Astros 9, Phillies 8

Preview | Box Score | Recap

PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Roger Clemens helped himself at the plate, hurt his leg running the bases and spent the rest of the night watching his teammates pull out an important win.

Carlos Beltran’s two-run double in the eighth inning helped Houston beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 Wednesday night after Clemens joined Andy Pettitte on the Astros’ injury list.

Clemens is day to day after straining his right calf running to first base on his two-run single in the fourth, but doesn’t expect to miss his next start. The six-time AL Cy Young Award winner gave up four runs in three innings.

“I’m just pleased the guys hung on. It was a total team effort,” said Clemens, who was limping in the clubhouse after the game. “I was real fortunate, that what I wasn’t able to do on the mound, I was able to do at the plate a little bit.”

Before the game, the Astros learned Pettitte will have season-ending elbow surgery next week.

Beltran finished with two hits and three RBIs for Houston, desperately trying to stay in the NL wild-card race. The Astros are six games behind San Francisco.

Brad Lidge retired pinch-hitter Chase Utley on a shallow fly with the bases loaded to end the game.

“We just have to keep winning,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “We thought we’d be in better shape. We have to do it the hard way.”

Marlon Byrd and Placido Polanco homered for the free-falling Phillies, who fell to 1-8 on their homestand.

“It’s demoralizing when you take the lead and give it back,” manager Larry Bowa said. “You get eight runs, you expect to win.”

Chad Harville (1-2) got the final two outs in the seventh. Dan Miceli pitched a scoreless eighth, and Lidge finished for his 14th save in 16 chances.

After the Phillies took an 8-7 lead in the seventh, the Astros rallied against Todd Jones (8-4).

Morgan Ensberg led off the inning with a single. He went to third when Jones threw wildly to second for an error on Jose Vizcaino’s sacrifice bunt.

Felix Rodriguez came in and struck out pinch-hitter Mike Lamb before walking Jason Lane to load the bases. Rheal Cormier entered and struck out pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro, but Beltran lined a shot off the wall in left-center field, scoring two runs.

Polanco’s homer off Chad Qualls got the Phillies to 7-6 in the seventh. David Bell’s two-run double put Philadelphia ahead 8-7.

The Phillies’ struggling offense, which averaged 2.8 runs in the previous five games, got on track against Clemens, who is 3-4 in 13 starts since opening the season 9-0.

But right after the Phillies took a three-run lead in the third, Cory Lidle gave it right back.

Jeff Kent and Vizcaino had RBI singles to cut it to 4-3. Clemens, a career .197 hitter, then put the Astros ahead 5-4 when he lined a 3-1 pitch to right field, scoring Ensberg and Vizcaino, and chasing Lidle.

“If he just hit the ball out of the ballpark, he wouldn’t have to worry about those things,” Garner said of Clemens’ inability to run.

Craig Biggio added an RBI double and Beltran capped the six-run inning with a sacrifice fly.

Byrd’s solo homer off David Weathers cut it to 7-5 in the fourth.

Jimmy Rollins had an RBI single, Bobby Abreu added a sacrifice fly and Jim Thome drove in a run with a double to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead in the third.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Lance Berkman in the first. Rollins tripled leading off Philadelphia’s first and scored on a one-out wild pitch to tie it.

“I was overthrowing and overstriding,” Lidle said. “I didn’t have a good night.”


Thome is hitting .345 (19-for-55) against Clemens with 16 RBIs. He has seven doubles and eight homers among his 19 hits. … Clemens is 3-for-3 lifetime as a hitter with the bases loaded. … Berkman’s run-scoring double was his 500th career RBI. … A sellout crowd of 43,895 gave the Phillies 37 sellouts in 62 games at their new park. … Each member of Houston’s starting lineup had a hit. … Pettitte was 6-4 with a 3.90 ERA in 15 starts in his first season with the Astros. … Phillies RHP Brian Powell left with a strained right biceps after getting two outs to finish the fourth. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game. Geoff Geary was called up from Triple-A Scranton to take his spot. … Houston used 21 players, including seven pitchers.

Related Articles