Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 5/6)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 6
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Game 2: Wednesday, May 7
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Game 3: Thursday, May 8
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Nationals 5

(14-19, 4-11 away)

Astros 6

(17-16, 10-5 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 6, 2008

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    WAS 010020110 5 9 1
    HOU 01101012 - 6 12 1

    W: D. Brocail (2-0)

    L: L. Ayala (1-2)

    S: J. Valverde (7)

    Berkman's career-high five hits power Astros to fourth straight win

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Lance Berkman, Miguel Tejada and Carlos Lee have suddenly made the Houston Astros a tough team to beat.

    Lee hit the go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning and Berkman had a career-high five hits to lead the Astros to a 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night, Houston's fourth straight victory.

    Tejada and Berkman both singled in the eighth before Lee's hit to right field. Austin Kearns dived for the ball, but it bounced just in front of him.

    After scoring, Tejada stood near the plate and motioned for Berkman to head home. Berkman, whose five hits tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game, has nine hits in the last two games. He added two stolen bases on Tuesday.

    "They're three of the best RBI guys in the league," manager Cecil Cooper said. "It's not easy going through those guys. They're tough to handle when they're playing great. Right now, they're all starting to look pretty good."

    In the last five games, Berkman has hit .590 with two homers, four doubles and nine RBIs. Tejada has a 10-game hitting streak and Lee finished with three hits and three RBIs.

    Nationals manager Manny Acta didn't have an answer for Berkman Tuesday.

    "There's only so much you can do against him," Acta said. "He's one of the best players in the league. He's so good."

    The Astros had tied it in the bottom of the seventh on a balk before Kearns' homer to left off Doug Brocail (2-0). Before the home run, Brocail hadn't allowed a run in six straight appearances and 13 of his last 15 games.

    Brocail still got the win, while Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save. Houston has a winning record (17-16) for the first time since April 22.

    Luis Ayala (1-2) allowed three hits and two runs in the eighth inning for the loss.

    The bottom of the seventh was marred by Washington blunders. Berkman got a double when his fly to center bounced off the glove of Lastings Milledge to start the inning.

    "He got a bad jump on it and he turned the wrong way," Acta said. "That started the whole thing."

    Berkman stole third before Hunter Pence walked. Berkman tied it at 4 when he scored on a balk by Saul Rivera.

    Berkman likes the way his team was able to come back time after time Tuesday.

    "We've won and I think that goes a long way toward building confidence as a team if you're never out of the game," he said. "When you have success, it fosters a good feeling in the clubhouse."

    Astros starter Shawn Chacon received his seventh straight no-decision. The last pitcher to start seven games without a decision was Doug Davis in 2005. He allowed eight hits and four runs with eight strikeouts and four walks in seven innings.

    Cooper joked that he was going to start calling him Shawn "No Decision" Chacon, but the pitcher said it's not a big deal to him.

    "It's kind of crazy," Chacon said. "I'm not worried about it. As long as we keep winning and I keep pitching well and pitching deep into ball game, the wins will come."

    Aaron Boone's pinch-hit homer in the seventh gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead.

    Pence hit Houston's third single of the fifth inning to score Berkman and tie it at 3.

    Cristian Guzman's double scored Wily Mo Pena to tie it at 2 in the fifth. Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double to give Washington a 3-2 lead.

    Milledge singled after Nick Johnson was intentionally walked, but Zimmerman was thrown out at home to end the inning.

    Houston took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a run-scoring single by Berkman.

    Johnson put Washington ahead early with his home run in the second. Houston evened it at 1 in the bottom of the second when Berkman doubled and scored on a double by Lee. Shawn Hill intentionally walked J.R. Towles to get to Chacon, but the pitcher singled to load the bases. Hill got out of trouble by striking out Michael Bourn to end the inning.

    Game notes


    Hill allowed eight hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Acta said he was "laboring" the whole time. "I didn't feel right," Hill said. "I don't know what to place the blame on. I was just completely out of sorts." ... Berkman said he'll refrain from stealing for the next few days after finishing the game with a sore hip because of his slides.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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