Astros rally late, end Phillies' 7-game streak

Associated Press Modified: September 14, 2012 at 12:47 am •  Published: September 14, 2012

HOUSTON (AP) — With little left to play for in this dreadful season, the Houston Astros embraced the spoiler role on Thursday night.

Pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie delivered a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Astros stung Philadelphia, rallying for a 6-4 victory that ended the Phillies' seven-game winning streak.

The Phillies' surge had got them within three games of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot. But the deficit increased to four when the Cardinals won 2-1 at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"There's a lot of satisfaction in that," Houston reliever Wesley Wright said of beating a team in postseason contention. "They come with a lot on the line and we have a chance to kind of derail that and finish the season on a positive note. So it's a good victory all the way around."

Philadelphia built an early 4-0 lead, but Lowrie's two-out hit put the Astros ahead 5-4.

Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer for Houston, which has the worst record in the majors.

Houston interim manager Tony DeFrancesco loves the way his team responded against the contending Phillies.

"When you're a team where we're at, just trying to play the season out, you've got to try to motivate them," he said. "We could factor into the end of the season here. Hopefully people will say they're starting to play good and they've got some life and some energy and they're going in the right direction. That's what we want."

Philadelphia's bullpen pitched four scoreless innings after an early exit by Tyler Cloyd, but the relievers couldn't close it out.

Phillippe Aumont (0-1) took over in the eighth with a 4-3 lead and walked Jason Castro with one out. Pinch-runner Jordan Schafer was caught stealing on a strong throw by catcher Erik Kratz from his knees, but Aumont walked Dominguez and plunked pinch-hitter Scott Moore on the foot.

Jake Diekman, the fifth Phillies reliever of the game, gave up Lowrie's hit that stopped a string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings by Philadelphia's bullpen.

Brandon Barnes then singled in Lowrie to make it 6-4.

Wright (1-2) got the last two outs of the eighth for the win. Wilton Lopez allowed a hit in a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

Kratz snapped an 0-for-16 skid with an RBI double in the second, and the Phillies tacked on three more runs in the third. Juan Pierre and Chase Utley hit consecutive one-out singles and Ryan Howard had a sacrifice fly. John Mayberry Jr. and Kevin Frandsen added RBI singles.

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