The Astros managed to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Royals today with a 5-4 win at Minute Maid Park.
Lance Berkman crack-a-lacked two homers - his first multi-homer game since April 26, 2008 (@St Louis) - and collected his 1000th/1001st/1002nd RBIs of his career today. Note the earlier post on the Astros' collection of 1000+ RBI players.
Overall, it was another sloppy defensive game - but one that went the Astros way. Moehler pitched well, only giving up 1ER, but his day could have gone a lot better. In Top 4th, Alberto Callaspo reached on an infield single, and then Jose Guillen grounded to Jeff Keppinger, who then threw the double play ball away. Runners on 1st/2nd. Then Mike Jacobs grounded to Tejada, who committed an error, allowing Callaspo to score, and reaching base safely. That's three outs if those simple plays are made. Instead, Moehler throws an extra 21 pitches to get out of the inning, and the Royals are up, 3-2.
That's pretty much how it went. Moehler left after five innings, and 91 pitches - but remember, that's 5IP and 70 pitches if those errors aren't in there (it's a hypothetical exercise, but still...). That forced the bullpen into an extended role, though they were solid this time around - 4IP, 1H, 6K. Let's gander it:
Moehler: 5IP, 5H/1ER, 3K:2BB, 13 first-pitch strikes (FPS) (56.5%), 24 non-contact strikes (NCS)
Wright: 1.1IP, 1H, 4K, 3 FPS (60%), 9 NCS
Sampson: .2IP, 1K, 1 FPS (50%), 2 NCS
LaHawk: 1IP, 1K, 2 FPS (66.7%), 3 NCS
Valverde: 1IP, 1K, 2 FPS (66.7%), 6 NCS
Give it up for Wesley Wright, who faced four batters and struck every single one of them out. Maybe he's a reader.
Offensively, we've already covered Berkman's jacks, but the Astros only got six hits (Keppinger, Lee, Berkman 3, and Quintero) all day. Bourn was 1x13 for the Royals series, and has three hits in his last 18ABs - causing an 11 point drop in his BA. Pence was also 0x4, and was 1x12 this series. Carlos Lee had a nice day, 1x2 with 2BB and three runs scored.
Man of the Match: Lance Berkman.
Goat of the Game: This is tough to call, because the Astros didn't hit well. I'm giving the Goat to the entire Astros defense. Three errors today, five in the last two games.