Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Houston leads 2-0 (as of 5/16)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 15
San Francisco5Final
in 10
Houston6
Game 2: Wednesday, May 16
San Francisco1Final
Houston2
Game 3: Thursday, May 17
San Francisco2Final
in 12
Houston1

Giants 1

(19-20, 8-10 away)

Astros 2

(20-19, 10-9 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 16, 2007

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    SF 100000000 1 7 1
    HOU 00110000 - 2 8 0

    W: C. Sampson (4-3)

    L: N. Lowry (4-4)

    S: D. Wheeler (9)

    Pence continues hot hitting as Astros double up Giants

    A CLOSER LOOK
    • Summary: Houston rookie Hunter Pence went 4-for-4 including a home run in the fourth inning to lead the Astros to a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.

    Hunter Pence
    Pence

    • Figure this: Pence is 7-for-7 in the series (including home runs in two straight games against the Giants) and has four home runs and 15 RBIs this season. The team record is 8 straight hits set in 1980 by Art Howe.

    • Unsung hero: The Astros bullpen of Brad Lidge, Trever Miller and Dan Wheeler pitched three scoreless innings to nail down the victory for Chris Sampson.

    • Bonds watch: Barry Bonds went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout, but no home runs. He remains at 745 home runs for his career.

    • Proud papa: Sampson, a rookie, missed his start Tuesday for the birth of his first child. Since his son C.J. was born, Houston is 2-0, as the new father was quick to point out.

    -- ESPN.com news services

    Astros 2, Giants 1

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Hunter Pence is still so overwhelmed by playing in the majors that goosebumps appear on his arms when he talks about it.

    He's been providing some thrills for Houston Astros fans, too.

    Pence homered for the second straight game and the Astros beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 Wednesday night for their fourth straight win. The victory gave Houston its first home series win over the Giants since 1999 and breaks a streak of five consecutive series losses to San Francisco.

    Pence put Houston up 2-1 with a solo homer that bounced off the train tracks above the left-field wall in the fourth inning. He hit a tying two-run drive in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 6-5, 10-inning win.

    Giants slugger Barry Bonds was 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. He hasn't homered since May 8 and remains 10 away from tying Hank Aaron's career record of 755. His drought at Minute Maid Park stretches to Opening Day of 2004.

    Pence, who was called up April 27 to boost the offense, is 7-for-7 in this series. He had singles in the second, sixth and eighth innings Wednesday and has four home runs and 15 RBIs this season.

    He is the first Astros player with seven consecutive hits since Vinny Castilla did it in 2001. He needs one more to tie the team record for consecutive hits set in 1980 by Art Howe.

    "I get chills right now just thinking about when I'm out there looking in the stands and watching Barry Bonds hit," Pence said as tiny bumps appeared on his arms. "It's unbelievable."

    Astros manager Phil Garner is happy with Pence's performance, but has been guarded in his praise of the youngster.

    "I'm afraid everybody's going to get into a frenzy here and the expectations are going to be unattainable," he said. "The guy's doing pretty darn good. Just let him play."

    San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was a little more free with the compliments.

    "He's having quite the series, no question about it," Bochy said. "He's not missing his pitch, and if he doesn't hit it well, it's falling in. He's been a wrecking crew here this series."

    Fellow rookie Chris Sampson (4-3), who was back with Houston after missing Tuesday's game for the birth of his first child, allowed one run and seven hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out three.

    Eight-pound, 14-ounce C.J. Sampson was born Tuesday night.

    "I was on Cloud 9," Sampson said of getting his first win after becoming a father. "It was an unbelievable experience. I told a few of the guys: 'C.J.'s pretty good luck. He was born at 8:15 p.m. last night and we won last night and won today. So C.J.'s 2-0."

    Dan Wheeler pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 10 tries and then presented Sampson the ball from the last out.

    "He came in and said 'Here's a little keepsake for your son,'" Sampson said. "I'll give that to him for Daddy's first win."

    Rookie Fred Lewis tripled and scored on Ryan Klesko's double to give the Giants a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Sampson then walked Bonds before getting Ray Durham to ground into an inning-ending double play.

    Sampson retired 11 of the next 12 batters. He was helped by some nifty fielding during that stretch that included a leaping catch by third baseman Mark Loretta and Lance Berkman's sliding grab of a hard-hit grounder to first.

    Loretta singled in a run in the third to tie it at 1.

    Giants starter Noah Lowry (4-4) pitched his first complete game of the season and first since Aug. 21. He allowed eight hits and two runs, struck out three and walked four. It was the seventh time in his first eight starts that he worked into at least the seventh inning.

    "What a great effort," Bochy said. "That's a tough one for him to lose. He did all he could. We just got shut down, it's pretty simple. We didn't get a hit when we needed it and the last three innings, I don't think we got a guy on base."

    Former closer Brad Lidge pitched a perfect seventh for Houston and lefty Trever Miller retired the Giants in order in the eighth.

    Game notes


    Randy Winn had two hits for the Giants to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. ... Lowry has a 3-1 career mark against the Astros. ... Houston's Carlos Lee was 0-for-4, a day after hitting two home runs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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