Astros beat Phillies 4-3

May 24, 2008 8:12:20 PM PDT
Carlos Lee drove in three runs and the Houston Astros turned a dramatic double play to end a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night. The Phillies loaded the bases off Doug Brocail with one out in the ninth inning. Shane Victorino flew out to Darin Erstad in left and Erstad threw a perfect throw to catcher Brad Ausmus, who tagged out Pedro Feliz at the plate.

Brocail and Berkman embraced Ausmus as the crowd cheered and Erstad sprinted in from the outfield to join the celebration. Erstad entered the game at the start of the inning as a defensive replacement for Lee.

Brocail earned his second save in as many chances. Houston manager Cecil Cooper gave Jose Valverde the night off after Houston's usual closer was struck in the face with a line drive by Feliz on Friday. Valverde recovered and finished the game for his 15th save.

Brian Moehler (2-1) gave up four hits with three strikeouts in six innings, his best outing in four starts since he replaced injured Wandy Rodriguez in the Astros' rotation. Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since April 20 with a strained groin.

Mark Loretta added a pinch-hit RBI single for the Astros, who've won 12 of their last 15 home games.

Ryan Howard had an RBI double and a two-run homer for the Phillies.

The Astros scored all four runs off Philadelphia starter Brett Myers (2-6), who gave up eight hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Myers is 0-5 in six road starts this season.

Victorino scored the Phillies' first run after reaching base on Lance Berkman's first error of the season. After Chase Utley walked, Howard doubled to left to make it 1-0. Utley tried to score on Pat Burrell's sharp grounder to Ty Wigginton, but the third baseman threw home, where Ausmus applied the tag.

Former Phillie Michael Bourn singled and stole second and Berkman walked in the Houston first before Lee drove his 14th double of the season to left.

Moehler hit Utley with a pitch in the third and Howard followed with a homer to right center, his 14th, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Howard has 13 RBIs in his last eight games against the Astros.

Bourn led off the Astros fifth with a double to right and went to third on Miguel Tejada's fly out to center. Myers walked Berkman for the third time, but Lee singled to left to score Bourn and tie the game.

Brocail, usually the Astros' set-up man, gave up a leadoff single to Feliz in the ninth. Ausmus misplayed a foul ball and Brocail mistakenly threw a ball into center field on a botched pick-off attempt to fuel the Phillies' threat in the ninth.

Notes: Bourn has 22 stolen bases and Houston has 56, both major-league highs. ... Tejada had two hits to extend his hitting streak to nine games. ... The Phillies have played in 21 games this season decided by one run. ... Houston leads the majors with 45 runs allowed in the first inning.