

Reynolds led off the fourth with his 17th home run to pull the Diamondbacks within 4-3.

But Buckner loaded the bases to start the sixth and the Astros scored twice on a sacrifice fly by Ivan Rodriguez and a slow single up the middle from Jason Michaels to open a 6-3 lead.

Buckner yielded six runs and five hits over five-plus innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

Notes

  • Michaels started in place of Carlos Lee, who left Saturday's game with cramping in his left leg and was given the extra day off.
  • Rodriguez started for the Astros and tied Bob Boone for second all time in games played as a catcher with 2,225. Rodriguez needs two games behind the plate to pass Carlton Fisk for the all-time mark.
  • Bourn stole his team-leading 21st and 22nd bases before scoring in the seventh.
  • Buckner's double was his first career hit.
  • Tejada added his major-league leading 23rd double leading off the sixth.
 
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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Hunter Pence rounds third base as the Astros are on their way to winning a fifth consecutive series.  (AP)
Hunter Pence rounds third base as the Astros are on their way to winning a fifth consecutive series. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

S. Drew
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

M. Tejada
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3211110 .290
Miguel Tejada, SS4222000 .344
Hunter Pence, RF3211111 .323
Lance Berkman, 1B3112110 .256
Ivan Rodriguez, C3001010 .247
Jason Michaels, LF4011020 .189
Matt Kata, 2B4010001 .235
Edwin Maysonet, 3B4110011 .333
Brian Moehler, P2000011 .000
   a- Russ Ortiz, PH1000001 .250
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000000 .117
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Totals3288838  
a-fouled out for Moehler in the 7th
b-grounded out for Fulchino in the 9th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada 2 (23, Buckner, Buckner)
HR - Hunter Pence (8, Buckner), Lance Berkman (13, Buckner)
SF - Ivan Rodriguez (2)
RBI - Michael Bourn (14), Miguel Tejada 2 (36), Hunter Pence (26), Lance Berkman 2 (37), Ivan Rodriguez (26), Jason Michaels (4)
2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence (9)
SB - Michael Bourn 2 (22, 2nd base off Rauch/Snyder, 3rd base off Rauch/Snyder), Hunter Pence (8, 3rd base off Boyer/Snyder), Lance Berkman (2, 2nd base off Boyer/Snyder)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
DP - Moehler-Kata-Berkman, Kata-Tejada-Berkman
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler (W,3-4) 6633222 6.66
Jeff Fulchino 2100110 2.57
Jose Valverde 1000030 4.82
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 89-54, Jeff Fulchino 27-16, Jose Valverde 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 4-10, Jeff Fulchino 3-1
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 24, Jeff Fulchino 7, Jose Valverde 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Felipe Lopez, 2B4010010 .305
Eric Byrnes, LF3110101 .216
Justin Upton, RF3000112 .306
Stephen Drew, SS4112002 .255
Mark Reynolds, 3B4121010 .281
Chris Young, CF4000011 .189
Josh Whitesell, 1B3000110 .212
Chris Snyder, C3010011 .220
Billy Buckner, P2010001 .167
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
   a- Miguel Montero, PH1000001 .225
    Clay Zavada, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Totals3137336  
a-grounded into a double play for Rauch in the 7th
Batting
2B - Eric Byrnes (11, Fulchino), Mark Reynolds (15, Moehler), Billy Buckner (1, Moehler)
HR - Stephen Drew (4, Moehler), Mark Reynolds (17, Moehler)
RBI - Stephen Drew 2 (23), Mark Reynolds (45)
2-OUT RBI - Stephen Drew 2 (6)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Buckner-Drew-F. Lopez, F. Lopez-Drew-Whitesell
Arizona Diamondbacks
Billy Buckner (L,2-3) 5566352 7.36
Blaine Boyer 1100000 6.10
Jon Rauch 1222000 5.28
Clay Zavada 1000020 0.00
Chad Qualls 1000010 3.86
WP - Jon Rauch (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Billy Buckner 84-50, Blaine Boyer 16-10, Jon Rauch 20-14, Clay Zavada 11-7, Chad Qualls 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Billy Buckner 5-4, Blaine Boyer 1-1, Jon Rauch 1-2, Clay Zavada 1-0, Chad Qualls 2-0
Batters Faced - Billy Buckner 22, Blaine Boyer 3, Jon Rauch 5, Clay Zavada 3, Chad Qualls 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26937
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Dana DeMuth