Astros Bullpen Picks Up Clemens to Beat Phils 9-8

Roger Clemens lasted just three innings, suffering a pulled hamstring while running to first. Meanwhile, Phillies' starter Cory Lidle didn't last much longer; he wasn't hurt, he just couldn't get anybody out. The Astros bullpen out dueled the Phillies bullpen for a 9-8 win, sending the Phillies to their sixth straight loss and making them 1-8 on their current homestand.

Carlos Beltran made sure the Phillies misery continued.

Beltran ripped a two-run double with two outs in the eighth to erase a one-run deficit and lift the Houston Astros to a 9-8 win over the struggling Phillies.

In the midst of a five-game losing streak, Philadelphia fell behind early but rallied to take a 4-1 lead against Roger Clemens, who left the game after three innings with a strained right calf. But Phillies starter Cory Lidle could not escape the fourth, when the Astros scored six times to move ahead, 7-4.

It was the second time in as many days Houston erupted in the fourth inning. The Astros plated five runs in the fourth on Tuesday en route to a 5-0 victory over the Phillies.

Clemens was instrumental in Wednesday's rally, stroking a two-run single to give the Astros a 5-4 edge. After limping while running to first, Clemens was lifted for a pinch runner.

Brian Powell relieved Lidle and was greeted with an RBI double by Craig Biggio. Beltran capped the outburst with a sacrifice fly.

Philadelphia took back the lead in the seventh when David Bell stroked a two-run double into the left-center field gap. But with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, Beltran gave the Astros the lead for good with a two-base hit to deep left-center field off Rheal Cormier.

Chad Harville (1-2), who surrendered Bell's double, struck out the other two batters he faced in the seventh for the win. Dan Miceli worked a perfect eighth and Brad Lidge escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 14th save.

Todd Jones (8-4) took the loss, allowing two runs and two hits in one inning. Acquired from Cincinnati to strengthen the bullpen, Jones is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in nine appearances with the Phillies.

Lidge retired the first two batters in the ninth before walking Jim Thome and surrendering Bell's second double of the game. Mike Lieberthal was hit by Lidge's first pitch to load the bases, but the Astros' closer induced a flyout by Chase Utley to escape unscathed.

Houston grabbed a 1-0 lead on Lance Berkman's first-inning RBI double, but the Phillies answered in the bottom half as Jimmy Rollins led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch by Clemens.

After the Astros took a 7-4 advantage, Marlon Byrd and Placido Polanco belted solo homers and Bell ripped his two-run double to put Philadelphia ahead.

The series and homestand end Thursday afternoon when the Astros send Carlos Hernandez (0-1, 4.50) to the mound against Brett Myers (7-9, 5.34).


HOUSTON (9) VS PHILADELPHIA (8) - FINAL HOUSTON ab r h rbi bb so lob avg C Biggio lf 4 0 1 1 0 1 1 .286 C Qualls p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 M Gallo p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 C Harville p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-O Palmeiro ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .238 D Miceli p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 E Bruntlett ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .261 C Beltran cf 4 1 2 3 0 1 2 .243 J Bagwell 1b 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 .254 L Berkman rf 5 0 2 1 0 0 0 .307 J Kent 2b 5 1 1 1 0 2 1 .281 B Lidge p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 M Ensberg 3b 4 2 3 0 0 0 0 .270 J Vizcaino ss-2b 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 .273 B Ausmus c 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 .245 c-M Lamb ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .294 R Chavez c 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .191 R Clemens p 2 0 1 2 0 1 0 .196 P Munro pr 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .105 D Weathers p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 a-J Lane ph-lf 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 .220 Totals 37 9 13 9 2 8 11 a-struck out swinging for D Weathers in the 6th; b-struck out swinging for C Harville in the 8th; c-struck out swinging for B Ausmus in the 8th. BATTING: 2B - L Berkman (30, C Lidle); J Bagwell (20, C Lidle); C Biggio (32, B Powell); B Ausmus (11, A Telemaco); C Beltran (10, R Cormier). S - J Vizcaino. SF - C Beltran. RBI - L Berkman (71), J Kent (68), J Vizcaino (20), R Clemens 2 (6), C Biggio (44), C Beltran 3 (33). 2-out RBI - L Berkman, C Beltran 2. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J Bagwell 1, C Biggio 1, J Kent 1. Team LOB - 5. BASERUNNING: CS - M Ensberg (3, 2nd base by C Lidle/M Lieberthal). FIELDING: E - M Ensberg (10, throw); J Lane (2, throw). DP: 1 (M Ensberg-J Kent-J Bagwell). PHILADELPHIA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg J Rollins ss 4 2 2 1 1 0 0 .281 P Polanco 2b 5 2 2 1 0 1 2 .286 B Abreu rf 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 .294 J Thome 1b 3 1 2 1 2 1 1 .280 D Bell 3b 4 0 2 2 1 0 1 .278 M Lieberthal c 4 0 0 0 0 2 3 .251 J Michaels lf 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .226 R Cormier p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 c-C Utley ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .266 M Byrd cf 3 2 2 1 0 1 0 .235 C Lidle p 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .136 B Powell p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .125 a-L Collier ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .267 A Telemaco p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-T Perez ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .230 T Jones p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 F Rodriguez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 D Glanville lf 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .214 Totals 35 8 11 7 5 10 15 a-grounded to second for B Powell in the 4th; b-struck out swinging for A Telemaco in the 6th; c-flied out to center for R Cormier in the 9th. BATTING: 2B - J Thome (26, R Clemens); D Bell 2 (23, B Lidge, C Harville). 3B - J Rollins (6, R Clemens). HR - M Byrd (4, 4th inning off D Weathers 0 on, 1 Out), P Polanco (10, 7th inning off C Qualls 0 on, 1 Out). SF - B Abreu. RBI - J Rollins (47), B Abreu (83), J Thome (81), M Byrd (25), P Polanco (28), D Bell 2 (54). 2-out RBI - J Thome. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J Michaels 1, C Utley 2, M Lieberthal 1. GIDP - D Bell. Team LOB - 8. BASERUNNING: CS - B Abreu (3, 2nd base by R Clemens/B Ausmus). FIELDING: E - T Jones (2, throw). Outfield assists - M Byrd (J Lane at Home). ---------------------------------------------------- HOUSTON - 100 600 020 -- 9 PHILADELPHIA - 103 100 300 -- 8 ---------------------------------------------------- HOUSTON ip h r er bb so hr era R Clemens 3 5 4 4 2 3 0 2.94 D Weathers 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 4.65 C Qualls (H, 1) 1 1/3 1 1 1 0 2 1 11.81 M Gallo (H, 3) 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 4.97 C Harville (W, 1-2; B, 4) 2/3 1 0 0 0 2 0 5.84 D Miceli (H, 16) 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.95 B Lidge (S, 14) 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1.95 PHILADELPHIA ip h r er bb so hr era C Lidle 3 1/3 8 7 7 1 3 0 5.55 B Powell 2/3 1 0 0 0 0 0 5.06 A Telemaco 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 4.50 T Jones (L, 8-4) 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 4.22 F Rodriguez (H, 19) 1/3 0 0 0 1 1 0 3.10 R Cormier (B, 5) 1 2/3 1 0 0 0 2 0 4.06 M Gallo pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. T Jones pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. WP - R Clemens. HBP - M Byrd (by C Qualls); M Lieberthal (by B Lidge). Pitches-strikes: R Clemens 47-25; D Weathers 30-16; C Qualls 21-15; M Gallo 6-4; C Harville 15-11; D Miceli 9-7; B Lidge 21-13; C Lidle 62-38; B Powell 14-7; A Telemaco 26-17; T Jones 16-12; F Rodriguez 10-4; R Cormier 22-13. Ground balls-fly balls: R Clemens 3-2; D Weathers 5-0; C Qualls 0-2; M Gallo 0-0; C Harville 0-0; D Miceli 1-1; B Lidge 0-2; C Lidle 4-2; B Powell 0-2; A Telemaco 1-3; T Jones 4-0; F Rodriguez 0-0; R Cormier 1-1. Batters faced: R Clemens 15; D Weathers 8; C Qualls 6; M Gallo 2; C Harville 3; D Miceli 3; B Lidge 6; C Lidle 18; B Powell 3; A Telemaco 7; T Jones 6; F Rodriguez 2; R Cormier 5. UMPIRES: HP--Jeff Nelson. 1B--Chris Guccione. 2B--Tim Tschida. 3B--Joe Brinkman. T--3:20. Att--43,895. Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy. Wind: 9 mph, swirling.


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