Well, that wasn't much fun. The Astros have never lost five straight to the Rangers, which happened last night, 5-4 in ten innings. Ortiz pitched well, going another season-high six innings, allowing three earned runs. Let's take us a gander:
Ortiz: 6IP, 7H/3ER, 5K:1BB
Sampson: 1IP, 1K
LaHawk: 1IP, 1H, 1K
Valverde: 1IP, 1H, 2K
Fulchino: .1IP, 2H/1R (0ER), 1BB
Fulchino got the loss, but on an unearned run, of which there were two, thanks to two throwing errors by Pudge and one by Keppinger on a groundball. Middle relief looked sharp, as did Ortiz. Ortiz threw 17 of his 25 first pitches for strikes. Ian Kinsler (on whom my wife has a not-so-secret crush, which burns me to my core), scored the winning run. Why is that important? Because Keppinger's throwing error allowed him to reach to lead off the inning, which he then stole econd. Then Michael Young singled, and Fulchino intentionally walked Hank Blalock. That's bases loaded for Nelson Cruz, who flied out to center. David Murphy's single allowed Kinsler to score the winning run, but the 10th inning's complexion could have been much, much different had Kinsler not reached base. Murphy's single wasn't enough of a rip to score a runner from second.
The Astros had another game in which they took themselves off the basepaths. Michaels led off the 9th with a single, Bourn bunted into a fielder's choice, getting Michaels out at 2nd. Bourn was then caught stealing second. Of course, Keppinger singled two pitches later - which, had he made it, or had Michaels been on second, could have scored the go-ahead run.
Hunter Pence was 4x5 with an 8th inning homer, while Keppinger, Lee and Matsui all had two-hit games. Berkman and Tejada went hitless, going a combined 0x9. Oh, and congratulations to Pudge, who set the all-time record for games caught. Should he be able to avoid this whole...mess, he'll be a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Man of the Match:
Hunter Pence. 4x5 with a game-tying homer, and now hitting .328 with a .408 OBP.
Goat of the Game:
This is tough. I really don't want to give a Goat to a guy who set an all-time major league record. But I'm gonna. Pudge was 1x5, left Pence on 2nd base - twice, but once (obviously) in the 10th. And the throwing error, which he almost rocketed the ball to Azle, trying to get Kinsler at third.