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Astros 7, Phillies 6

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON - Justin Maxwell sparked a four-run seventh inning with a bloop double that scored two, and the Astros held on for a 7-6 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon to avoid their 100th loss and diminish the Phillies' playoff hopes.

Matt Dominguez followed with a two-run single to cushion the lead for the Astros, who won their second straight and third in four tries against the Phillies, who came to Houston sporting a seven-game winning streak but failed against the worst team in baseball to gain any ground in the race for a wild-card berth.

Philadelphia entered the game three games back of St. Louis and Los Angeles for the second NL wild-card berth and with Pittsburgh and Milwaukee also ahead of them.

Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown each drove in two runs, and Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk for the Phillies, who saw a two-run lead fizzle in the sixth and seventh innings.

Brown's two-run double off Astros reliever Mickey Storey in the eighth inning drove in Carlos Ruiz and John Mayberry to get the Phillies within one run.

But that is as close as the Phillies would get.

Astros right-hander Wilton Lopez pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for his sixth save of the season.

Left-hander Wesley Wright pitched a scoreless seventh for the win to improve to 2-2.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles gave up the four runs on five hits over five innings. Lyles, who was aiming to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season, struck out six and walked four.

Phillies left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo was charged for two runs over 1/3 of an inning to drop to 2-5.

Philly right-hander Roy Halladay pitched six strong innings for the no-decision. He allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking two.

The Phillies were looking to rebound from a frustrating shutout loss Saturday to make the Astros 100-game losers for the second consecutive season.

Houston reached the dreadful mark in 2011 for the first time in franchise history, when it finished 56-106.

The Astros used the long ball to stay afloat through the first six innings.

Carlos Corporan's fourth home run of the season in the sixth got Houston within a run of the Phillies at 4-3.

That came after Scott Moore hit a two-run home run in the third inning to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.

It was Moore's eighth homer of the season.

The Phillies jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Rollins doubled to lead off the game, reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Juan Pierre and scored on a Chase Utley sacrifice fly to right to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

Rollins sparked the Phillies again with two outs in the fifth inning.

He singled on a line drive to right and, with Pierre batting, stole second and reached third on an errant throw by Corporan.

Pierre scored Rollins with a double to left that dropped in front of Justin Maxwell and J.D Martinez to make it 2-2.

Lyles intentionally walked Utley, setting the stage for Howard, whose line drive was good enough for a two-run double, though not the triple he attempted to get.

NOTES: Astros infielder Tyler Greene started at shortstop in place of Jed Lowrie, who experienced soreness in his right knee. Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco originally planned to start Greene at second to rest All-Star Jose Altuve but kept Altuve in the lineup. ... The Phillies had not lost consecutive games since dropping two to the Mets on Aug. 28-29. ... The Astros' Class A Lancaster Jayhawks captured the California championship Saturday night with a 3-2 win over Modesto for the three-game series sweep. It is the team's first title in 17 seasons.

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