Howard lifts Phillies over Astros in 15
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Howard singled in the winning run in the 15th inning to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros.
Grady Sizemore opened the bottom of the 15th with a ground ball single into right field. Ben Revere laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Sizemore to second. After Jimmy Rollins flied out, Jake Buchanan (1-2) intentionally walked Chase Utley. Howard stepped to the plate and sent a ground ball into right field past a diving Marwin Gonzalez and right fielder Robbie Grossman's throw was off the mark as Sizemore slid home safely.
"It's been a long year," said Howard. "A few times teams have intentionally walked Chase (Utley) to get to me and I just got tired of it. I really wanted to come through in this late at-bat."
Hector Neris (1-0) made his major league debut, pitching a perfect 15th inning for the win.
Howard also drove in the only other run for the Phillies, who won for the third time in their last five games, with a solo homer in the second inning.
Jon Singleton drove in the Astros' lone run with a single in the seventh, as Houston had its three-game winning streak snapped.
"I felt like our guys battled. Buchanan did a great job inning after inning giving us a chance to score some runs, but they were able to get to us in the 15th," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
The two starters, Philadelphia's Kyle Kendrick and Houston's Dallas Keuchel, both gave up one run on five hits over seven innings of work.
Howard smacked one over the wall in left-center to put the Phillies up 1-0 early.
The Phillies threatened to extend their lead in the fifth. Darin Ruf was hit by a pitch to start the inning before Cody Asche singled to right. After Kendrick popped out on a bunt attempt, Revere grounded out to move the runners over to second and third. Rollins then grounded out to end the inning.
After only giving up three hits through the first six frames, Kendrick got into some trouble in the seventh. Chris Carter opened with a walk and Jason Castro singled on a line drive to center, putting runners on first and second. Singleton lined another one into center, scoring Carter and moving Castro to third. Kendrick managed to recover, however, getting Matt Dominguez to fly out, then Jake Marisnick to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Phillies put a runner in scoring position again in the eighth, but couldn't get him across. Revere singled and Utley walked, but Howard ended the chance by grounding into a double play.
The Astros couldn't capitalize after putting two runners on base in the ninth and tenth.
Grossman walked to start the top of the ninth, but Jonathan Papelbon struck out the next two batters. After walking Singleton, Papelbon fanned Dominguez with a slider for the third out.
With two outs in the top of the 10th, pinch-hitter Domingo Santana drew a walk before Jose Altuve hit a line drive to right, putting runners on the corners. Altuve stole second, but Grossman flied out to end the inning.
After Rollins struck out to start the bottom of the 13th, Utley ran the count full and drew a walk. Howard was next to the plate, but struck out looking. Marlon Byrd ended the frame with a groundout.
The Phillies' bullpen combined for 14 strikeouts and only one hit allowed over eight innings of work.
The game lasted five hours and five minutes ... The Phillies have scored just two runs in their last 36 innings ... Altuve has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games. He also has 44 stolen bases on the year ... Prior to the game, the Phillies recalled pitcher David Buchanan from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start Wednesday's game against the Astros ... Howard, Utley and Rollins started in their 887th regular season game together in the field at first base, second base and shortstop, respectively, setting a new major league record for most games started together in the field by three teammates at those positions ... This series marks the first time the Phillies and Astros have faced each other since splitting six meetings during the 2012 season, the Astros' final year as a member of the National League.
08/06 02:55:09 ET