Phillies beat Astros 7-5

May 22, 2008 8:43:22 PM PDT
Brad Lidge returned to Houston on Thursday night and looked like his old, overpowering self. Only this time, he was pitching for the visiting team. Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard homered, and Lidge earned a save against his former team as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros 7-5.

Howard also had an RBI double and Lidge improved to 12-for-12 in save chances by getting Lance Berkman to pop up for the final out.

Lidge saved 72 games in six seasons in Houston, but was traded to Philadelphia last November after two mediocre seasons. It all started with Albert Pujols' three-run homer in Game 5 of the 2005 NL championship series, but Lidge looked more like the dominant closer he was before that fateful pitch on Thursday night, needing only 13 pitches to finish off Houston.

Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz also had RBIs for the Phillies, who've won three in a row.

Ty Wigginton had two RBIs for the Astros, who lost for the third time in their last 13 home games.

Burrell, pinch-hitting for Greg Dobbs, broke a 5-all tie with a leadoff homer in the eighth off Wesley Wright (3-2). Chase Utley added an RBI single later in the inning off Tim Byrdak.

When Lidge trotted out of the visitors' bullpen in the ninth, the crowd greeted him with both boos and applause. When his name was announced, the crowd delivered another mixed response, with half of them standing to cheer and half of them offering louder boos.

Lidge easily struck out Michael Bourn, one of the players Houston acquired in the trade. Lidge got Kazuo Matsui on a ground out before Miguel Tejada singled to right.

Berkman batted next and popped up Lidge's first pitch.

Chad Durbin (1-1) worked a scoreless seventh to earn the victory in relief. Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings.

Houston starter Roy Oswalt was hit hard again, giving up five runs on 11 hits.

Berkman's RBI double off the left-field scoreboard gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Berkman went 1-for-10 in three games against Chicago earlier this week and still came into the game hitting .500 (36-for-72) in May.

Howard and Feliz led off the second with singles and Oswalt walked Geoff Jenkins to load the bases. Dobbs lined out, but Ruiz singled to score Howard.

Hunter Pence walked leading off the Astros second, went to third on Wigginton's single and scored on Brad Ausmus' sacrifice fly to put Houston ahead 2-1.

The Phillies scored three runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.

Howard and Feliz knocked in runs with hits and Howard later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jenkins.

Howard led off the fifth with a long into the left-field porch, his 13th of the season, to make it 5-2.

Wigginton drove a two-run double down the left-field line in the sixth and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel replaced Kendrick with Ryan Madson.

Ausmus bunted Wigginton to third and when Geoff Blum came out to pinch-hit for Oswalt, Manuel brought in left-hander J.C. Romero.

Blum singled to left to score Wigginton and tie it at 5.

Notes: Manuel started Dobbs in place of Burrell, who was 3-for-27 in his previous eight games. Burrell had started 47 of the Phillies' first 48 games. ... Shane Victorino made a diving catch in shallow center to grab Matsui's blooper leading off the third.

... The Phillies lead the majors with 70 home runs.