Astros 6, Rockies 2(10)
Carlos Lee found a more authoritative way to beat the Colorado Rockies.
For the second straight game, Lee delivered the game-winning hit for the Houston Astros. His grand slam with two outs in the 10th on the first pitch from Matt Belisle gave the Astros a 6-2 win Wednesday night. The victory was the seventh in nine games this month for the Astros.
``I just happened to run into it,'' Lee said. ``Saw it on time and put a good swing to it ... I hit that ball good.''
That's radically different than Tuesday night when Lee drove in the game-winning run by flaring a broken-bat single into short left field with two outs in the eighth to give the Astros a 4-3 win.
Lee connected for his 15th career grand slam against Belisle, who had held Lee to one hit in 15 at-bats in their prior matchups.
``I wanted to come in on him, as if almost for a ball,'' said Belisle (1-3), who also was the losing pitcher Tuesday. ``I was ready to throw a ball there and put an inner third strike, and we know he can do what he did to that ball. No excuse. Just didn't execute a pitch. Put it in a guy's wheelhouse at a bad time.''
Brandon Lyon (5-1) eased out of trouble in the ninth to earn the victory. The Rockies put two runners on base, but Carlos Gonzalez lined out to third baseman Pedro Feliz to end the inning.
Tommy Manzella led off the Houston 10th with a single and was sacrificed to second by pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan. Michael Bourn singled to short left field, and Manzella held at third. After Bourn stole second, Jeff Keppinger struck out, ending his 10-game hitting streak.
The Rockies intentionally walked Lance Berkman and Lee followed with his ninth homer of the season. Lee had flied to center on each of his first three at-bats and lined to second on his fourth before connecting against Belisle.
``He had hit the ball hard a couple times and hadn't gotten much for it and was getting a little frustrated,'' Astros manager Brad Mills said. ``I think he got all his frustration out on one swing.''
Colorado scored in the sixth to tie it at 2. Jonathan Herrera singled for his first hit in eight at-bats since being recalled May 31 from Triple-A Colorado Springs and Brad Hawpe hit an RBI double with two outs.
Rockies starter Aaron Cook was hit in the back of the right shoulder by Feliz's line drive in the fourth, and the ball ricocheted to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for the final out.
Cook gave up two singles to start the fifth and found himself with the bases loaded and no out when he fielded Felipe Paulino's bunt and unsuccessfully tried to throw out the lead runner at third. Bourn singled up the middle to score two runs and put the Astros ahead 2-1, but Cook minimized the damage by getting Keppinger to ground into a double play and Berkman to ground out.
The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the second when Melvin Mora doubled and scored on Seth Smith's single. Mora made his first start of the season at first base, a position he had played in five previous games, as manager Jim Tracy benched Todd Helton. A 3-for-37 slump had dropped Helton's average to a season-low .240 with one home run and 11 RBIs.
Helton's previous career-low for this date was .260 in 2005. Helton pinch-hit and popped out to end the seventh.
Paulino pitched a season-high eight innings for the third straight start, allowing eight hits and two runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. Paulino is the first Astros pitcher to go eight innings in three straight starts since Roy Oswalt in September 2008.
NOTES: Rockies closer Huston Street is scheduled to make back-to-back appearances Thursday and Friday on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Colorado and could be activated early next week. He has been on the disabled list all season. He had right shoulder inflammation in spring training and then strained his right groin May 15 in a rehab appearance for Double-A Tulsa. ... Rockies OF Brad Hawpe had his fourth straight multi-hit game, going 3 for 4.