Houston at Philadelphia

Scoreboard
Houston (73-84)0010120004110
Philadelphia (91-66) «00142000x781

Feliz's slam helps Phillies top Astros, drop magic number to one

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- A pregame pep talk from their manager helped the Philadelphia Phillies get back on track.

Pedro Feliz hit a grand slam, J.A. Happ pitched effectively into the sixth inning and the Phillies moved closer toward clinching their third straight NL East title with a 7-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

The defending World Series champions reduced their magic number for winning the division to one when Atlanta lost shortly afterward to Florida.

The Phillies had lost five of seven coming in, prompting manager Charlie Manuel to hold a closed-door meeting in the clubhouse 3½ hours before the first pitch.

  Playoff Race

"I did all the talking," Manuel said.

Whatever he said worked.

Happ (12-4) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six. He's the first rookie to win 12 games for Philadelphia since Jim Owens in 1959.

Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer and Philadelphia's injury-plagued bullpen tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Jamie Moyer got four outs and Ryan Madson pitched the last two innings for his 10th save in 16 chances. He allowed two hits in the ninth, but he struck out Carlos Lee on a 96 mph fastball and got Hunter Pence looking to end it.

Madson knocked down Pence with a 97 mph fastball on an 0-2 pitch before freezing him with another 97 mph heater.

Brad Lidge was warming up in the bullpen, ready to get another chance after picking up his 11th blown save last week at Florida. But Madson needed just nine pitches to finish the eighth so Manuel sent him out there for another inning.

If there's a save situation Wednesday night, Lidge may be out there.

"Lidge pitches better at home than he does on the road and he matches up good against [Houston's] right-handers," Manuel said.

Moyer landed awkwardly on his final pitch in the seventh and was helped to the dugout by catcher Paul Bako. Center fielder Shane Victorino made an outstanding, twisting catch on Jeff Keppinger's drive as Moyer watched on his hands and knees. Moyer strained his left groin.

Kaz Matsui and Lance Berkman homered for the Astros, who won the first five meetings between the teams.

Wilton Lopez (0-1) allowed five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings in his first career start. Lopez had made six relief appearances.

"He left the ball up and we know if you hit the ball good in this ballpark, it can go a long way," Astros interim manager Dave Clark said.

Feliz put the Phillies ahead 5-1 in the fourth when he connected off Lopez for his seventh career slam. Ryan Howard started the inning with an infield hit and Raul Ibanez followed with a single. After Werth walked to load the bases, Feliz drove the next pitch to the seats in left for his 12th homer.

A sellout crowd stood and waved their white-and-red "Fightin' Phils" rally towels, giving Feliz a curtain call.

The Phillies can wrap up the division Wednesday night with Pedro Martinez on the mound. If so, many starters can get some much-needed rest.

"That's the light at the end of the tunnel," Howard said. "Rest is always good."

Lee's broken-bat single plated a run in the fifth to cut it to 5-2. The Astros just missed tying the game when the next batter, Pence, flied out to deep center with two runners on. Happ fanned Keppinger to end the inning.

"I felt a lot better than the results," Happ said. "It was a battle all night."

Werth went deep off Wesley Wright to give the Phillies a 7-2 lead in the fifth. Werth, an All-Star outfielder, has 35 homers and 96 RBI in his first season as a full-time starter.

Matsui hit a two-run shot in the sixth to cut it to 7-4.

After Berkman put the Astros ahead 1-0 in the third inning with his 25th homer, the Phillies tied it in the bottom half on Jimmy Rollins' RBI double.

Notes

  • Cliff Lee's start was pushed back to Thursday and Martinez was moved up one day. Martinez (5-1) missed his previous start with neck stiffness. The move also puts Lee in position to pitch Game 1 of the NL Division Series.
  • Phillies C Carlos Ruiz was a late scratch. He's been bothered by a wrist injury.
  • Feliz has two grand slams this year. It extended the Phillies' franchise record for slams in a season to 11.
  • Astros SS Miguel Tejada extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
  • Houston RHP Chad Paronto left after injuring his left hamstring on a pitch to Howard in the seventh.
 
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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The fans go wild as Pedro Feliz launches a grand slam in the fourth for the Phillies.  (US Presswire)
The fans go wild as Pedro Feliz launches a grand slam in the fourth for the Phillies. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

P. Feliz
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Houston

K. Matsui
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5122000 .254
Miguel Tejada, SS5110001 .312
Lance Berkman, 1B4121020 .270
Carlos Lee, LF5021012 .301
Hunter Pence, RF4020114 .287
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3000014 .259
Jason Michaels, CF4000023 .229
J.R. Towles, C3120100 .150
Wilton Lopez, P2000015 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .250
   a- Chris Johnson, PH1000011 .095
    Chad Paronto, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .333
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000000 .192
    Sammy Gervacio, P0000000 .000
Totals37411429  
a-struck out for Wright in the 6th
b-grounded out for Fulchino in the 8th
Batting
2B - J.R. Towles (1, Happ)
HR - Kazuo Matsui (9, Happ), Lance Berkman (25, Happ)
SH - Jeff Keppinger (7)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui 2 (46), Lance Berkman (78), Carlos Lee (102)
2-OUT RBI - Kazuo Matsui 2 (21), Lance Berkman (28)
SB - Carlos Lee (5, 2nd base off Happ/Bako)
Team LOB - 10
Houston Astros
Wilton Lopez (L,0-1) 3.2655221 9.42
Wesley Wright 1.1122121 5.98
Chad Paronto 1.1100000 12.15
Jeff Fulchino 0.2000010 3.38
Sammy Gervacio 1000010 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Wilton Lopez 57-33, Wesley Wright 27-14, Chad Paronto 16-11, Jeff Fulchino 10-5, Sammy Gervacio 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wilton Lopez 8-1, Chad Paronto 2-2, Sammy Gervacio 2-0
Batters Faced - Wilton Lopez 19, Wesley Wright 6, Chad Paronto 5, Jeff Fulchino 2, Sammy Gervacio 3
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4021001 .249
Shane Victorino, CF4000003 .292
Chase Utley, 2B4000011 .286
Ryan Howard, 1B4110020 .275
Raul Ibanez, LF3210120 .274
Jayson Werth, RF3222100 .269
Pedro Feliz, 3B4114001 .265
Paul Bako, C3110110 .227
J.A. Happ, P1000000 .093
    Jamie Moyer, P0000000 .119
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
Totals3078736  
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (42, Lopez)
HR - Jayson Werth (35, Wright), Pedro Feliz (12, Lopez)
SH - J.A. Happ (7), Jamie Moyer (9)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (77), Jayson Werth 2 (96), Pedro Feliz 4 (79)
2-OUT RBI - Jayson Werth 2 (37)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Paul Bako (4, Interference)
Philadelphia Phillies
J.A. Happ (W,12-4) 5.2943162 2.85
Jamie Moyer (H,1) 1.1000110 4.94
Ryan Madson (S,10) 2200020 3.18
IBB - Towles by J.A. Happ
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 118-72, Jamie Moyer 24-13, Ryan Madson 27-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 7-4, Ryan Madson 2-2
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 28, Jamie Moyer 5, Ryan Madson 8
Game Information
Attendance - 45082
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Tim Tschida