Astros make it four in a row and six of eight since the All-Star Break to keep pace with the Fightin' Hollidays after a 5-4 win over Johan Santana and the Mets.
The Astros tagged Johan for 12H/5ER in 6.2IP, and Mike Hampton got his 6th win of the season after hitting a two-run shot to the Crawford Boxes. Here's the thing (gotta do this quick-like)
Hampton: 5.2IP, 8H/4ER, 7K:4BB, 18/27 first-pitch strikes; 29/64 non-contact strikes (16 called:13 swinging)
Fulchino: 0.1IP, 0H/0ER, 1/1 FPS, 1/6 NCS (1 swinging)
Arias: 1IP, 3H/0ER, 3/5 FPS, 6/13 NCS (6 called)
LaHawk: 1IP, 2H/0ER, 3/5 FPS, 6/12 NCS (6 called)
Valverde: 1IP, 0H/0ER, 2/3 FPS, 3/6 NCS (3 called)
As you can see the bullpen had some issues, giving up five hits, but they did just enough to preserve the win.
The defense was stellar. Another outfield assist by Hunter Pence nailed Jeff Francoeur at the plate, and the Astros turned three double plays on the night.
Offensively it was a good night. Only pinch-hitter Geoff Blum didn't get a hit, with Bourn, Tejada, and Pudge providing multi-hit games. Chris Coste pitched in with a two-run double, and Mike Hampton's home run provided four of the five runs, with Carlos Lee getting the other RBI. Michael Bourn stole his 37th base of the season, and rack it up - that's a win.
Man of the Match: Mike Hampton. Did enough to keep the Astros in it, didn't throw the ball into the dugout, and provided two runs on offense.
Goat of the Game: This one's going to Alberto Arias. Single, GIDP, HBP, Single, Single. Had it not been for Pence's assist, this game might have gotten out of hand - and it would have been on Arias.