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Astros lose late lead, fall 6-5 to Phillies

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm •  Published: August 7, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Houston Astros had the matchup they wanted, but didn't get the result they needed.

Ryan Howard hit a grand slam, capping a five-run rally in the eighth inning that lifted the Philadelphia Phillies over the Astros 6-5 on Thursday night.

Howard connected with two outs on a full-count pitch from Tony Sipp (2-2).

"The matchup was what we wanted," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He beat the best guy we have down there."

Chris Carter hit two homers and drove in four runs for Houston, which lost its eighth straight in Philadelphia.

"This was a pretty tough loss," Porter said.

Carlos Ruiz and Ben Revere each had two hits as the Phillies completed a three-game sweep.

Mario Hollands (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 30 chances.

Marc Krauss also homered for Houston.

Philadelphia trailed 5-1 entering the eighth after Colin McHugh threw seven strong innings for the Astros.

Houston reliever Josh Fields gave up hits to three of the four batters he faced, including Cody Asche's RBI single that made it 5-2.

Sipp allowed a single to Jimmy Rollins to load the bases with one out. After Chase Utley flied out, Howard homered into the seats in left-center field.

"I hold myself to a high standard, so I have to make sure it doesn't happen again," Sipp said. "I was trying to go up, but the pitch went down and in. He put a pretty good swing on it.

"I didn't think it was going out. I knew it was high enough, but he didn't drive it like he usually does."

The Philadelphia slugger thought he caught enough of it off the bat but wasn't sure it would clear the wall as he was rounding the bases.

"I hit it pretty flush," Howard said. "I got it pretty good. Off the bat, yeah, I pretty much knew. But that wind started kicking up a little bit. I was happy it was enough."

Howard was ready for Sipp to throw him strikes.

"I knew going in he was going to bury some sliders and I had to keep off the sliders," Howard said. "Bases loaded, I knew at some point he had to give me something to hit. He's got to give me a strike."

Howard pointed to his family after crossing home plate and then took a curtain call. It was the third homer and 11th RBI in 12 games since manager Ryne Sandberg benched the struggling slugger for three games, July 23-25.

Howard has endured boos and some negative reaction to comments he made regarding the treatment he has been getting.

Carter hit his second homer of the game and 24th of the season, a two-run drive in the third. He leads the majors with 11 home runs since the start of July.


Astros: Reliever Josh Zeid had the first of two operations on his right foot on Wednesday, and the Astros deemed it successful. Zeid will have the same operation on his left foot in six weeks. The right-hander appeared in 23 games this season with a 6.79 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. He last pitched on July 24. ... Outfielder George Springer will rejoin the Astros in Houston on Friday, but his status will be evaluated before the game. He was on pace to be activated from the DL (quadriceps), but his return is in question after he left Wednesday's rehab start at Single-A Quad Cities because of discomfort.

Phillies: Cliff Lee's season officially is over. That was the indication on Wednesday when his locker was cleaned out, and the Phillies made the announcement on Thursday that Lee won't pitch again in 2014 due to a Grade 2 strain of his left elbow. Lee will require rest but not surgery and will begin a throwing program in September or October with the hope that he will be healthy for spring training.

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