Lance Berkman singled in the bottom of the eighth inning to snap a tie and led the Houston Astros to a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
After not allowing a run in his previous twelve appearances this season, Wendell (0-1) was called upon to continue his impressive streak at the start of the eighth inning. Jeff Bagwell greeted the right-hander with a smash to left field for a double, and Jeff Kent singled to put runners on the corners.
Phillies manager Larry Bowa had seen enough and summoned lefthander Rheal Cormier, who entered with a scoreless streak of 17 1/3 innings. Batting righthanded, Berkman slapped a single over third baseman David Bell's head to plate Bagwell with the go-ahead run.
Octavio Dotel (3-1) worked around two hits in a scoreless inning to get the win, while Billy Wagner earned his 10th save by tossing a perfect ninth, including a strikeout of slugger Jim Thome to end the game.
After Berkman put the Astros ahead, Bowa brought in Terry Adams, who got Richard Hidalgo to bounce into a double play. Adams then uncorked a wild pitch with Gregg Zaun at the plate, allowing Kent to race home for a 4-2 cushion.
The Phillies took the lead early against Houston starter Jeriome Robertson, who allowed two runs and nine hits in six innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Jimmy Rollins opened the game with a single and Placido Polanco followed with a double before Jim Thome's groundout gave Philadelphia a 1-0 advantage. Robertson avoided further damage by striking out Pat Burrell and getting Bobby Abreu on a groundout.
Thome also accounted for the Phillies' second run, slapping a single to right field in the fifth to score Rollins, who stroked a leadoff single and stole second.
Houston evened the game with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning.
Vicente Padilla retired Adam Everett and Robertson, Craig Biggio singled to right and Geoff Blum belted a 2-1 pitch into the seats in left field for his fourth home run.
The Phillies squandered an opportunity in the second. Mike Lieberthal and Bell started the inning with singles before rookie Marlon Byrd struck out. Padilla followed with a single to left, loading the bases for Rollins, who could't get the job done, bouncing back to Robertson for a forceout at the plate. The Astros left-hander ended the threat by getting Polanco on a grounder to shortstop.