Philadelphia (62-63) at Houston (62-62)

Thunder Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Tue Aug 24, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies are each clinging to the slimmest of playoff hopes. Both will try to bolster their chances when they meet in the middle game of their series at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros, who swept a three-game series at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park last week, picked up where they left off with an 8-4 win in Monday’s series opener.

Roger Clemens allowed two runs over seven innings for his 323rd career win, and Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer to lead the Astros to their sixth win in eight games.

The homer was Beltran’s career-high 30th of the season. He has also stolen 31 bases, making him the 45th player in major league history with 30 home runs and 30 steals in a season.

Beltran is also the first player in the majors to reach the 30-30 distinction this season. Last season, only Texas’ Alfonso Soriano, then with the New York Yankees, accomplished the feat.

“As a player, this is pretty special to me to able to steal bases and have a little bit of power,” said Beltran, who had 15 homers and 14 steals with Kansas City before he was traded to Houston on June 25.

The Astros took a half-game lead on the Phillies for fifth place in the NL wild-card race—six games behind the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.

After finishing a 1-9 homestand—the worst 10-game homestand in the franchise’s 122-year history—the Phillies had swept a three-game series in Milwaukee before falling to the Astros on Monday.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Myers Cle vs. C. Hernandez TB
11-11 Record 1-3
5.52 ERA 6.43
116 K 26
62 BB 23
1.47 WHIP 1.74