Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

Houston leads 2-1 (as of 5/14)

Game 1: Monday, May 12
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San Francisco3
Game 2: Tuesday, May 13
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San Francisco4
Game 3: Wednesday, May 14
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San Francisco3
Game 4: Thursday, May 15
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Astros 6

(23-18, 12-12 away)

Giants 3

(17-24, 11-11 home)

    10:15 PM ET, May 14, 2008

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 300000120 6 11 2
    SF 030000000 3 11 0

    W: O. Villarreal (1-3)

    L: J. Taschner (2-1)

    S: J. Valverde (10)

    Berkman blasts MLB-leading 14th home run as Astros cruise

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Miguel Tejada understands why Houston manager Cecil Cooper wants to give him a day off. The Astros' durable shortstop just doesn't want to come out of the lineup.

    The only Houston player to start the first 41 games this season, Tejada had three hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh, in the Astros' 6-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

    Cooper said he first approached Tejada about taking a day off two weeks ago. Tejada, who played in 1,152 consecutive games before going on the disabled list last June while still with Baltimore, finally relented -- but only after what Cooper said was "a little arm-twisting."

    "It's good sometimes to take a day off," said Tejada, who plans to sit Thursday. "We have a long road trip and we're going to play 20 games in 21 days. We're going to test it. But I'm going to be ready just in case."

    Lance Berkman hit his 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot off San Francisco starter Pat Misch in the first, to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. It also tied Berkman with Philadelphia's Chase Utley for the major league lead in homers.

    San Francisco's Aaron Rowand homered off Houston starter Brian Moehler, but the Giants failed to capitalize against six Astros relievers, stranding runners at third base in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

    "We couldn't cash in our opportunities and it came back to haunt us," a solemn San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We couldn't get that extra hit or sacrifice fly. Tonight wasn't a good night for us."

    Hunter Pence added a pair of hits for the Astros, who have won 10 of their last 12.

    Oscar Villarreal (1-3) pitched a third of an inning to get the win, while Jose Valverde worked the ninth for his 10th save in 13 tries.

    "Every button we pushed, everybody came out of the 'pen and did their jobs," Cooper said. "That's how we have to do it. We all have to chip in."

    Jack Taschner (2-1) took the loss for San Francisco.

    The Astros jumped on Misch for three runs in the first inning but couldn't get much going after that, until Tejada's run-scoring single off Sadler in the seventh.

    "I knew he was going to get a hit there," Cooper said. "You don't throw fastballs by that guy two or three times in a row. I actually said he was trying to sneak some cheese by the rat, and you don't sneak cheese by guys that hit the fastball."

    Brad Ausmus added a two-run homer in the eighth as Houston improved to 16-6 since April 21.

    Misch, winless in seven career starts, pitched well enough but couldn't overcome his early struggles. San Francisco's lefty retired 13 of 16 at one point before leaving after six innings. He gave up seven hits with a season-high six strikeouts.

    "I didn't feel great in the first inning," Misch said. "After they stung me for three [runs] I had to get locked in to keep it there."

    San Francisco tagged Moehler for four straight hits to open the second, including Rowand's team-leading fifth homer. Rowand's two-run blast down the left field line cut the Astros' lead to 3-2 before Moehler made a wild throw home on Misch's sacrifice bunt, allowing John Bowker to score the tying run.

    The game was stopped briefly in the sixth when Astros left-fielder Carlos Lee injured himself diving for Jose Castillo's double. Lee hit the turf hard but quickly got up, retrieved the ball and threw it to the infield before kneeling in the outfield as team trainers rushed out. After getting his left forearm wrapped up, Lee remained in the game.

    Game notes


    Berkman is hitting .560 (28-for50) during his streak. ... Misch's RBI in the second was the first of his career. ... Astros 3B Ty Wigginton is expected to return to the lineup Friday and is available on an emergency basis until then. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez could rejoin the Astros rotation Wednesday in Chicago. ... San Francisco RHP Kevin Correia, sidelined with a strained left side muscle, threw 10 pitches off a mound without pain.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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