DENVER (AP)—Last season, Brad Hawpe probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance to hit with runners in scoring position and a left-hander on the mound.
But things have changed.
“It’s nothing more than getting at-bats against them,” said Hawpe, who hit .200 against lefties last year. “If you get a strike you should be able to hit it against a left-handed guy, a right-handed guy or someone that throws underhanded.”
Hawpe has been productive the past week. He was named N.L. Player of the Week for May 28-June 3 after batting .455 with three home runs.
“Brad is seeing more left-handers and his on base percentage is among the leaders,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “Tonight, he got as big a hit as any we had tonight.”
Kaz Matsui had tied the game 5-5 with a homer, and finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Matt Holliday was 3-for-3 with an RBI. He is 11-for-14 with six RBIs in his career against Houston starter Woody Williams.
Williams (2-8) allowed six runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings. He was ejected by home plate umpire CB Bucknor when he hit Holliday on the next pitch after allowing the game-tying home run to Matsui.
“I guess after a home run, that’s what happens,” Williams said about the ejection. “At that point I just got to the point where I was tired of giving up runs and making sure I get the ball inside and it goes behind him. I don’t think it hit him.”
Hunter Pence went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Astros.
Matsui had tied it with his first home run of the year. Williams hit Holliday on the next pitch and was ejected.
“The umpire said he thought it hit him on the shirt,” Houston manager Phil Garner said. “So he awarded him first base.”
“I thought I heard a double tap,” Holliday said. “I honestly thought it hit my jersey.”
“He threw me a slider and I wasn’t on it very good,” Hawpe said of Miller. “After seeing it, he followed up with another slider and I happened to find a nice spot.”
Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Matsui drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Holliday’s double to left.
The Astros broke through with three runs in the fourth inning after Aaron Cook had retired the first 10 Astros he faced. Pence doubled over Willy Taveras’ head in center field with one out and scored on Berkman’s single.
The Rockies rallied for three runs of their own in the fourth to regain the lead, 4-3. Torrealba, Taveras and Matsui had RBIs singles with two outs.
Houston countered with three straight hits including Pence’s RBI single in the fifth. Craig Biggio came home on a double play ground ball to make it 5-4.
The Astros maintained a one-run lead in the sixth when Carlos Lee threw Torrealba out at the plate trying to score on Taveras’ short fly to left.
Cook gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings. He has never lost to Houston and is 3-0 in five starts.
: Bucknor took a foul ball to his left shoulder in the first inning and momentarily held up play. … Loretta had a 10-pitch at-bat in the fourth when he had an RBI single. … Holliday has a career-best 14-game hitting streak. … Taveras has an 11-game hitting streak. … Hurdle said RHP Josh Fogg, who is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday would be activated to make a start on Thursday. … RHP Ramon Ramirez would be optioned to Triple A Colorado Springs.