Friday, April 4, 2014

Phils Take the Series with Dramatic Home Run

Two of the NL upstarts, the Phillies and the Astros, met in the Astrodome, with both teams looking to contend in their respective divisions. The Phils came out triumphant in an exciting rubber game.

Game One: Hou 6, Phi 3
W: Niemann (2-1)
L: Christensen (1-2)

It's Jose Cruz night, as the Houston outfielder clubs a homer and a double and drives in four as Houston wins easily behind spot starter Randy Niemann (subbing for an injured Ken Forsch). The Phils threaten late off reliever George Throop, who loads them up but then strikes out the side.

Game Two: Phi 5, Hou 2

W: Carlton (8-4)
L: Williams (3-2)
S: McGraw (8)

Steve Carlton isn't at his best, walking four in seven innings, but has enough life on his fastball to win his eighth. Houston righty Rick Williams struggles, giving up 11 hits, including a three-for-four day from Pete Rose, who is now batting .371 after this game. Not bad for a 38-year-old, with many people "betting" that he'll have a good season.

Game Three: Phi 4, Hou 3
W: Lerch (4-8)
L: Richard ( 6-3)
W: McGraw (9)

An interesting game. The Phil's Randy Lerch keeps Houston off the scoreboard for five innings and takes a 2-0. But he gives up three runs in the sixth,  including a key two-RBI double from Enos Cabell. Meanwhile, Houston's J.R. Richard strikes out 14 Phillies and has a 3-2 lead in the eighth, despite wild pitching in one Philadelphia run. But with two outs, Phillies' centerfielder Garry Maddox punches a homer to deep right to give his team a 4-3 lead. Tug McGraw does the rest for his ninth save. Two Houston runners are thrown out trying to score in the wild game.

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