The Giants struck right away in the first when Jason Ellison hit an infield single to third. Morgan Ensberg made an error at first to put Omar Vizquel at first and Ellison at second. Pedro Feliz grounded into a fielder's choice, moving Ellison to third and getting Vizquel out at second. Mosies Alou hit a sac fly to drive Ellison in for the first run of the game.
Craig Biggio hit a leadoff home run to left-center against Giants starter Brad Hennesy to tie the game right away, and Morgan Ensberg made up for his error in the top of the first with a solo shot , giving the Astros an early 2-1 lead.
But a double to left by Deivi Cruz and a one-out RBI single to center by Mike Matheny tied the game in the second.
The game remained 2-2 until the fifth when with one out, Biggio hit his second solo home run of the game. Later in the inning, there were two on with two out, but Hennesessy was able to keep the game at a score of 3-2.
In the sixth Alou walked with one out and Edgardo Alfonzo hit a single to right, moving Alou to second. Cruz walked, loading the bases for Marquis Grissom, who struck out swinging. Fortuantely, Matheny hit his second single of the night, scoring Alou. Alfonzo scored on an error by Lance Berkman, giving the Giants a 4-3 lead.
Hennessy was relieved after pitching six innings and giving up three earned runs, and the relievers did not give up any more runs. The score stayed at 4-3 until the ninth, when Ray Durham led off the game with a double. Ellison sacrificed but an error by Houston reliever Brad Lidge allowed the runners to move to first and third with no one out. Vizquel singled to right, scoring Durham and moving Ellison all the way to third. Alou hit a grounder to third but Ensberg booted the ball for his second error of the night and the Astros second error of the ninth inning and fourth of the game, allowing Ellison to score.
Tyler Walker threw only seven pitches for his second save of year, resulting in three fly-ball outs. One to right, one to left, then one to center.
Player of the Game: Mike Matheny earns the honor tonight. His two singles drove in two of the Giants six runs, and he had one of his RBI in a two-out situation. Matheny is now hitting .242 on the year. Honorable mentions go to: Jason Ellison, Edgardo Alfonzo, Deivi Cruz, Morgan Ensberg (his two errors really helped the Giants win) and the Astros defense as a whole. If it weren't for the three unearned runs caused by their errors, the Giants wouldn't have won.
Game Notes: Brad Hennessy struck out seven batters in only six innings, and is now 2-0 on the year. The Giants pitchers as a whole struck out 11 batters in nine innings. San Francisco is only three games behind the first place Dodgers, who lost 10-3 tonight. The Diamondbacks won and are now tied with the Dodgers for first place. The Padres had an off day and are two back of the Dodgers and in third place in the NL West.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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