Astros 4, Marlins 3
HOUSTON (AP)—Several of Morgan Ensberg’s teammates said they knew he’d win the game for the Astros after Joe Borchard crashed into Dan Uggla, knocking the ninth-inning, bases-loaded foul pop out of the second baseman’s glove.
They were right.
Given another chance, Ensberg singled to left on the next pitch, giving Houston a 4-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on Monday night.
“Oh, now it’s over,” Carlos Lee remembered thinking after the near miss. “They had their chance and they blew it.”
Chad Qualls (2-1), who allowed no hits and struck out three in 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the win, agreed.
“I looked at everybody in the dugout and we all said, ‘For sure the game is over,”’ Qualls recalled. “That’s just what happens in this game when you give somebody a second chance.”
Ensberg wasn’t as sure as his teammates, but was simply thankful for another opportunity.
“After fouling off three of them, I was very excited,” he said. “You absolutely want to be in that situation—the ninth inning with a chance to win the game. It’s what you play for.”
Kevin Gregg (0-1) walked Mark Loretta and Lance Berkman in the ninth inning, and Lee singled to load the bases with no outs for Ensberg. Uggla backpedaled for the popup and was under it when Borchard ran into him from behind.
Uggla and Borchard weren’t available for comment after the game. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez downplayed the importance of the mistake, which was not ruled an error.
“We still would have to play the infield in, and then we face (Luke) Scott and a pinch hitter,” Gonzalez said. “We would’ve liked to have had the opportunity, but I don’t think that’s the ballgame.”
Gregg allowed two hits and one run with two walks in the ninth.
“It was unacceptable to walk those two guys,” he said. “That’s just not going to get the job done.”
He also defended the play by Uggla and Borchard.
“They were trying hard,” Gregg said. “They were just trying to catch the ball and ensure the out. You can’t blame them for that.”
“I felt good and had good control today,” Rodriguez said.
Astros manager Phil Garner was happy with the performance of Rodriguez, who hasn’t gotten a win since last July.
“I would like for him to get the win out of it, but I thought he threw the ball really well,” Garner said.
After the game, Houston placed RHP Jason Jennings on the disabled list with tendinitis in his throwing elbow retroactive to April 9. Matt Albers was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and is scheduled to start Friday. … Craig Biggio’s two hits pushed his career total to 2,942. … Florida’s three errors this season are the fewest in the majors. … Following Tuesday’s game against the Marlins, Houston will begin a nine-day, four-city trip. … The Astros will make up their game against Philadelphia, which was postponed Sunday because of bad weather, on April 23. … First base umpire Bruce Froemming was honored on Monday for passing umpire Bill Klem for most consecutive years of service for an active major league umpire with 37. He was presented a plaque between the fifth and sixth innings.