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News » Astros' bats come alive to pound Rockies 24-hit attack includes at least 2 from each starter ASTROS: Hits fall 1 short of team r


Astros' bats come alive to pound Rockies 24-hit attack includes at least 2 from each starter ASTROS: Hits fall 1 short of team r


Astros' bats come alive to pound Rockies 24-hit attack includes at least 2 from each starter ASTROS: Hits fall 1 short of team r
Astros update

Wednesday: Astros 15, Rockies 11.

Record: 15-18.

Today: At Colorado, 2:10 p.m.

Pitchers: Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) vs. Jason Hammel (0-1).

TV/radio: FSH; 740 AM and 1010 AM (Spanish).

DENVER - As the Astros mingled in the clubhouse before batting practice Wednesday, Miguel Tejada stood up and loudly informed Humberto Quintero it was time for everybody to contribute.

The entire offense got the message, producing the second-highest hit total in Astros history as each member of the starting lineup contributed at least two hits, a first for the franchise.

The Astros combined for 24 hits while pummeling the Colorado Rockies 15-11 at Coors Field, marking the first time since May 1, 1985, that a National League club got at least two hits from each member of the lineup.

"I had no idea that was the case, but clearly that was a rarity," Lance Berkman said after the Astros became the first team since the 1985 Braves to perform the feat. "It's rare that everybody gets a hit, much less two. ... First time since '85. It happens once every 20 years or something."

The 24 hits were the most by a National League club this season and one shy of the Astros' franchise record, which they accomplished twice in 1976 - on May 30 at Atlanta and Sept. 2 at Cincinnati. Only the Cleveland Indians, who had 25 hits against the New York Yankees on April 18, have had more hits in one game this season.

"I didn't know we almost (made franchise history for hits), but everybody should appreciate it," said Geoff Blum, who had a season-high five RBIs before a crowd of 19,226. "In any franchise, you never know when you have a chance to set records. It's something special."

The Rockies made it appear closer than it was when Chris Iannetta hit a grand slam off Geoff Geary in Colorado's five-run ninth, cutting the Astros' lead to 15-11. Manager Cecil Cooper said Geary has biceps tendinitis, and the embattled reliever appears headed for the disabled list.

While tying the three-game series heading into today's finale, the Astros improved to 19-1 in franchise history in games in which they have at least 20 hits.

Quintero gets going

Even Quintero, who was hitless this season, went 2-for-5 with his first and second RBIs of the season. The slumping Berkman, who had only eight hits this month, raised his batting average from .187 to .216 after going 4-for-4 with two RBIs.

Tejada was 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence added three hits apiece.

Mike Hampton, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, earned the victory after giving up seven hits and five runs over six innings. Jason Marquis suffered the loss after giving up 10 hits and nine runs over 32/3 innings.

The Astros collected their most hits since they had 23 in an 18-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Sept. 20, 2007.

The Astros mounted three-run rallies in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings. They also scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh.

After Marquis retired the first two Astros , Berkman got the offense started with a single. Lee followed with a single, and Tejada hit a two-run double. Pence followed with an RBI single.

No lack of confidence

"The offense is going to come along," Tejada said. "We know that we'll compete every day because we know this team is going to hit."

With Brad Hawpe's RBI single and Ian Stewart's two-run homer, the Rockies tied the score at 3 in the second.

"I gave up the lead, which stunk," Hampton said. "But the team just kept battling and swinging, and everything found a hole. They got me the lead back, and I pitched well enough to hold it."

Berkman and Lee hit consecutive one-out singles to get the offense started in the third. Tejada followed with an RBI single. Pence then loaded the bases with a single through the left side. Blum followed with a fielder's choice RBI grounder. Quintero gave the Astros a 6-3 lead with his first hit and RBI of the season on a single to right.

An inning later, Blum delivered a three-run double to left.

In the three-run outburst in the fifth, Michael Bourn drove in a run with an infield single, and Berkman and Lee followed with RBI singles.

"It's not something that you sit there and say, ?Well, this is how we should hit every night,' " Berkman said. "Because you do realize it's a special type deal where everything kind of fell into place for you."

jesus.ortiz@chron.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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