Marwin Gonzalez homers in Astros' 5-1 Loss to Phillies

The game on this fine Monday night almost ended up becoming a 3-0 complete game shutout by Roy Halladay Joe Blanton until the top of the 8th inning, where things got interesting. Marwin Gonzalez told the baseball to go over the right field wall, and it complied:

Carlos Lee also had a good game, going 3-4. But overall, the Astros couldn't get an extra-base hit other than Marwin Gonzalez's homer. The Astros' offense hit 6 singles, 1 homer with 12 strikeouts and one walk in 34 PA. Lowrie, Johnson and Snyder had two strikeouts each and Brian Bogusevic gets a golden sombrero for his 3 strikeouts.

On the pitching side, Lucas Harrell looked good against the Phillies in his first few innings, but came apart like a moist smoked brisket in the 5th inning where he hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch. Harrell then gave up a grounder that got Ruiz out at 2nd on the fielder's choice. Three pitches later, Jed Lowrie received a ball that should have been an inning-ending DP, but couldn't even get a single out on the play, leading to the only error of the game. With runners on first and 2nd, Chase Utley Freddy Galvis hit a single to drive in the runner on 2nd. Eventually the bases were loaded with Juan Pierre at the plate, but we were able to get out of that inning.

In the 6th inning, with the brisket just falling apart, Harrell gave up a lead-off triple to Shane Victorino. Carlos Ruiz then singled in Victorino. A few other things happened and Mr. Chase Utley Freddy Galvis was at the plate again and drove in another run. John Mayberry, Jr. was out at the plate trying to sneak in a run. Brad Mills decided it was time to bring in the regulators to hush the Phillies and came out with Mr. Everyday, Wilton Lopez. Interesting stat on Lopez, he has the longest streak to start the season without giving up a walk since 2004 when it was done by John Smoltz until he walked his 93rd batter. Lopez has faced 76 hitters so far this year.

As the game continued, looking to be a dismal 3-0 loss, Marwin set the table in the 8th inning with his 1st MLB homer to break the Shutout. José Altuve got a single after Marwin's homer. Antonio Bastardo, the lefty was brought in from the Phillies' bullpen to face Schafer. Brad Mills, loving his platoon advantages, pinch hit for Schafer with Justin Maxwell, who struck out swinging. Jed Lowrie followed with another strikeout, batting from the right side of the plate. Carlos Lee then lined out to Hunter Pence in RF.

David Carpenter was brought in from the bullpen, which didn't have fantastic results. Carpenter gave up a 2-run homer to Placido Polanco, which also happened to be his 2,000th career hit. Carpenter seemed to have characteristically erratic control of his pitches, but did seem to have sharper bite on his slider though. As the inning ended on Mike Fontenot's debut with the Phillies, Jonathan Papelbon was warming up to face the 5-6-7 batters in the 9th. Papelbon struck out 3, with CJ getting the lone single, and the Phillies won on a disappointing loss for the Astros who are really scuffling on offense lately.

A few notes:

Fernando Abad looked pretty good in the 7th inning. He missed with some of his pitches, but got away with them.

Carlos Lee & Brian Bogusevic narrowly missed hitting homeruns after both went just foul left of the foul poles.

Marwin Gonzalez hit his first MLB homer, but the crowd didn't throw it back. It's unclear whether or not they could find the ball.

Justin Maxwell changed his batting stance, but still struck out in his pinch-hit AB.

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