Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Houston leads 2-0 (as of 4/22)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 21
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Houston8
Game 2: Wednesday, April 22
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Game 3: Thursday, April 23
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Dodgers 5

(10-5, 4-5 away)

Astros 6

(6-9, 4-5 home)

    8:05 PM ET, April 22, 2009

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 000004010 5 10 1
    HOU 00020202 - 6 11 0

    W: C. Sampson (1-0)

    L: R. Belisario (0-1)

    S: L. Hawkins (2)

    Astros rally, then squeak by Dodgers thanks to pitching blunder

    Associated Press

    HOUSTON -- Long-legged and speedy, Hunter Pence probably could have scored from second base.

    Fast Facts


    • Down 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Houston rallied with a solo home run from Lance Berkman and a two-out RBI single by Ivan Rodriguez to beat Los Angeles for the second straight night.

    • LaTroy Hawkins got his second save subbing for Jose Valverde, who took a line drive off the shin last night.

    • The Dodgers hit three home runs in the sixth inning off Roy Oswalt, including one by Manny Ramirez (fourth of year).

    • Houston won back-to-back games for just the second time this year as the Dodgers lost back-to-back games for just the second time this year.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Thanks to a wild pitch he didn't have to.

    Ivan Rodriguez drove in the go-ahead run after a wild pitch on an intentional walk put Pence on third, and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 on Wednesday night.

    Pence doubled in the eighth inning before Los Angeles ran into some trouble trying to intentionally walk Geoff Blum. Ronald Belisario's throw to Russell Martin bounced off the edge of the catcher's glove, and Pence advanced a base as Martin rolled in the dirt trying to chase it down.

    Pence wasn't sure if he could have made it from second and considered the wild pitch lucky.

    "[Belisario] has of one of those unique arms, where it's tougher for some of those guys to not throw as hard as they can," he said. "I was just kind of anticipating and fortunately it happened and I was ready for it."

    Manager Cecil Cooper was certain he could have made it without the wild pitch.

    "Hunter is a very aggressive base runner and I think undoubtedly he would have scored there," Cooper said. "No question."

    Dodgers manager Joe Torre didn't second guess having Belisario, a rookie, in the game at such a key time.

    "The way he's been so aggressive we wanted him in there," Torre said. "He has certainly shown us that emotionally he can handle it. His ball just wasn't moving tonight, but we like his aggressiveness."

    Said Belisario: "I [felt] pretty well. I had control of my pitches but they still got me. That happens."

    Blum walked before Rodriguez singled to center, scoring Pence.

    Lance Berkman tied it earlier in the inning with a solo home run off Belisario (0-1) that ricocheted off the wall in left field.

    Pence had a two-run homer in the fourth inning to help the Astros win their second straight over the Dodgers, who came into the series with an eight-game winning streak.

    Chris Sampson (1-0) gave up a run in two innings for the win.

    Astros reliever LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect ninth for the save in place of closer Jose Valverde, who is out with a leg injury.

    "When you've got a guy down, you just try to pull your weight and then some," Hawkins said.

    James Loney put Los Angeles ahead in the eighth with a run-scoring double that made it 5-4. Andre Ethier singled to start the eighth before Loney's hit, which rolled into the corner in left field.

    Houston tied it 4-all in the sixth on a double by Jason Michaels that scored Berkman and Carlos Lee.

    Manny Ramirez led off the sixth with a solo homer off Roy Oswalt that flew over the wall in left and made it 2-1. Ethier followed that home run with a tying shot that bounced off the railing in the left field Crawford Boxes, giving the Dodgers back-to-back home runs for the first time this season.

    Casey Blake's two out, two-run homer that bounced off the wall in left and dribbled down the train tracks atop that wall later in the inning put Los Angeles ahead 4-2.

    It was the first time Oswalt has allowed three home runs in an inning and the most home runs given up by a Houston pitcher since Jason Hirsh allowed three in 2006.

    Oswalt got out of the inning by striking out Randy Wolf and was replaced by Sampson for the seventh.

    Oswalt, who doesn't have a win this season in four starts, allowed eight hits and four runs with six strikeouts.

    "It was a team win," Oswalt said. "It doesn't matter what I do. I could care less about my stats as long as the team wins."

    Pence had a two-run homer to center field in the fourth inning that put Houston ahead 2-0.

    Dodgers starter Randy Wolf, a former Astros starter, allowed eight hits and four runs with six strikeouts in seven innings.

    "I kind of fault myself for today without a doubt," he said. "Giving up four runs like that, you can't do that ... this is just a win for us that I let slip away."

    Game notes


    Roger Clemens attended the game with some of his children. He sat about 10 rows up behind home plate. ... Torre said RHP Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Thursday and could be ready to pitch by the end of April. Kuroda went on the disabled list on April 10 with an oblique muscle strain. ... Astros 3B Jeff Keppinger had a single in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He is the second player in franchise history to start his Houston career with an eight-game hitting streak. The other player to do it was Roman Mejias, who did it for the Colt 45s in 1962, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumMinute Maid Park, Houston, TX
    Attendance26,725 (63.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:46
    Weather82 degrees, clear
    Wind11 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Jerry Layne, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Ed Montague