HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Astros continue to struggle in extra-inning games against the Miami Marlins.
The Astros lost 5-3 to the Marlins in 12 innings on Wednesday night, dropping Houston to 0-3 in extra innings against Miami this season.
After the Astros' ninth-inning rally sent the game to the 10th, Omar Infante's bases-loaded two-RBI single in the 12th inning gave the Marlins a 5-3 victory.
``These guys battled all the way through,' Astros manager Brad Mills said. ``We've been talking about our pitching and our bullpen, and those guys kept giving us chances to get a run and win this thing and we didn't.'
Houston dropped two of three games in its first series with Miami in 11 innings in April.
The Astros rallied in the ninth inning against Marlins reliever Steve Cishek on Wednesday.
Brian Bogusevic tied it at 3-all with an RBI single off Cishek with two outs in the ninth inning.
Carlos Lee got things going with one out when he hit his first triple of the year on a ball hit just out of reach of a diving Giancarlo Stanton in right field. Cishek walked Chris Johnson on four pitches with two outs before Bogusevic's hit, which drove in Lee's pinch-runner Marwin Gonzalez.
``We tied it up in the end and put the game in the bullpen's hands, and they've been great all year,' Bogusevic said. ``They were great for however many innings they threw tonight. We just couldn't push across that last one.'
In the 12th inning, Logan Morrison singled before a walk by Stanton. Greg Dobbs grounded into a force out at second and left runners on the corners.
Astros reliever David Carpenter (0-2) walked John Buck with two outs to load the bases and set up Infante's game-winner. It was the second time this season Carpenter was defeated by the Marlins in extra innings.
Marlins reliever Ryan Webb (2-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win in a game that lasted 4 hours, 10 minutes.
Astros starter Lucas Harrell allowed six hits and three runs - two earned - in 5 1-3 innings.
``We're really fighting hard, never giving up,' Harrell said. ``But it's just one of those things where I'm one or two pitches away from turning the corner and having a really good start.'
Marlins starter Josh Johnson rebounded from two straight tough outings by allowing four hits and two runs with six strikeouts in seven innings. With the exception of Astros outfielder Jordan Schafer, who went 3-for-3 off Johnson and finished 4-for-5, the Astros were a combined 0-for-21 against Johnson.
Schafer collected his first hit of May by ending a 0-for-15 skid.
``He swung the bat extremely well - getting back to being Schafer,' Mills said. ``Keeping the stroke short and getting some work - that was great to see.'
Things got testy in the seventh inning when reliever Wilton Lopez plunked Ramirez on the left arm. Lopez and Ramirez and catcher Chris Snyder were jawing as an umpire escorted Ramirez to first base. Lopez was then replaced by Wesley Wright, but didn't leave the field until using a hand signal apparently meant to mock the Marlins.
Last season, Bonifacio and Infante began using the same hand signal, making a sideways `V' with their fingers across their eyes, to mean `lo viste?' in Spanish or `see that?,' after good plays.
Lopez didn't stop once he was off the field, making the gesture several more times from the dugout while eyeing Ramirez.
Lopez declined comment after the game.
Both managers came out separately to talk to the umpire before Morrison grounded out to end the inning.
``There was no way we were trying to hit him there,' Mills said. ``The ball just got up and away from him. There was absolutely no intent.'
Despite the loss, the Astros finished 6-3 on the nine-game homestand.
``After spending so much of the first month on the road, it was nice to come home and have a real good homestand,' Mills said. ``It was a good confidence booster for our guys.'
NOTES: Houston starter Kyle Weiland, who had arthroscopic surgery for an infection in his right shoulder May 1, doesn't expect to return to the rotation until at least late July. He hasn't been given an official timetable for his return, but expects it to take that long for him to get his shoulder strong enough to pitch again. ... Houston reliever Rhiner Cruz pitched a scoreless ninth after being activated from the disabled list after Tuesday's game.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved