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Monday, May 20, 2013

Astros' Losing Streak Stops at 12 Games

Houston comes home to the Astrodome hoping to reverse their recent fortunes after dropping 11 straight. After stretching the streak to 12 games vs. Montreal, they finally win one behind a dominant game from newly promoted starter Vern Ruhle. But then, Montreal takes the series finale, 5-4, as Ross Grimsley wins his 16th.

The Expos, having little chance to catch first-place Philadelphia, keep hope alive for a record over .500 and are now 53-49. The formerly decent Astros are dropping toward last in the NL West with a record of 44-56.

Game 1: MON 8, HOU 0
W: Dues (4-5)
L: Lemongello (6-10)

Formerly obscure young pitcher Hal Dues of Montreal shuts down the Astros hitters (not a difficult feat these days) in a four-hit complete game win. Mark Lemongello tries to recover from a five-run Montreal first, keyed by  four hits, a hit batsmen, a walk, and a big Warren Cromartie double. He only gives up one more run but it doesn't matter due to the silent Astros bats.

Game 2: HOU 3, MON 0
W: Ruhle (1-1)
L: Fryman (0-3)

The recently activated Vern Ruhle outduels mustachioed 38-year-old Woodie Fryman, who gives up three runs in the fourth for the only runs of the game. New Astros catcher Bruce Bochy drives in two with a clutch single to help break the Astros' 12 game winning streak. Ruhle goes all the way in a five-hit shutout.
Former Tiger Vern Ruhle, signed  in the
 offseason,, helps break the 'Stros losing streak.

Game 3: MON 4, HOU 4
W: Grimsley (16-5)
L: J. Niekro (4-11)

Ross Grimsley's record moves to a gaudy 16-5, thanks to a Warren Cromartie two-run homer (9) and a slicing two-run double from Ellis Valentine off the again-ineffective Joe Niekro. The Astros vie to make it a game late, after Enos Cabell pounds an eighth-inning homer (4) to cut the Montreal lead to one. But Grimsley goes back to work, allowing no hits after that for the complete-game win. 

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