DENVER (AP) – Brett Myers waited around for more than 8 1/2 hours to be summoned into a game Monday.
Five pitches later, his night was abruptly finished.
Myers gave up a game-ending triple to Dexter Fowler with one out in the 10th inning and the Colorado Rockies beat the Houston Astros 7-6 for a doubleheader sweep.
In the first game, a flubbed flip by shortstop Jed Lowrie in the eighth paved the way for Jordan Pacheco’s two-run single as the Rockies won 9-7.
“Well, both those games really had a lot of similarities,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. “There were a lot of good things. There were a couple of things we need to clean up.”
At the top of the list to clean up has to be starting pitching.
The Astros got rocky outings from both Wandy Rodriguez and Jordan Lyles in their first doubleheader since 2006.
But the bullpen bailed out the team by allowing three runs, two earned, in 7 1-3 innings.
The last reliever to come out of the `pen in the nightcap was Myers, called in to start the 10th. After getting the first out, Myers (0-2) allowed a single to Michael Cuddyer.
The hot-hitting Fowler lined a pitch past diving first baseman Carlos Lee and the ball ended up in the right-field corner as Cuddyer motored home all the way from first.
After Cuddyer slid across home plate, Fowler ripped off his helmet and threw it across the field in excitement.
“That’s pitching,” Myers said nonchalantly. “They hit some good pitches and won the ballgame.”
Asked what he threw to Fowler, Myers retorted: “A strike.”
“He hit it,” he said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
The Astros now have a day off to regroup after dropping their fourth straight game. It’s a well-needed respite given the grueling day at the park.
“You never like to lose games on walk-offs or last at-bats or close (games). We’ve lost quite a few of those,” Mills said. “At the same time, a lot of positives, a lot of good things happened in that ballgame.”
Like Justin Maxwell’s pinch-hit homer in the sixth off starter Alex White that tied the game at 6. Or the three-hit performances from Brian Bogusevic and Marwin Gonzalez.
“We always find ways to put runs on the board,” Maxwell said. “Came up on the short end. It’s baseball.”
Rockies reliever Josh Roenicke (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.
In the first game, Lowrie had a chance to get the Astros out of the eighth inning unscathed after Jason Giambi drew a walk.
With pitcher Jeremy Guthrie pinch-running for Giambi, Fowler hit a slow dribbler to a hard-charging Lowrie, who tried to go to second.
But his underhand toss struck Guthrie on the right foot and bounded into shallow left-center, allowing Guthrie to scoot to third and Fowler to move up to second.
Pacheco then followed with a bloop single off Fernando Rodriguez (1-5).
After the game, Lowrie explained the reason he went that route, saying he thought he heard second baseman Jose Altuve calling for the ball.
However, just before Fowler stepped into the box, the middle infielders agreed that if anything was hit to the left side, the play would be to first.
“I didn’t think I had a chance at first with Fowler running anyway,” Lowrie said. “I thought we had a better chance with Guthrie at second. Just came down to miscommunication. I thought (Altuve) was calling for the ball.”
Lowrie had a chance to keep the game going with two outs in the ninth, but he struck out swinging to end the opener.
It was a good day at the plate for Lowrie, who hit his eighth homer of the season in the first inning and brought in another run with a grounder.
“Felt good,” said Lowrie, who had a pinch-hit single in the night game.
That said, he wouldn’t mind having another shot at the key play in the field. Lowrie’s decision to go to second definitely surprised Guthrie.
“I didn’t see the second baseman too close to the bag and I felt like I was close to being safe anyway,” Guthrie said. “Little League rules, you’re out.”
But this isn’t Little League and Guthrie, who’s been struggling on the mound this season, was all too happy to pitch in any way he could.
“I guess it’s nice to do something positive,” he said.
Matt Belisle (2-2) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Rafael Betancourt pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 10 tries.
Rodriguez was hit hard, allowing seven runs, four earned, and 10 hits in five innings. He gave up six extra-base hits, including four in a five-run first.
But the lefty settled in after that — as much as he could at Coors Field, anyway. Rodriguez’s breaking ball just wasn’t dancing in the thin air of the Mile High City. He also had trouble hitting his spots.
“I used my breaking ball and it (didn’t) break the same,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know. It’s different when I use it in other stadiums than here.”
NOTES: The Astros hadn’t played a doubleheader since April 13, 2006, at San Francisco. … Houston fell to 1-4 on its seven-game road trip. … Lee was 5 for 9 with an RBI on the day.
– By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer
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