For the second night in a row, a Phillies ninth inning rally falls short as the Phillies, for the second straight night, lose to the Astros, 4-3. The Phillies would score the game’s first run in the top of the first on a RBI double by Ryan Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier reached base on first baseman Lance Berkman’s fielding error. The Astros would take the lead in the bottom of the first, as Phillies’ starter Brett Myers gives up a RBI double to Carlos Lee, knocking in Michael Bourn, who has reached base earlier on a single, and Berkman, who has earlier walked, making it 2-1 Astros. The Phillies would regain the lead in the third, as Howard hits a two run homer off of Astros’ starter Brian Moehler, his fourteenth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Astros would then tie it in the bottom of the fifth, as Lee hits a RBI single to left, scoring Bourn, who has earlier doubled. But, when Berkman tires to score after Pat Burrell’s throw gets away from Chase Utley, he would be thrown out at home plate by Ryan Howard’s throw to Chris Coste, who tags out Berkman for the final out of the inning, keeping the score tied at 3-3. The Astros would then retake the lead in the sixth, as Myers gives up a RBI single to pitch hitter Mark Loretta, scoring Ty Wigginton, who has earlier singled, making it 4-3 Astros. The game would stay that way until the ninth, when the Phillies attempted a late inning rally. With Doug Brocail pitching, Pedro Feliz and Chris Coste would both reach base on singles. After Carlos Ruiz would go in to pinch run for Coste, Brocail would committ a throwing error as he throws the ball into center field as he attempts to pick off Feliz at second, sending Feliz and Ruiz to third and second. Brocail would then get pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to fly out, with neither runner advancing. After intentionally walking Jimmy Rollins, Brocail would face Victorino with the bases loaded. After the count goes to 2-0, Victorino would hit a fly ball to left. Darin Erstad would make the catch for out number two. Erstad would then throw towards home as Feliz attempts to score to tie the game. Erstad’s throw would beat Feliz to the plate, where he is tagged out by catcher Brad Asmus for the final out, preserving the game for the Astros, and giving Brocail his second save of the season.
Brett Myers would take the lost, as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 5.79 ERA. The main question now is what is the matter with Myers as he doesn’t seem to be able to hold leads when they are given to him, or to throw a good pitch at the right moment to get himself out of jams. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits. Brian Moehler records the win, as he also goes six innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits. Tim Byrdak would pitch one and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch to only one batter in the eighth, giving up no runs on no hits. Wesley Wright would go one-third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Doug Brocail would pitch the ninth, earning his second save of the year, as he gives up no runs on two hits.
The Phillies (27-24) will conclude their trip to Houston (29-22, 3rd National League Central) with an afternoon game at Minute Maid Park, which is already in progress. The Phillies’ starting pitcher is Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.61). The Astros’ starter is Chris Sampson (3-3, 5.91). The Phils’ hope to get a win today to get a series spilt and head back home to Philadelphia with a winning road trip.
The Phils are now trailing the Marlins by two games, thanks to their lost, as the Marlins were rained out last night. Today they are playing a twinbill with the Giants, with the Marlins presently leading in the first game, 7-6. The Phils are now a game behind the second place Braves, who are presently trailing the Diamondbacks 6-3. They are two games ahead of the Mets, who are tied with the Rockies 0-0.