Astros rally in ninth, but fall to Phils in 10th

Astros rally in ninth, but fall to Phils in 10th

Astros rally in ninth, but fall to Phils in 10th
PHILADELPHIA -- Brett Myers has been here before, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept.

The Astros' closer spent the first eight years of his Major League career with the Phillies in the confines of Citizens Bank Park. He's been victimized by home runs he thought were outs, and he's moved on each and every time. Myers will now move on again, but that doesn't take the sting out of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Phillies in a game the Astros certainly feel they should have won.

Hunter Pence, booed just one inning earlier by the hometown crowd, hit a home run just over the 334-foot sign in left field with one out in the 10th. The Astros (15-21) rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie the game at 3, but Myers, who blew his first save of the season in Pittsburgh on Sunday, gave up Pence's second home run of the afternoon to end the game.

"I honestly thought it was going to fall in front of the left fielder or be a sliding catch," Myers said. "I didn't think he hit it good at all. It didn't sound good off the bat. ... I don't know. He's a strong guy, though.

"It happens. It's baseball."

Myers wasn't quite comfortable with entering with the game tied, nor was that the only issue he had with his performance.

"Honestly, I don't know," Myers said. "I've been around. I've closed before. Coming into a tie ballgame on the road, I was prepared, but it just baffled me a little bit. I can just go out there and do my job. That's all I can do when called upon.

"I thought the 0-1 [pitch] was a strike. [The home run] could have been a different situation, a different pitch. But it didn't work out that way."

The end result overshadowed a thrilling comeback by the Astros and a strong effort from rookie starter Jordan Lyles.

"The guys have been battling all year," manager Brad Mills said. "They came back and battled well. [Matt Downs] did a great job of getting us on the board off [Phillies starter Cliff Lee], and the guys put everything together off their bullpen to tie it up."

Downs' solo homer got the Astros on the scoreboard in the seventh inning, cutting the Phillies' lead to 3-1.

Without the services of Jonathan Papelbon, who had thrown the three previous days, the Phillies went to Chad Qualls, who gave up a leadoff double to Jordan Schafer. After Downs grounded out and Schafer moved to third, Carlos Lee singled to center to close the gap to 3-2. For Lee, it was his 25th career RBI at Citizens Bank Park.

Pinch-runner Brian Bogusevic stole second, and one out later, he took off for third on a single to right by J.D. Martinez. The play could have ended there, but Pence dropped the ball attempting to throw it back to the infield. That allowed Bogusevic to score and tie the game at 3.

"Sometimes the fans love me, sometimes the fans hate me, but I always love them," Pence said. "It had weighed on me a little too much. I was carrying it. I'm going to go out there and give everything. I think that's the main thing. It's just getting out of the way of myself.

"Bogusevic's a fast guy. It was softly hit, so I was charging it hard. I can't really tell you [what happened]. It just came out of my hand. I was trying to fire it as hard as I could."

"I feel that I definitely got a little more confidence," said Martinez, who went 2-for-4. "I've been working hard in the cage, and I can feel myself getting more confident the more I work. When we tied it, it just felt great because of the situation. The fact that I was able to come through when my team needed me was big."

Aside from allowing a pair of home runs, Lyles did exactly what the Astros needed, allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits and one walk.

Brian Schneider's two-run homer in the second would not have happened if not for a throwing error by second baseman Jose Altuve, who threw wide to first base on a routine ground ball that allowed John Mayberry Jr. to reach first. Schneider's two-out, two-run home run followed to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.

Michael Radano is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.