Astros soar past Rockies in extras

Bob Levey/Associated Press Carlos Peña and Houston celebrated last as the Astros edged Jodran Pacheco and Colorado in the 12th inning in a 3-2 victory Monday.

By Kristie Rieken
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON – The Colorado Rockies had plenty of opportunities to put away Houston. Time after time they came up empty.

Brandon Barnes hit an RBI double with two outs in the 12th inning to lift the Astros to a 3-2 victory Monday.

Colorado stranded 15 runners and fell to 3-5 in extra-inning games this season.

“We left too many men on,” manager Walt Weiss said. “We have to find a way to win a game like that.”

Matt Dominguez singled off former Astro Wilton Lopez (1-2) to start the 12th. Dominguez was replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Cedeño, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt.

The Rockies intentionally walked Jose Altuve with two outs before Barnes connected on a ground-rule double into the right-field corner.

Paul Clemens (2-2) struck out two in a scoreless inning for the win.

Carlos Gonzalez drove in a run with a double in the Colorado first, and Jonathan Herrera made it 2-0 with a run-scoring bunt in the fourth.

Carlos Peña hit a two-run double for Houston to tie it at 2 in the fourth.

The Astros loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th, but Jimmy Paredes flied out to end the inning.

Wilin Rosario singled to start the 10th for the Rockies, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a flyout. Houston intentionally walked pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer, and Travis Blackley struck out pinch-hitter D.J. LeMahieu to end the threat.

“It’s difficult to win that way, when you leave over 10 runners on base and not being able to get the big hit,” Gonzalez said. “It’s frustrating.”

Weiss wasn’t sure why his team had so much trouble getting runners home.

“I don’t know if you can pin it on anything specific,” he said. “You take your at-bat according to the situation, and you try to drive runs in. I think we had a lot of hard outs.”

Houston starter Bud Norris yielded eight hits and two runs in seven innings.

Jhoulys Chacin pitched seven-plus innings for the Rockies, allowing five hits and two runs with a season-high nine strikeouts.

Eric Young hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and made it 1-0 on a double by Gonzalez.

Colorado loaded the bases with no outs in the third, but Norris was able to escape the jam. He retired Troy Tulowitzki before Rosario grounded into a force at the plate. Norris then retired Jordan Pacheco to end the threat.

Gonzalez was impressed with Norris’ work in that inning.

“He executes pretty well when he needs to. When there were runners on base, especially in that inning when we had bases loaded with no outs, he did everything possible to avoid any runs,” Gonzalez said. “That was a big inning for him and a big inning for the team.”

Nolan Arenado doubled in the fourth and reached third on a sacrifice bunt. Colorado pushed the lead to 2-0 when he scored on Herrera’s bunt.

Chacin sailed through the first three innings and struck out the side in the second. Houston didn’t get a hit until Altuve singled with one out in the fourth.

Altuve stole second base before Jason Castro walked in the fourth. Chacin struck out J.D. Martinez, but Altuve stole third base on the play. Pena’s double sent Altuve and Castro home and tied it 2-all.

Norris ran into trouble again in the fifth when he walked Dexter Fowler to start the inning. Tulowitzki singled to send Fowler to third before a wild pitch allowed Tulowitzki to advance to second. The Rockies came away empty-handed when Norris struck out Rosario before a groundout by Pacheco ended the inning.

Norris allowed the leadoff hitter to get on base for the fifth time in seven innings when he allowed a single to Young to start the seventh. Fowler followed with a walk, but just as he had several times before, Norris worked out of the jam, this time by setting down the next three hitters.

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