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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tejada's ninth-inning homer gives Astros 5-3 win

Tejada's ninth-inning homer gives Astros 5-3 win
Miguel Tejada
April 7, 2008--Houston Astros' Miguel Tejada reacts as the ball goes over the wall for a walkoff home run in the ninth inning.

HOUSTON (AP) -- Miguel Tejada's two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth gave the Houston Astros a 5-3 win over St. Louis on Monday night, snapping a five game winning streak for the Cardinals.

Tejada's home run to right field off Kyle McClellan (0-1) scored pinch runner Darin Erstad.

The Astros led 3-0 before the Cardinals three-hit ninth inning. Ryan Ludwick's two-out, two RBI double off closer Jose Valverde (2-0) tied it at 3 in the top of the ninth. Cesar Izturis scored easily on the hit to right center field. Astros pitcher J.R. Towles was in position to tag Troy Glaus at home, but couldn't hold onto the ball during a collision and Glaus scored the tying run.

A single by Aaron Miles and a walk by Izturis set up an RBI single by Glaus.

Yadier Molina grounded into a force out to end that inning.

Back-to-back homers by Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning. Berkman's home run, which came off Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer, bounced off the wall in center field and put Houston ahead 1-0. Lee followed with his third home run of the year, a shot that bounced off the facade in left field.

The Astros got a solid performance from lefty Wandy Rodriguez, who pitched 7 1-3 scoreless innings with three hits, six strikeouts and no walks.

J.R. Towles added a run with a solo homer to left field off Kelvin Jimenez in the eighth inning.

Neither team could get anything going offensively early with the teams managing just two hits apiece through the first six innings.

After Pujols singled with two outs in the first, Rodriguez retired nine straight batters. Glaus doubled after that, but Ryan Ludwick struck out swinging to end the fourth inning. That out was the first of 11 straight outs for Houston and Rodriguez wouldn't allow another hit until he was chased by a single by Yadier Molina with one out in the eighth.

The Astros had managed only a pair of singles against Wellemeyer, a leadoff one by Michael Bourn and one to start the fifth inning by Tejada, before the pair of seventh inning homers.

Wellemeyer allowed five hits with two runs, seven strikeouts and a walk.

Bourn, in his first year playing for his hometown Astros, upped his stolen base total for the season to six with a pair on Monday.

It was Houston's home opener after opening the season with a seven game road trip. It was the first time since 2000 the Astros didn't open the season at home.

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