Astros outlast Dodgers after Lidge blows another save

HOUSTON (AP) -- Preston Wilson ended his short slump in a long

Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to score Willy Taveras in the 14th
and give the Houston Astros a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers
on Tuesday night in the longest regular-season game in the
ballpark's brief history.

"It was just nice to get the win so we could all go to bed,"
Wilson said.

The power-hitting left fielder also had an RBI single and scored
on a wild pitch by Brad Penny in the seventh to put the Astros up
3-2. Wilson came into the game with only three hits in his last 26

"It was nice to contribute and feel like I did something
positive," Wilson said.

The game wouldn't have come to that if Brad Lidge hadn't blown
his second straight save chance.

One night after giving up a ninth-inning grand slam to Nomar
Garciaparra, Lidge walked pinch-hitter Oscar Robles leading off the
ninth. Pinch-runner Jason Repko stole second and moved to third on
a wild pitch before scoring the tying run on Jeff Kent's sacrifice
fly. With runners at the corners, Lidge retired Garciaparra on an
inning-ending flyout.

Manager Phil Garner said before the game and again after that he
still had confidence in his closer.

"If it's the same situation tomorrow, he'll be back out
there," Garner said. "He'll save a lot more for us than he'll

In the 14th, Hong Chih Kuo (0-3) relieved Lance Carter and with
one out walked Taveras. Lance Berkman doubled off the left-field
wall, Kuo intentionally walked Morgan Ensberg and Wilson hit a fly
ball to deep center.

Kenny Lofton's throw home was off-target, and Taveras trotted
across the plate, ending a 4-hour, 48-minute game. The Astros and
Braves played a 13-inning game in 2002 at Minute Maid that lasted

"I was really pleased with the way the pitchers hung in
there," said Dodgers manager Grady Little. "We made some good
pitches and they kept us in there as long as they could."

The Astros, though, are getting used to playing marathons at
Minute Maid.

In Game 3 of last year's World Series, the Chicago White Sox
beat Houston 7-5 over 14 innings in a game that took 5:41, the
longest in Series history.

Ezequiel Astacio (2-0), Houston's eighth pitcher, worked around
three walks in the top of the 14th.

Houston had loaded the bases with one out in the 12th off
Carter, but Wilson flied out to shallow right and Jason Lane popped

Dave Borkowski, called up from Triple-A Round Rock on April 20,
pitched four scoreless innings before Astacio relieved.

"It feels great, being the new guy here for five days and
finally getting in there to contribute," Borkowski said. "It
makes you feel more a part of the team. This win was huge."

Out of pinch-hitting options, Garner sent Roy Oswalt in to hit
in the 13th. Oswalt struck out in his first career at-bat as a
pinch hitter.

Penny, who compiled a 1.88 ERA in his first four starts, had a
rocky first inning and then retired 15 of the next 17 Astros until
Wilson singled leading off the seventh. Wilson was in a 3-for-26
slump since April 17, but came into Tuesday's game 6-for-15 against

Craig Biggio scored Houston's first run after a leadoff double.
Taveras reached on a bunt and scored on Wilson's RBI single.

The Dodgers answered with two runs in the fifth off rookie
Fernando Nieve, who was making his second career start.

Rafael Furcal walked with two outs and Lofton followed with an
RBI double. Kent tied it with a sharp single off Russ Springer.

Game notes
The Astros (14-6) matched their best 20-game start since
1986. ... Penny hit Astros SS Adam Everett's left hand with a pitch
in the fifth inning. X-rays were negative, and the Astros said the
hand was only bruised. ... With storms in the area, the retractable
roof at Minute Maid Park was closed for the second time this
season. The Astros beat Pittsburgh 7-2 with the roof closed Sunday.