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Friday, March 29, 2013

Houston Topples Giants in NL West Showdown

The Astros try to keep pace with the division-leading Dodgers, taking two of three from San Francisco, which started the series 1.5 games behind Houston for second place. After losing Game 1, the Dome-dwellers came back to take the next two. Houston is now 24-21, while the Giants fall to 22-24.

Game 1: SF 4, HOU 1
W: Halicki (3-0)
L: Bannister (1-2)
MVP: Halicki

Groundball artist Ed Halicki keeps the Astros off-balance, as they hit into nine groundouts. Rookie Floyd Bannister again falters, giving up four runs in five innings despite six Ks. Mike Ivie (2) and Jack Clark (10) blast long home runs off Bannister to pace the Giants.

Game 2: HOU 4, SF 3
W: Richard (5-2)
L: Knepper (6-5)
S:  K. Forsch (1)
MVP: Richard

Houston's J.R. Richard didn't have the strikeouts working today (only four) but he only allowed three SF hits in eight innings. Hot-hitting 3B Enos Cabell paced the Houston attack with two runs scored, coming home on two Art Howe singles. Joe Sambito tried to give away a 4-1 lead in the ninth, but reliever Ken Forsch came in with one out to shut the door.

Game 3: HOU 5, SF 0
W: Lemongello (4-5)
L: Blue (5-4)
MVP: Lemongello

Mark Lemongello continues to baffle expectations, with one great outing followed by one where he gets shelled. This was the good outing, as the blonde-haired righthander tossed a CG shutout and only allowed five Giants' hits. Cabell continued to hit, going two-for-four and scoring two more, while a two-run first-inning homer from Bob Watson (3), off a scuffling Vida Blue, iced it early.

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