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Updated: Sunday, May 11, 2003 7:28 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Houston Astros
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
10 12 1
Philadelphia Phillies
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 7 1
W Munro (2-1)
L Padilla (3-5)
S Wagner (8)
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HOUSTON 10, PHILADELPHIA 7
B Wagner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
L Berkman: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen was feeling generous in the Houston Astros ' final game at Veterans Stadium.

Lance Berkman homered and drove in two runs and Adam Everett added three hits and two RBI as the Astros touched Philadelphia relievers for four runs en route to a 10-7 victory.

Winless in their previous five contests at the Vet, the Astros got to Phillies starter Vicente Padilla early, scoring two runs in the first inning and four in the third to build a 6-0 lead.

Philadelphia chipped away at the deficit, plating three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth, but relievers Eric Junge and Carlos Silva were unable to contain the Houston offense.

Junge opened the fourth and served up a leadoff home run by Geoff Blum , and Silva yielded two runs in the fifth. In contrast, the Houston bullpen retired 14 of 16 batters in relief of starter Kirk Saarloos , who surrendered seven runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"They were hitting my sinker," Saarloos said. "I had the chance to get out of (the fifth) inning and maybe just skate by with a bad win, but the bullpen did their job and got the victory."

"It was a close game even down to the last pitch," Houston manager Jimy Williams said. "Our relievers certainly did an outstanding job because (Philadelphia) is a very good hitting baseball team."

Pete Munro (2-1) recorded the win, retiring all three batters he faced, while Billy Wagner struck out two in the ninth to nail down his eighth save.

"You can't say enough about the guys that have gone out there and pitched their butt off," Wagner said of the relief corps. "They kept us in games that we shouldn't have been in. They're continuing to go out there and gut it out. You don't get the ball unless those guys are throwing the ball well."

Padilla (3-5) was handed his fourth straight loss, allowing six runs - four earned - and five hits in just three innings. He walked three without a strikeout while falling to 0-3 lifetime against the Astros.

"I've lost a little bit of confidence and maybe the hitters are making adjustments," Padilla said through an interpreter. "I hope this will be over soon. I want to do well. I'm not throwing the ball the way I'm capable of."

Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa agreed.

"I don't think he's pitching with much confidence right now," he said. "You've got to make adjustments in this game, (both) hitters and pitchers. If you don't, you don't stay around long."

Craig Biggio opened the game with a double and scored on Jeff Kent 's sacrifice fly before Berkman doubled in Orlando Merced to give the Astros an early 2-0 lead.

Padilla avoided damage in the second but fell apart in the third. The righthander walked the bases loaded around a lineout before Gregg Zaun hit a grounder that should have gotten him out of the inning.

But while attempting to turn a double play, second baseman Tomas Perez threw the ball into left field, allowing Merced and Berkman to score. Everett followed with a two-run single, giving Houston a 6-0 cushion.

After Blum homered in the top of the fourth, Saarloos began to unravel in the bottom half.

Perez and Bobby Abreu singled and Jim Thome walked to load the bases for Pat Burrell , who stroked an RBI single to left. Abreu scored on a groundout by David Bell and Thome crossed the plate two batters later on a grounder by rookie Marlon Byrd .

Saarloos helped his own cause in the fifth, executing a squeeze to score Richard Hidalgo and increase Houston's advantage to 8-3. Biggio added a run-scoring single and Berkman launched a solo homer in the sixth, giving him 14 RBI in May after collecting just four in April.

Thome and Burrell belted back-to-back homers in the fifth, marking the first time this season the Phillies have homered consecutively.

"The two home run weren't what I had wanted, but they are two good hitters," Saarloos said. "The sinker to Thome, he did a good job, he took it the other way. But I could live with that one because it was a sinker and it was down. I can't live with the one that Burrell hit. It was just a bad two-strike pitch up in the zone."


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