Ninth inning rally leads Astros past Dodgers

Published 11:23 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

Hunter Pence’s two-out RBI single in the ninth inning lifted the Houston Astros to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night.

The Astros trailed 3-1 entering the ninth inning before Michael Bourn tied it with his two-out, full-count double down the right-field line that scored two against Kenley Jansen (1-1), the hard-throwing rookie who is the latest pitcher the Dodgers have given a shot to close games.

Bill Hall started the rally with a one-out single and Angel Sanchez walked with two outs. They advanced on a double steal to put the tying runs in scoring position for Bourn.

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Jansen hit Clint Barmes with a pitch before Pence’s looping line drive to left field sent Bourn home. Catcher Dioner Navarro blocked the plate but Bourn slid in behind him to tag home.

Hall, who was 0 for 11 entering the game, went 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles.

Jeff Fulchino (1-2) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings for Houston.

Andre Ethier broke a 1-all tie with a two-out pinch hit single in the seventh inning. His hit to shallow center field scored Navarro and gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. Bourn thought he’d grabbed the grounder, but instead ran past it for an error that allowed Russell Mitchell to score and Ethier to take second base.

Ethier did not start on Monday after leaving Sunday’s game with various injuries after crashing into a fence chasing a fly ball. Navarro hit a ground-rule double to the corner of right field before Houston intentionally walked Mitchell with starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw on deck.

After Mitchell took second, Ethier came out to pinch hit and sent Kershaw to the dugout.

Matt Kemp’s hit his 11th home run of the season with a solo shot in the second inning for the Dodgers.

Kershaw gave up four hits and a run with seven strikeouts in six innings.

Houston starter Bud Norris yielded six hits and three runs — two earned — with five strikeouts in seven innings.

The Astros tied it at 1-all when Hall doubled on a ball that bounced off the glove of Jay Gibbons in left field before scoring on a single by Humberto Quintero in the third inning.

Hall got his second double with no outs in the fifth inning, but Houston left the inning empty-handed when Kershaw retired the next three batters.

Barmes singled in the sixth inning before Lee walked with one out. Kershaw struck out the next two Astros to escape that jam.

Kemp’s homer to right field put Los Angeles up 1-0 in the second. Gibbons followed with a single before Norris walked Sands. He was able to limit the damage by retiring the next three batters.

NOTES: Dodgers 1B James Loney extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. … Jose Lima, Jr., the son of former Astros and Dodgers pitcher Jose Lima, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to mark the one-year anniversary of his father’s death. Lima, who won 21 games for the Astros in 1999 and spent 13 years in the majors, was 37. … Houston OF/INF Jason Bourgeois, on the disabled list with an oblique strain, took swings for the first time since his injury on Monday. He said he felt good after the swings and hoped to take batting practice in the next couple of days.