Jeff Keppinger, Astros Down Rockies 7-3

HOUSTON - MAY 19: Third baseman Melvin Mora #6 of the Colorado Rockies tags out Tommy Manzella of the Houston Astros as he was picked off by catcher Miguel Olivo in the second inning at Minute Maid Park> on May 19, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Don't talk to Felipe Paulino about luck. He's seen enough of the bad kind this season to last the next five. 

Of course, Jeff Keppinger had his fair share of good luck in this game, so it all evens out.

Kepp had a career-high four RBIs, going 3 for 5 with two doubles, including a three-run double that just cleared third baseman Melvin Mora's head. That double came in the eighth inning with two outs and put the Astros up 7-3. 

Cory Sullivan may have had the game's biggest hit, as his pinch-hit single two batters before Keppinger gave the Astros a 4-3 lead. Sullivan singled through the hole on the left side of the infield with Manzella on second. The rookie shortstop was waved home by Dave Clark and slid around the tag of Miguel Olivo to score the go-ahead run. 

Back to Paulino. First, he pitches well enough to win the game outright. In six innings, Paulino gave up two runs on two hits, walking five and striking out four. The walks directly led to the Rockies' first run of the game, as Paulino gave up two walks before a single to center field and a bobble by Michael Bourn let Dexter Fowler score from second.

Later on, with one out and the bases loaded, Paulino got a ground ball up the middle that almost turned into an inning ending double play. However, Manzella slipped as he was planting to move back to second base and couldn't get the out at first, allowing a run to score. That made the score 2-2 at the time.

The hits fell in for the Houston offense, at least. Carlos Lee hit his fifth home run of the season. Hunter Pence and Tommy Manzella each had two hits. Of course, Lee's home run was erased in the seventh inning by a Clint Barmes home run, tying the game at 3. Chris Sampson gave up Barmes' home run, a rarity for the reliever this season. He hadn't given up a home run in 16 innings this season and only gave up two in 55 1/3 innings last season. 

Good win, nice to break that ugly five-game losing streak, but the going doesn't get any easier against Ubaldo Jimenez Thursday. Still, let's enjoy this while it lasts.


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