HOUSTON (AP) - Roy Oswalt was outpitched in his Houston homecoming. By a former Phillie, too.
Brett Myers pitched eight strong innings and Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer off Oswalt to help the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 on Monday night.
Myers allowed six hits in eight innings and has given up just three earned runs in his last 22 2-3 innings.
``He went out and pitched one of those Myers days,' Philadelphia's Hunter Pence, said of his former teammate. ``He was locating well and moving it around. It was definitely strange for me to face him, but he pitched well and earned that win.'
Despite the loss, Philadelphia's magic number for gaining at least a wild-card playoff spot dropped to one with St. Louis' 6-5 loss to Pittsburgh. The Phillies are trying to make the playoffs for the fifth straight year. They won the World Series in 2008 and lost in it in 2009.
Oswalt (7-9), who pitched 10 seasons for the Astros, faced his former teammates for the first time at Minute Maid Park since he was traded to the Phillies in July 2010.
Pence, traded by Houston to the Phillies in July, also returned for the first time and got two hits off Brett Myers (5-13).
``There were pitches here and there that were pretty good pitches that we didn't make the plays on,' Oswalt said. ``It was kind of sloppy. It looked sloppy the whole game.'
Oswalt's only mistake was the pitch to Lee, a curveball that he was trying to throw down and away.
``I had two strikes on him, and I thought I could throw it down and away for a strike, but he popped it up and it went out,' Oswalt said. ``Crawford seats got me here before. I knew it wasn't going very far - front row. He hit it far enough to get out.'
Oswalt pitched seven innings, allowed five earned runs, struck out two and walked two.
``I think that the bigger the game the better he can pitch,' Manuel said. ``His stuff is good. His stuff is there. I think our play got us in trouble tonight. That was the big thing. Then, the fact that the breaking ball that Lee hit out. Other than that, I thought he pitched pretty good.'
Both Oswalt and Pence received warm ovations on their first plate appearances.
``The fans seemed like they were having a lot of fun and it made me feel pretty good the way they welcomed me,' Pence said.
J.D. Martinez got three hits and scored three runs for Houston. He opened the fourth inning with a double and scored on a single by Brian Bogusevic. Humberto Quintero's double scored Bogusevic for a 2-1 lead.
Martinez singled with two outs in the fourth and scored on Lee's 16th homer into the Crawford boxes in left field for a 4-1 lead.
Martinez got his third hit off Oswalt in the seventh. After Oswalt hit Lee with a pitch, he scored on a grounder by Bogusevic.
Raul Ibanez doubled to open the second inning for the Phillies and he scored on a single by Pete Orr.
Oswalt had a club-record eight opening day starts for Houston, was named to the All-Star team three times and pitched the Astros to their only World Series appearance in 2005. Oswalt ranks first in Astros winning percentage at .636.
Pence hit .290 in five seasons with the Astros.
Notes: The Phillies have won six of eight, outscoring opponents 36-20. Philadelphia is 20-7 in their last 27 road games. They have baseball's best road record at 45-28. The franchise high mark for road victories is 48 in 1976 and 2009. Lee has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games, including a season-high 14-game streak. The Astros avoided setting a franchise record for most losses in a season. They are tied for the record with 97 losses, set in 1965, 1975 and 1991.
The Associated Press News Service
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