Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

Houston leads 2-1 (as of 5/24)

Game 1: Thursday, May 22
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Game 2: Friday, May 23
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Game 3: Saturday, May 24
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Game 4: Sunday, May 25
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Phillies 3

(27-24, 14-13 away)

Astros 4

(29-22, 15-8 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 24, 2008

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

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    PHI 102000000 3 7 0
    HOU 20001100 - 4 10 2

    W: B. Moehler (2-1)

    L: B. Myers (2-6)

    S: D. Brocail (2)

    Lee's offense, ninth-inning double play lift Astros 

    HOUSTON (AP) -- At 41, Doug Brocail is the oldest player on the Houston Astros roster. He felt like a kid again when Darin Erstad and Brad Ausmus turned a remarkable double play to end Houston's 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.

    The Phillies loaded the bases off Brocail with one out in the ninth inning. Shane Victorino flew out to Erstad in left and Erstad threw a perfect throw to Ausmus, the Astros catcher, who tagged out Pedro Feliz at the plate.

    Brocail and Lance Berkman embraced Ausmus as the sellout crowd cheered and Erstad sprinted in from the outfield to join the celebration.

    "I felt like a 4-year-old child running out to high-five Erstad," said Brocail, who earned his second save in as many chances. "It's rejuvenating."

    Carlos Lee drove in three runs and Mark Loretta added a pinch-hit RBI single for the Astros, who've won 12 of their last 15 home games.

    Erstad entered the game at the start of the inning as a defensive replacement for Lee. And Brocail only came in because manager Cecil Cooper wanted to give regular close Jose Valverde the night off after he was struck in the face with a line drive by Feliz on Friday.

    "Honestly, I thought it was going to go extra innings or I was going to get booed like a banshee," Brocail said. "I don't what else in the magic show I've got left."

    Brocail got into trouble right away, giving up consecutive singles to Feliz and Chris Coste. As Greg Dobbs batted, Brocail threw the ball into center field on a botched pick-off attempt. Brocail said he thought he heard shortstop Miguel Tejada say he wanted to try it, but Tejada actually said he wanted Brocail to pitch to the batter.

    Instead, the runners advanced and after Dobbs flew out, Brocail intentionally walked Jimmy Rollins. Erstad and Ausmus, with six Gold Gloves between them, bailed him out.

    "I've made that throw plenty of times," Erstad said. "You just put the work in and you're just kind of on auto pilot. Obviously, it's a big situation and a lot of times, you try to throw the ball too hard. You try to stay smooth and fortunately, I hit the right spot."

    The ending left the Phillies in disbelief.

    "Nine times out of 10, you're going to score on that play," said Victorino. "I guess next time, I'll have to hit it farther."

    Phillies manager Charlie Manuel didn't think Erstad had a strong enough arm to beat Feliz to the plate.

    "He made a hell of a throw," Manuel said. "It's a tough way to lose a game."

    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.

    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 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.

    Loretta singled home Wigginton for the winning run in the sixth.

    Game 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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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