Berkman hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning and the Houston bullpen was brilliant again as the Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Friday night.
“It was meaningful just to get a hit,” Berkman said. “I hadn’t done much in the game. People put more drama on the late innings, but we’re not in the game if (Geoff) Blum doesn’t homer.”
Blum hit a two-run shot for the Astros, who won for the 12th time in 15 games. The bullpen added three scoreless innings to lower its ERA to 2.68.
“I just want to push (Craig) Biggio over and get on base and turn it over to those horses coming up behind me,” Blum said.
Wendell allowed his first two earned runs of the season in 13 appearances and 14 innings.
“I don’t keep up with those things, I just try to go out every night and get guys out,” Wendell said. “Tonight, I didn’t execute and I failed. Tomorrow is a new game. It happens. We’re all human.”
“I felt a little different tonight. Things just didn’t click. But I was facing some pretty good hitters, too. The law of averages catches up to you.”
“All we can ask is to keep it close,” Wagner said. “The offense has been clutch in the late innings. Right now, we’ve got guys getting key hits.”
The Astros have 13 comeback wins this season and Friday was their eighth victory in their final at-bat.
Jim Thome drove in two runs for the Phillies.
Vicente Padilla, trying to snap a string of four straight losses since a 4-0 shutout of Atlanta on April 19, shut down the Astros until the fifth inning. Biggio hit a two-out single and Blum followed with his fourth homer over the left-field wall, tying it at 2. Before Biggio’s single, Padilla retired nine of 10 batters.
Padilla pitched seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs. He struck out seven and walked two.
Jeriome Robertson made his first start since being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday.
“I went down to New Orleans to work on my control,” Robertson said. “I think all I threw were fastballs away and sinkers away. I don’t think I’ll ever be where I want to be. You are always trying to get better.”
“This game was lost in the first five minutes,” manager Larry Bowa said. “We had a chance to put them away and we didn’t get it done. You can’t give a team like Houston that many chances and expect to win.”
Robertson escaped damage after loading the bases with one out in the second on singles by Mike Lieberthal, Bell and Padilla. A grounder by Rollins forced Lieberthal at the plate, and Polanco’s grounder forced Rollins at second.
Rollins singled to start the fifth, stole second and scored on Thome’s single to right.
Robertson pitched six innings, allowing nine hits and two runs.
Houston RHP Roy Oswalt reported soreness after pulling a right groin muscle Thursday at Pittsburgh. … Philadelphia is 10-10 on the road this season. … The Astros are the only team in the majors to have four relievers pitch at least 20 innings and own a sub-2.00 ERA. … Astros reliever Ricky Stone has been nicknamed “Captain Chaos” by his teammates for his ability to pitch out of tough situations. He’s allowed one run in 19 appearances thisseason.