decided to take a chance and the
were glad he did - when the play was over.
Pence scored the winning run on
's slow infield bouncer in the eighth inning and Houston rallied to beat the
San Diego Padres
5-4 on Saturday night.
and Pence walked with no outs in the eighth to set up the decisive rally. Both runners moved up on
's wild pitch before
tied it with an RBI single. Tejada followed with a grounder to the left of the mound and Pence took off.
''I was saying no, no, no,'' manager
said, ''then I was saying yes, yes. That's just Hunter's aggressiveness. Sometimes he's a little too aggressive but I wouldn't
change a thing about him. That's how we want him to play.''
Pence had no doubt about the play.
''Basically, they said to see it through unless it was a chopper,'' Pence said. ''I read it as a chopper so I came as fast
as I could.''
Meredith didnt field the ball cleanly enough to have a chance on Pence.
''I tried to barehand it,'' he said. ''My glove was right there. I tried to give it a go. I thought it was my only shot. I
knew I had to be quick. Unfortunately I couldn't get the transfer.''
hit a two-out, two-run double off
(1-0) in the top half to give San Diego the lead. But Hawkins got
to foul out to first with the bases loaded to end the inning.
''It was a great sign we rallied, got some big hits,'' Padres manager
said. ''I hope this is a sign of things to come, getting three runs in the eighth, getting some good swings and at-bats.
''In close games, to lead off the inning with a walk, that's one of the things the younger pitchers are going to have to learn
to control. Then we have the wild pitch. Those things late in the game will haunt you.''
(0-3) allowed a run in the seventh and was charged with both runs in the eighth as the Padres lost for the third time in four
doubled in a run in the sixth and had an RBI single in the eighth for San Diego.
had a strong start for the Astros, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings. He was making just his second start after
spraining his right knee, and had an unsightly 14.00 ERA in three starts coming in.
lasted six innings for San Diego, allowing two runs and four hits.
Notes: The Astros moved
to the bullpen and put rookie
in the rotation. Paulino had three quality starts after being called up. ''It's their decision to make, but I'm not happy
about it,'' Ortiz said. ... Houston slugger
missed his second straight start with a sprained left wrist. Berkman tried one swing in the batting cage and pronounced himself
unable to go. He's day to day. ... Astros SS Tejada and Padres 1B
lead the league in innings played. Both have played every inning this year.