Miguel Tejada tripled in the seventh to score the go-ahead run, and Jose Valverde got his first save to lead the Houston Astros (2-3) to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs (1-3).
J.R. Towles started the scoring for the Astros with a two-run homerun in the fourth inning off Cubs’ start Rich Hill that put Houston in front 2-0. Towles homer was not the thing that got the most attention in the game.
In the second inning Hill hit Towles with a pitch in the knee, causing the Astros’ catcher to do a handstand. Towles was not trying to show off nor did he practice the move.
"I've never. I've tried, but the only thing I can do is stand on my head. That's about it," Towles said. "When I got hit, I was just trying to get out of the way and I started to fall over. So I put my hands down, and when I put my hands down, my momentum just carried me over. I don't know how I stayed on my hands that long. Hopefully that will make ESPN. That was a highlight."
Houston’s manager Cecil Cooper was impressed.
"I've never seen that before," Cooper said. "That was kind of funny looking. That shows me he's pretty athletic too."
Towles homerun gave the Astros the lead until the bottom of the seventh when Geovany Soto tied the game with a two-run single off Chris Sampson. The Astros responded quickly in the eighth inning.
With Jon Lieber pitching for the Cubs, Lance Berkman got to first safely, on a throwing error by Mark DeRosa. Carlos Lee flied out to center field. Tejada tripled to left on a 1-2 count that scored Berkman. Ty Wigginton drove in Tejada on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
Valverde got Kosuke Fukudome to pop out to Tejada. DeRosa homered to left on a 1-0 count that cut the Astros’ lead to one. Valverde got Soto to line out to left and then got Felix Pie to foul out to third. Valverde has given up runs in both of his outings so far this season. His first outing was Wednesday against the Padres.
Wesley Wright got the last out in the seventh and picked up his first major league win. Sampson started the game and pitched six-and-two thirds innings allowing two runs on six hits and struck out one.
Hill pitched six innings and allowed two runs, on four hits, walked three and struck out four. Lieber got the loss pitching two innings allowing two unearned runs, one hit and struck out one.
The Astros and Cubs play again Saturday 12:05 pm CST. Roy Oswalt makes his second start of the season for the Astros against the Cubs’ Jason Marquis.