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Philadelphia at Houston

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Philadelphia (77-58)100200000370
Houston (67-70) «02000020x451

Pence helps Astros complete four-game sweep of Phillies

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- Hunter Pence heads straight to the weight room after most games. Makes sense, because he provided the muscle in the Houston Astros' four-game sweep of Philadelphia.

Pence homered and drove in three runs on Monday in the Astros' 4-3 win over the NL East leaders. The Houston right fielder went 6 for 13 in the series with three home runs and eight RBI.

"Not too long ago, I was in the biggest slump," he said. "Now, I've caught a good streak and I'm hitting the ball well."

Pence hit a two-run homer and an RBI double in the finale for the Astros, who've won eight of their last nine home games. Michael Bourn drew a bases-loaded walk from Chan Ho Park to force home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.

Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 26 chances and the Astros matched their longest winning streak of the season at four.

"We got a good start to the homestand," Pence said. "It all starts with pitching. The bullpen did great and we battled as hitters."

Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back homers in the fourth against Houston starter Brian Moehler. Howard also drove in a run with a first-inning single.

The Phillies still have a comfortable lead in their division, but manager Charlie Manuel is worried that his players are starting to press as the team heads into the final month.

"I don't know what it is, if they're tight or whatever," Manuel said. "They have no reason to be tight, but I kind of sense that's what it is.

"This is September 7th. We're still in good position, but we've got to play, man, we've just got to play."

The Phillies scored only 10 runs in Houston and were swept in a four-game series for the first time since August 2008.

"It was a bad series and that's saying it lightly," Manuel said. "We did everything we could to lose. You name it, every game, we did everything we could to lose."

Jamie Moyer became the Phillies' last-minute starter when J.A. Happ was unable to pitch because of a right oblique strain. Moyer got a no-decision after allowing two runs and three hits in six innings.

With the Phillies leading 1-0, Moyer walked Miguel Tejada in the second and Pence drove a full-count pitch over the railroad tracks in left. Pence is hitting .394 with four homers and 10 RBI in his last 10 games.

"It's just baseball, you can't explain it," Pence said. "Hopefully, I can keep riding it, keep going in there, trying to get a good pitch and making a good swing."

Howard and Ibanez homered in the fourth, the second time this season the two sluggers have connected in consecutive at-bats.

Moehler walked Ibanez and Jayson Werth with two outs in the sixth and Sammy Gervacio relieved. Pedro Feliz walked on four pitches to load the bases, but Gervacio got Carlos Ruiz to fly out.

Moyer retired 11 in a row after Geoff Blum's single in the second inning.

Bourn led off the Houston sixth with a line-drive single up the middle that Moyer ducked to avoid. Moyer retired the next three hitters to wrap up his 101-pitch outing.

Wesley Wright (3-2) replaced Gervacio in the seventh. He gave up a double to Jimmy Rollins, but got the final two outs.

Park (3-3) relieved Moyer in the seventh and the Astros tied it on back-to-back doubles by Tejada and Pence. Park then walked three straight batters to give Houston a 4-3 lead.

Tim Byrdak and Jeff Fulchino combined to shut out the Phillies in the eighth, setting up Valverde for the finish.

Notes

  • The Phillies had back-to-back homers for the eighth time this season.
  • Happ called the injury "a freak thing" and expected to make his next scheduled start this weekend. "I'd be really frustrated if I did try to go today and suddenly, it's six or seven starts instead of one or two," he said. "It's just a frustrating situation."
  • The Astros purchased the contracts of infielder Chris Johnson and right-handed pitcher Billy Sadler and recalled infielder Tommy Manzella from Triple-A Round Rock.
  • Astros slugger Lance Berkman has not homered in 30 games, the second-longest drought of his career.
 
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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Hunter Pence provides a home run and three RBI as the Astros sweep the four-game series against Philly.  (AP)
Hunter Pence provides a home run and three RBI as the Astros sweep the four-game series against Philly. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

H. Pence
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Philadelphia

R. Howard
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4010100 .243
Shane Victorino, CF5110002 .295
Chase Utley, 2B4000012 .295
Ryan Howard, 1B4132000 .277
Raul Ibanez, LF3111122 .274
Jayson Werth, RF2010200 .269
Pedro Feliz, 3B3000113 .268
Carlos Ruiz, C3000004 .252
   a- Matt Stairs, PH1000012 .191
    Paul Bako, C0000000 .208
Jamie Moyer, P2000011 .132
   b- Miguel Cairo, PH1000000 .192
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .143
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Brett Myers, P0000000 .222
   c- Ben Francisco, PH1000010 .247
Totals3337357  
a-struck out for Ruiz in the 8th
b-flied out for Moyer in the 7th
c-struck out for Myers in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (36, Wright), Jayson Werth (26, Moehler)
HR - Ryan Howard (38, Moehler), Raul Ibanez (28, Moehler)
RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (116), Raul Ibanez (80)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard (28)
SB - Shane Victorino (23, 2nd base off Moehler/Coste)
Team LOB - 8
Philadelphia Phillies
Jamie Moyer 6322141 4.98
Chan Ho Park (BS,1; L,3-3) 0.1222300 4.59
Scott Eyre 0.2000010 1.61
Brett Myers 1000100 4.52
IBB - Erstad by Chan Ho Park
Pitches-Strikes - Jamie Moyer 101-65, Chan Ho Park 23-10, Scott Eyre 10-6, Brett Myers 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamie Moyer 9-5, Brett Myers 1-2
Batters Faced - Jamie Moyer 22, Chan Ho Park 6, Scott Eyre 2, Brett Myers 4
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3011100 .298
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3000013 .242
Lance Berkman, 1B4000014 .268
Carlos Lee, LF4000001 .306
Miguel Tejada, SS3210100 .303
Hunter Pence, RF3223100 .286
Geoff Blum, 3B4010002 .258
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Chris Coste, C2000021 .225
   a- Darin Erstad, PH0000100 .208
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .333
    Edwin Maysonet, 3B0000000 .290
Brian Moehler, P2000011 .026
    Sammy Gervacio, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .333
   b- Jason Michaels, PH0000100 .233
    Humberto Quintero, C0000000 .238
Totals2845455  
a-was walked intentionally for Coste in the 7th
b-walked for Wright in the 7th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (40, Park), Hunter Pence (21, Park)
HR - Hunter Pence (23, Moyer)
SH - Kazuo Matsui (12)
RBI - Michael Bourn (33), Hunter Pence 3 (67)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman
E - Wesley Wright (1, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler 5.2533322 5.10
Sammy Gervacio 0.2000100 0.87
Wesley Wright (W,3-2) 0.2100010 5.79
Tim Byrdak (H,8) 0.1100010 2.86
Jeff Fulchino (H,9) 0.2000120 3.48
Jose Valverde (S,22) 1000010 1.96
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 89-51, Sammy Gervacio 13-5, Wesley Wright 18-12, Tim Byrdak 6-5, Jeff Fulchino 18-11, Jose Valverde 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 10-4, Wesley Wright 1-0, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 24, Sammy Gervacio 3, Wesley Wright 3, Tim Byrdak 2, Jeff Fulchino 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29040
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Chris Tiller, Third Base - Wally Bell