Houston Takes Series From Dispirited Chicago

ashbySeptember 18: Houston 13, Chicago 1

Chicago’s surge from last in late June to first in early August has been one of the top stories of the season. But by late August, the White Sox cooled off just as the Red Sox took off again, and Chicago was eliminated before this series opener in Houston. They looked like a team that knew they weren’t playing for anything anymore.

Chris Sale’s rough second half hit another low as the Astros pounded him for three home runs in the first inning and he only recorded one out. Sale has given up 10 ya-yas in his last 27 innings.

Houston drilled 20 hits, and six ‘Stros homered. Bob Watson and Moises Alou both had three hits with a dong, and the seven, eight, and nine hitters Art Howe, Dickie Thon, and Alan Ashby combined for nine hits and two dongs. J.R. Richard pitched a complete game.

                   R  H BB
CHI 000 100 000 -  1  4  6
HOU 401 001 43x - 13 20  2
HR: B. Watson (15), J. Altuve (1), M. Alou (29),
C. Cedeno (14), A. Howe (4), D. Thon (7)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Sale       0.1  4  4  3  0  0  
J.R. Richard  9.0  1  1  0  6  5 

CHI 79-72, HOU 64-87

September 19: Houston 5, Chicago 3

This was also a baseball game.

                  R  H BB
CHI 000 012 000 - 3  8  4
HOU 210 010 10x - 5 10  3

HR: C. Lemon (11), J. Bagwell (30)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Cicotte   6.1  5  5  1  3  3  
M. Cuellar   5.2  3  3  1  1  4 

CHI 79-73, HOU 65-87

September 20: Chicago 5, Houston 1

Nolan Ryan handed out walks like candy, and four of Chicago’s five run scorers reached on a free pass. Chicago’s Ed Walsh was stingy in a complete game. Walsh has the third highest runs saved above average in the league.

                  R H BB
CHI 001 020 101 - 5 6  8
HOU 100 000 000 - 1 6  1
HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Walsh   9.0  1  1  0  1  4  
N. Ryan    8.0  5  5  0  8  4 

CHI 80-73, HOU 65-88
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Houston Beats Cleveland in Battle of Last Placers

josecruz
Cruz

September 15: Houston 5, Cleveland 3

 

Jim Thome mashed a tater in the first inning and Cleveland starter Stan Coveleski was looking good with a 3-2 lead going into the seventh. But Jose Cruz started the inning with a triple, and Coveleski handed out walks to Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman to load the bases with no outs. After whiffing Carlos Correa, Coveleski saw his lead vanish on a bases-loaded walk to Craig Biggio. Out came Coveleski and in came Rafael Betancourt, who allowed two inherited runners to score.

Nolan Ryan was excellent for 8.2 innings except against Thome, who walked twice and doubled in addition to his dinger. With dangerous lefties Joe Jackson and Jim Thome coming up with one on and two outs, Astros skipper Bill Virdon pulled Ryan in favor of lefty Billy Wagner. Wagner walked Jackson, bringing Thome to the plate representing the go-ahead run, but there was no joy in Cleveville. The mighty Thome did strike out.

                  R  H BB
HOU 011 000 300 - 5 11  6
CLE 200 001 000 - 3  6  7
HR: J. Thome (32)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan       8.2  3  3  1  6  9  
S. Coveleski  6.1  5  5  0  4  8 

HOU 62-86, CLE 70-78

September 16: Houston 5, Cleveland 4 (10 innings)

The Naps built up a 4-0 lead on homers by Manny Ramirez and Al Rosen, but the ‘Stros stormed back late to tie it up and send it to extras. In the top of the 10th, Cruz led off with a single, and walks from Moises Alou and Lance Berkman pushed him to third. A Carlos Correa grounder drove Cruz home for the winning run.

                    R  H BB
HOU 000 002 020 1 - 5 10  4
CLE 003 100 000 0 - 4 11  4
HR: J. Bagwell (29), M. Ramirez (18), A. Rosen (14)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Oswalt   7.0  4  4  2  3  5  
C. Kluber   7.1  4  4  1  1  4 

HOU 63-86, CLE 70-79

September 17: Cleveland 5, Houston 3

Cleveland salvaged the finale in part by by slugging two doubles and a home run against Mike Scott in the second inning. On the mound, Vean Gregg laid down six shutout innings before wavering the in the seventh. Johnny Allen and Bob Feller closed out the win for Cleveland with no trouble.

                  R  H BB
HOU 000 000 300 - 3  7  5
CLE 030 020 00x - 5 11  4
HR: H. Trosky (2)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Scott   4.1  5  5  1  3  2  
V. Gregg   6.2  3  3  0  5  2 

HOU 63-87, CLE 71-79

 

Houston is First Team Officially Eliminated From Pennant Race Despite Taking Series Vs. Anaheim

September 12: Houston 7, Anaheim 6

Five dingers went a’flyin’ in the contest, including shots by Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio, the two most productive bats in the Expansion Division this season.

                  R  H BB
ANA 000 202 020 - 6  6  4
HOU 002 104 00x - 7 11  4

HR: M. Trout (13), C. Davis (2), J. Edwards (3)
L. Berkman (33), C. Biggio (11)

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
A. Messersmith  5.0  7  7  3  5  5  
M. Scott        7.0  4  4  2  2  8 

ANA 63-84, HOU 60-85

September 13: Anaheim 10, Houston 4

Tim Salmon is having a brutal year for Anaheim (.286 wOBA) but had a day to remember in this one with two walks, a dinger, and three runs scored. Chili Davis added three singles, and the Angels clogged up the bases all game on their way to victory.

The loss mathematically eliminated the Astros from winning the Expansion Division.

                   R  H BB
ANA 200 130 202 - 10 11  8
HOU 000 020 101 -  4  5  5
HR: T. Salmon (13), C. Cedeno (13)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Chance     9.0  4  4  1  5  5  
J.R. Richard  4.0  6  4  0  4  2 

ANA 64-84, HOU 60-86

cuellarSeptember 14: Houston 3, Anaheim 0

Houston’s Mike Cuellar made his 30th and finest appearance of the season and dished up a shutout to the Angels. Brian Downing slapped three singles against Cuellar, but the rest of the Angels lineup mustered just one hit against him.

John Lackey was good in a spot start for Anaheim but got tagged by Moises Alou for a three-run homer in the first inning that ended up being the extent of scoring in the game.

                  R H BB
ANA 000 000 000 - 0 4  3
HOU 300 000 00x - 3 6  0
HR: M. Alou (28)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Lackey   8.0  3  3  1  0  2  
M. Cuellar  9.0  0  0  0  0  0 

ANA 64-85, HOU 61-86

Texas Completes Season-Long Domination of Houston With Sweep

September 9: Texas 5, Houston 3

The dingers were a-flyin’ in the opening game. Texas drilled four of them, including two from A-Rod that pulled him back into a tie for the league lead with Lou Gehrig.

                  R H BB
TEX 102 101 000 - 5 6  1
HOU 000 201 000 - 3 5  2

HR: J. Franco (13), F. Howard (15), A. Rodriguez-2 (36),
J. Bagwell (28), C. Correa (4)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish   7.0  3  3  2  2  5  
M. Cuellar   3.0  4  4  3  0  2 

TEX 66-76, HOU 59-83

September 10: Texas 5, Houston 1

The ball mostly stayed in the yard in this one, but it still resulted in a win for the visiting Rangers. They got a lot of their offense from their eight and nine hitters Toby Harrah (3-for-4 with a double) and Marlon Byrd (2-for-4 with the game’s only dinger).

Gaylord Perry followed up his first shutout of the year with a complete game, one-run allowed, zero walks, nine strikeout gem.

                  R H BB
TEX 000 400 100 - 5 9  5
HOU 000 100 000 - 1 7  0

HR: M. Byrd (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry    9.0  1  1  0  0  9  
N. Ryan     6.0  5  5  0  4  5 

TEX 67-76, HOU 59-84

hamilton

September 11: Texas 4, Houston 3 (14 innings)

The two Texan teams finished off their season series with a marathon doozy that ended in the usual Rangers victory. The Astros will be happy not to see the Rangers again this season–the Rangers were 18-5 in their games together.

All of Houston’s runs came on a three-run blast from Lance Berkman that put the ‘Stros up 3-2. Adrian Beltre tied it up with a dong in the seventh, after which the teams played seven scoreless innings. Rangers relievers Alexi Ogando, Francisco Cordero, Neftali Feliz, and Jeff Zimmerman combined for nine shutout innings out of the Texas ‘pen.

The Houston relievers were sharp too, but Josh Hamilton led off the top of the 14th with a tater off Larry Anderson. Hamilton is quietly putting together a nice season and has a .354 wOBA.

The Astros have fallen apart, losing 15 of their last 17, and are close to becoming the first team officially eliminated from the pennant chase.

The Rangers are still on the fringes of the chase. They are 9.5 games out of first, but they do have seven games remaining against first place Seattle. Unfortunately for Texas, Nolan Ryan and Yu Darvish don’t have a lot of innings left in the tank for the team’s remaining 18 games.

                         R  H BB
TEX 010 100 100 000 01 - 4 10  2
HOU 000 003 000 000 00 - 3  9  5
HR: J. Hamilton (20), A. Beltre (19),
L. Berkman (32)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan     5.0  3  2  1  4  5  
R. Oswalt   6.2  3  2  1  1  2 

TEX 68-76, HOU 59-85

Trout & Glaus Blast Anaheim to Wins, Keep Houston in the Cellar

September 6: Anaheim 4, Houston 1

Starters Roy Oswalt and Frank Tanana were both on their games. Houston tied the game at one in the top of the seventh with the aid of a Jim Edmonds error, and in the bottom of the seventh, Houston shortstop Dickie Thon made an error on what would have been the third out. Mike Trout made the Astros pay for the blunder with a three-run homer.

                  R  H BB
HOU 000 000 100 - 1  5  2
ANA 000 100 30x - 4 11  2

HR: M. Trout (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Oswalt   6.2  2  1  0  2  6  
F. Tanana   7.0  1  0  0  2  4 

HOU 58-81, ANA 60-81

September 7: Houston 10, Anaheim 2

Andy Messersmith was a bit of a messersmith and got pummeled in a short outing. Jose Cruz, Carlos Correa, Alan Ashby, and Art Howe all swatted three hits. Correa’s hits were all for extra bases, two doubles and a dinger. 10 of Houston’s 17 hits were of the extra-base variety to back up a good start from Mike Scott.

                   R  H BB
HOU 102 500 101 - 10 17  3
ANA 000 000 110 -  2  5  5
HR: C. Correa (3)

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Scott        7.2  2  2  0  4  3  
A. Messersmith  3.0  7  6  1  2  3 

HOU 59-81, ANA 60-82

sportsGLAUS_t440September 8: Anaheim 4, Houston 3

Morgan Ensberg and Troy Glaus traded early solo homers. Cruz gave the Astros a 3-2 lead with a two-RBI single in the top of the sixth that they carried into the ninth. Dave Smith was charged with locking down the win in the bottom of the ninth, but Jim Fregosi started it with a single and Glaus followed with a walk-off bash.

The Angels were the league doormat in the first half of the season, but improved to an even 31-31 record in the second half.

                  R H BB
HOU 010 002 000 - 3 6  7
ANA 001 010 002 - 4 6  4
HR: M. Ensberg (7), T. Glaus-2 (26)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J.R. Richard  6.2  2  2  1  4  7  
D. Chance     5.2  3  3  1  6  4 

HOU 59-82, ANA 61-82

Seattle Crushes Houston To Slip Back Into First

September 3: Seattle 5, Houston 0

Erik Hanson was filthy for Seattle and J.J. Putz and Shigetoshi Hasegawa followed his seven shutout innings with one shutout frame each. Phil Bradley led off the game with a dinger.

                  R H BB
SEA 200 012 000 - 5 9  6
HOU 000 000 000 - 0 3  2

HR: P. Bradley (5)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Hanson     7.0  0  0  0  1  5  
J.R. Richard  5.0  5  4  1  6  3 

SEA 72-64, HOU 58-78

MAC EDGAR MARTINEZ G2CSNAP08 1C S BBA USA ORSeptember 4: Seattle 6, Houston 1

Freddy Garcia turned in another strong start for Seattle the next day that kept the Houston bats quiet. Edgar Martinez smacked two singles and a round-tripper.

                  R  H BB
SEA 200 003 001 - 6 13  3
HOU 000 001 000 - 1  6  1

HR: E. Martinez (12), N. Cruz (3), M. Alou (27)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Garcia   6.0  1  1  1  1  5  
M. Cuellar  5.2  5  5  2  2  2 

SEA 73-64, HOU 58-79

September 5: Seattle 6, Houston 5

Houston put up a better fight in the finale, but in a way that just made the eventual loss even more disappointing. Cesar Cedeno, Morgan Esnberg, Johnny Edwards, and Jose Cruz all reached in a row in the bottom of the fourth inning to give Houston a 4-2 lead.

Seattle scratched across the tying run in the top of the seventh and then went up for good in the eighth on consecutive hits by Kyle Seager, Dan Wilson, Phil Bradley, and Martinez.

The Astros have dropped 11 of 13 and are giving the Angels some stiff competition for last place.

The Mariners climbed back into first place with the sweep, just one game ahead of KC as we await the results of the Royals two-game set with Texas. Then Seattle and Kansas City meet for six straight crucial games between September 6-11.

                  R  H BB
SEA 002 000 121 - 6 12  5
HOU 010 300 001 - 5  8  1
HR: A. Rodriguez (25), A. Davis (13), C. Correa (2)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Hernandez  7.0  4  4  1  1  6  
N. Ryan       6.1  3  3  1  5  9 

SEA 74-64, HOU 58-80

KC Edges Into First, Boston Pads Their Narrow Lead, and All the Action From Aug. 31-Sep. 2

August 31: Kansas City 6, Texas 3 (13 inn.)
September 1: Kansas City 5, Texas 2
September 2: Kansas City 6, Texas 5

The Royals pulled off their second straight series sweep, after which they found themselves with a half-game lead atop the Expansion Division. Game one was a doozy. DH Willie Aikens crushed a home run in his first plate appearance of the season, and then added another dinger in the sixth to boost KC to a 3-2 lead. Jeff Montgomery got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth for KC, but a pinch-hitting Al Oliver doubled and Julio Franco knocked him in to send the game to extras. In the top of the 13th, Kevin Seitzer and Willie Wilson started things with back-to-back walks, and later in the inning Danny Tartabull, Hal McRae, and Jose Offerman knocked three hits in a row. Aikens added a double and another homer later in the series. The Royals are streaking, having won 11 of their last 13, and it looks like a two-horse race in the Expansion Division between KC and Seattle. Third-place Texas is 10 games out of first.

aikens


August 31: Boston 7, Oakland 4
September 1: Boston 4, Oakland 1
September 2: Oakland 2, Boston 0

It was a big series in Oakland as the top two teams in the Original Division met with just two games separating number one Boston from the A’s. Oakland got out to a 4-2 lead in the first game (Jimmie Foxx homered for both teams), but Ted Williams slammed a three-run dinger in the top of the eighth to put Boston up for good. Boston ensured they would be remaining alone in first after the series by taking game two as well. Smoky Joe Wood was wicked for Boston, holding Oakland to one run, which was Wood’s 11th straight start without allowing more than three runs. Oakland’s Chief Bender and Rube Walberg handled most of the mound duties in the finale as the A’s kept the Sox off the scoreboard. Boston flew out of Oakland with a three-game lead.


August 31: Minnesota 8, Cleveland 4
September 1: Minnesota 2, Cleveland 1 (11 inn.)_
September 2: Cleveland 10, Minnesota 1

The Twins had their aces Johan Santana and Walter Johnson going in the first two games and took advantage with wins. The Minnesota bats backed Santana with 14 hits in the first game. Johnson and Corey Kluber dueled magnificently in the second game. Both pitchers had allowed one run through nine innings, which was the end of the line for Kluber. In the top of the 11th, Stan Spence doubled against Doug Jones and Mickey Vernon knocked him home with a single. Johnson went the full 11 innings for Minnesota and lowered his ERA to 2.65.


August 31: Anaheim 1, Seattle 0
September 1: Seattle 7, Anaheim 4
September 1: Anaheim 6, Seattle 5
September 2: Anaheim 4, Seattle 2

The first-place Mariners visited last-place Anaheim for four games, a golden opportunity to stave off the hot Royals, but the Angels have been a much-improved team of late and Seattle dropped three of four.

Anaheim’s Rod Carew led off the bottom of the first with a walk and came around to score the game’s only run. Starters Freddy Garcia and Jered Weaver battled tooth and nail.

The Mariners claimed game two in large part thanks to multi-run homers by Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano in the fifth.

Cruz homered again in the third game, which was knotted at five runs apiece after eight and a half innings. Brian Downing ended the contest with a solo jobby in the bottom of the ninth off Michael Jackson. Game four was tied through seven and a half innings until Tim Salmon drove a two run bomb.


August 31: New York 5, Baltimore 3
September 1:  Baltimore 5, New York 3
September 2: New York 8, Baltimore 5


August 31: Detroit 9, Chicago 3
September 1: Detroit 10, Chicago 3
September 2: Chicago 4, Detroit 3


August 31: Houston 2, Toronto 1
August 31: Toronto 4, Houston 3
September 1: Toronto 6, Houston 3
September 2: Toronto 7, Houston 2

Ray Halladay and Mike Cuellar dueled in the opener. Josh Donaldson collected three hits that included a triple in his debut.

In the second game, Carlos Correa knocked a two-run homer in his debut Rhubarb plate appearance. For Toronto, Carlos Delgado walked in his first four plate appearances and then homered in his fifth and final PA, which came in the ninth and put the Jays up by a run. Shawn Green later homered in the ninth to give the Jays a two-run cushion that they ended up needing after Craig Biggio led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo jack of his own. Morgan Ensberg made it to third base as the tying run, but Tom Henke closed out a two-inning save for Toronto.