Blum’s pinch hit triple leads Houston Astros to fourth straight win, 5-4 over MarlinsBy Kristie Rieken, AP
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Astros win fourth straight
HOUSTON — Geoff Blum’s first career pinch-hit triple drove in two runs in the seventh inning to propel the Houston Astros to a 5-4 win over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.
Blum’s hit off Burke Badenhop (0-2) that Cameron Maybin had to chase almost to the wall in center field, gave the Astros their fourth straight win and fifth in the last six games after an 0-8 start.
Humberto Quintero had two hits including a homer for the Astros to send the Marlins to their first series defeat of the season.
Wilton Lopez (1-0) allowed one hit and no runs in two innings for the win and Matt Lindstrom pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
Houston had consecutive singles by Pedro Feliz and Kaz Matsui in the seventh inning before Blum’s two-RBI triple with one out gave Houston a 5-4 lead. The hit completed a comeback for the Astros who trailed 4-1 after Florida’s four-run fifth inning.
Badenhop allowed three hits and two runs with two strikeouts in the seventh before Christopher Leroux pitched a scoreless eighth.
Michael Bourn doubled in the sixth inning before a walk by Jeff Keppinger. Lance Berkman reached on a fielder’s choice and Keppinger was out at second, leaving Bourn stuck between second and third. Hanley Ramirez got an error after crashing into Bourn after the fourth throw of the run down, allowing him to reach third.
Carlos Lee — who has had at least 100 RBIs in each of the last five seasons — drove in his first run of the year on a single to left field in the sixth to get Houston within 4-3. The Astros second out of the inning came when Berkman was caught trying to steal third. He slid to try to make the base and came up far short. Before the game he talked about his concern about sliding for the first time since knee surgery and looked more than a bit rusty when he did.
Marlins starter Josh Johnson retired Pence to end that inning.
Johnson allowed a single by Quintero with no outs in the third inning before retiring the next eight batters. Then it was Quintero again, this time with a solo home run to center field with two outs in the fifth that made it 4-2.
Johnson allowed four hits and two earned runs in six innings.
Astros starter Bud Norris didn’t allow a hit until Dan Uggla’s single to start the fifth inning. He walked John Baker before striking out Cody Ross. A single by Gaby Sanchez scored Uggla to tie it 1 before Baker scored on a sacrifice bunt by Johnson. Maybin pushed the lead to 3-1 with his run-scoring triple that fell just behind a sprinting Bourn in center field.
Keppinger overthrew first base to allow Chris Coghlan to reach and Maybin to score and make it 4-1. Norris finally got out of that inning when Bourn raced up the hill in center field to grab a high fly ball from Ramirez.
Norris left after giving up three hits and four runs with five strikeouts in five innings.
Bourn walked in the first inning before stealing second, his third stolen base of this series. He scored on a groundout by Berkman later in the inning to make it 1-0.
NOTES: Florida’s Jorge Cantu singled in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak, which dates back to last year to 19 games. … Astros RHP Alberto Arias, who is on the 15-day disabled list, will have surgery on Thursday to repair his injured right shoulder. There is no timetable set for his return. … Houston RHP Yorman Bazardo, on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday.
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