Final

Series: Game 2 of 4

Houston leads 2-0 (as of 6/29)

Game 1: Thursday, June 28
Colorado5Final
in 11
Houston8
Game 2: Friday, June 29
Colorado8Final
Houston9
Game 3: Saturday, June 30
Colorado5Final
Houston0
Game 4: Sunday, July 1
Colorado0Final
Houston12

Rockies 8

(38-42, 17-24 away)

Astros 9

(34-46, 19-18 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 29, 2007

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 020311100 8 13 0
    HOU 021040002 9 9 3

    W: D. Borkowski (2-3)

    L: B. Fuentes (0-4)

    Loretta, Astros hand Rockies 8th straight loss

    A CLOSER LOOK
    Mark
    Loretta
    • Summary: Mark Loretta's two-run walk-off homer lifted the Astros to a 9-8 victory over the Rockies, who lost their eighth straight.

    • Goat: With a one-run lead and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Colorado closer Brian Fuentes allowed Loretta's home run, his fourth blown save in eight days.

    • Figure this: Willy Taveras had two stolen bases to push his season total to 20, the most stolen bases by a Rockies player since Juan Pierre had 47 in 2002.

    • Quotable: "I told him: 'You better be ready. I've got the feeling you're going to do it today.' If I guessed like that all the time it would be unbelievable." -- Carlos Lee, on his telling Loretta that he would hit a walk-off home run

    -- ESPN.com news services

    Astros 9, Rockies 8

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Carlos Lee predicted Mark Loretta would hit the game-winner before the ninth inning on Friday night.

    Maybe the Houston Astros slugger should moonlight as a psychic.

    Loretta hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth to lift the Astros to a 9-8 win over the Colorado Rockies, the second night in a row the Astros hit a walk-off home run off Rockies closer Brian Fuentes.

    It was the fourth blown save in eight days for Fuentes, and the Rockies have lost eight straight.

    With two outs, Fuentes (0-4) walked Carlos Lee, who hit a grand slam in the 11th off Fuentes on Thursday night. Loretta followed, homering to the Crawford Boxes in left for his second home run of the season.

    "I told him: 'You better be ready. I've got the feeling you're going to do it today,' " Lee said laughing. "If I guessed like that all the time it would be unbelievable."

    Lee didn't see his own future though. He didn't tell Loretta he'd walk before his hit.

    "He didn't say that," Loretta said. "He's not that much of a soothsayer."

    The Astros are the first team to win consecutive games with walk-off home runs since Tampa Bay did it on May 19-20, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It's the first time in franchise history that Houston has accomplished the feat.

    Lance Berkman said two straight come from behind wins are good for team morale, but that they can't make too much out of them.

    "There's such a long way to go," he said. "We can't get too giddy about two wins."

    Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was evasive when asked if Fuentes, who has 20 saves this year, might get a break from closing.

    "That's an option," he said. "I'm not going to overanalyze this in the papers. We just need one more out to put it away and we just can't get it."

    Fuentes was not available for comment after the game, but his teammates said they aren't concerned about him.

    "He's my guy. I've got complete faith in him," first baseman Todd Helton said. "He's the closer. It's a tough job. That's why you pick a guy with the right attitude who's able to bounce back and I know he will."

    Garrett Atkins hit two home runs in a losing effort for the Rockies. Ryan Spilborghs' pinch-hit single to center field scored Brad Hawpe in the seventh inning and put Colorado up 8-7.

    Dave Borkowski (2-3) allowed one hit and walked one in the ninth for the win.

    Hurdle said this stretch has been frustrating for the team.

    "It's losing the games that's bothering us," he said. "You can't put your finger on any one thing. It comes down to execution across the board. We just need to keep clawing and working like we have been before."

    A single by Matt Holliday in the sixth scored Willy Taveras and tied it at 7. Taveras was hit by a pitch before stealing second and advancing to third on an error.

    Berkman drove in two runs on his first triple of the year in Houston's four-run fifth inning. The ball landed just under the wall in right field and Hawpe indicated that it was trapped, but first base umpire Gary Darling ruled that it wasn't. Hurdle argued the call for several minutes, but it wasn't changed.

    Lee followed with an RBI single, and a run-scoring double by Mike Lamb put Houston ahead 7-6.

    Helton broke an 0-for-11 streak with a single in the second inning and hit his first home run since June 2 in the fifth to push Colorado's lead to 6-3.

    A broken bat single by Taveras drove in two runs in the fourth and put Colorado on top 5-3.

    Eric Munson tied the game at 2 when his double drove in a pair of runs in the second.

    Berkman's solo homer in the third put the Astros ahead 3-2. It marked his third consecutive game with a home run and was his 800th career RBI.

    Atkins hit a two-run homer to center field in the second inning. The hit, which bounced off the wall, was initially ruled a triple, then changed to a home run after a short meeting among umpires.

    His second home run of the night was a solo shot to center field that tied it at 3 in the fourth inning. It was his sixth game with a homer in his last 15 and his second career multihomer game.

    Houston starter Chris Sampson allowed eight hits and seven runs with four walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Colorado starter Josh Fogg gave up seven hits and seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

    Notes
    Taveras had two stolen bases on Friday to push his season total to 20. That's the most stolen bases by a Rockies player since Juan Pierre had 47 in 2002. ... A day after reaching 3,000 hits in a five-hit game, Craig Biggio went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES