Houston Astros Defeat Washington Bureaucrats

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2009

KISSIMMEE, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Russ Ortiz of the Houston Astros poses during photo day at Astros spring training complex on February 21, 2009 in Kissimmee, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

When Houston Astros pitcher Russ Ortiz left after three innings after yielding six hits and four runs, my initial thought was, "uh oh."

Not to worry, though, unless you're a Washington Nationals fan.

The Astros' bullpen scattered three hits and two walks over six scoreless innings as the bats rallied to help Houston defeat the Bureaucrats 9-4.

Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, and Hunter Pence had great games as they combined to go 7-for-13 with five RBI. Lee doubled while Berkman hit a three-run home run, his 18th on the season.

Batting left handed, Berkman's shot went into the Crawford boxes. Lance is starting to remind me of John Kruk, a lefty hitter who hit many opposite-field home runs.

Ortiz, meanwhile, was upset at manager Cecil Cooper for pulling him after three innings. It's hard to say if Ortiz, whose ERA this season is 4.44, is justified.

Perhaps Cooper worried if Ortiz stayed for two more innings, the deficit would widen.