Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!
In honor of the festive occasion, let's go back to a big day from just a couple of years ago, when Hunter Pence hit his first big league home run. On this date in 2007, the Astros beat the Cardinals 13-0, giving starting pitcher Matt Albers his first victory of the season. Albers, Trever Miller and Dave Borkowski together combined to throw a four-hit shutout, with Albers walking one and striking out two in his time.
This was just a weird game offensively, not withstanding Pence's homer, which we'll get to in a minute. The Astros struck first against Cards starter Kip Wells, who allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. But, they did it in a hodgepodge of offense, as Pence was the only Astro to hit a home run. Oh, and Morgan Ensberg led off in this game. Carlos Lee hit a double and drove in three RBIs. Jason Lane and Chris Burke made appearances while Mark Loretta went 4 for 5 to raise his average up to .396.
Oh, and about Pence's home run. It came in the eighth inning, after Pence had gone 0 for 4 with a strikeout before that. His other at-bats consisted of a groundout to second base and two weak grounders to short. Then, he met Cardinals reliever Dennis Dove. The 25-year old right-hander threw a 1-0 pitch to Pence, who hit it to deep center field, scoring Burke, Orlando Palmeiro and Luke Scott for a grand slam home run.
That's right, Hunter Pence's first career home run was a grand slam, hit off a guy who had a total of 3 innings in the big leagues with a 15.00 ERA and never pitched in the majors or the minors after 2007. In essence, Hunter's grand slam may have ended this guy's career. Not really, of course, but Dennis Dove will at least forever live as a footnote in Hunter Pence's career.
Here's a graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.