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Friday, May 8, 2015

Houston Sweeps the Phillies to Boost Win Streak to Seven

The Astros continue to have a hot July, winning seven in a row (four from Atlanta, three from Philly) to take a larger lead in the NL West.  Two of these games  vs. Philly go into extra innings, as the two NL division leading squads face off.

Game One: Houston 8, Philly 2. W: Ryan (9-8); L: Ruthven (6-9)

Houston comes out strong, battering Dick Ruthven for eight runs in six innings. Only three are earned, as Philly commits three key errors. Cesar Cedeno knocks two doubles and has three RBIs and is hitting over .400 for July.

Game Two: Houston 5, Philly 4 (10 innings). D. Smith (6-0); L: Noles (4-2)

Philadelphia hits Houston starter Ken Forsch hard early for four runs in the first two innings, aided by a two-run homer from Keith Moreland in the first. But Forsch allows no more runs in his nine innings of work, and the control artist walks no one (while only striking out two). Meanwhile, Houston recovers to score four runs off Philly starter Bob Walk, as Cedeno hits his sixth homer that drives in the first two and awakens the Houston bats. Cedeno again helps with the winning rally in the bottom of the 10th, singling with two outs and stealing second before Alan Ashby drives him  home with a single for the game winning hit.

Game Three: Houston 1, Phily 0 (10 innings). W: J. Niekro (11-6); L: Noles (4-3)

A great pitching duel between Steve Carlton and Joe Niekro, neither of whom allow a run in nine innings of work. Carlton only gives up four hits, none for extra bases, while Niekro gets out of a few jams and pitches efficiently, inducing a spate of groundballs for outs. Carlton has to depart after nine, while Niekro is still going strong. In the bottom of the 10th, Houston wins in dramatic fashion as Cedeno again comes through, hitting an inside the park home run after driving the ball hard down the third base line.

For the series, Cedeno goes seven for 13 with six RBIs and two home runs.

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