14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 6, 2005
ATLANTA (AP) - Morgan Ensberg and the
Houston Astros showed there's more to this team
than just pitching.
Ensberg had five RBIs, Andy Pettitte overcame
a couple of homers for his record-tying 14th post-
season win and the Astros got started on what they
hope will be another October conquest of Atlanta,
beating the Braves 10-5 in Game I of their NL play-
off series yesterday.
The good-pitching, weak-hitting Astros - they
led the National League in ERA but ranked 11th
in runs - had no trouble scoring on the Braves.
Atlanta passed up the chance to start the playoffs
with John Smoltz, who came in as the winningest
pitcher in postseason history.
Now, Smoltz will start against Roger Clemens in
Game 2 on Thursday night.
Pettitte is tied with Smoltz for most postseason
wins, improving to 14-8. The Houston left-hander
pitched four-hit ball over seven innings - more
than good enough the way the Astros were hitting.
Still concerned about Smoltz's ailing shoul-
der, manager Bobby Cox tapped another 14-game
winner, Tim Hudson, for the opener. But the right-
hander was roughed up for five runs - the most he
had allowed since a June 13 loss at Texas, which
preceded a stint on the disabled list.
Houston turned a tight game into a blowout
with five runs in the eighth against the shaky
Craig Biggio, at 39 the main leftover from the
Killer B's, was right in the middle of things just
about every time the Astros scored. He had two
hits, a sacrifice fly, a sac bunt and a walk in six trips
to the plate.
A year ago, the Astros knocked off Atlanta in
titte lead Astros in opener,.
the division series for the first postseason victory
in franchise history. Pettitte wasn't around for that
one, sitting out after season-ending elbow surgery.
He came back to have a dominant season, winning
17 games and posting the second-best ERA in the
National League behind Clemens.
Ensberg tied a Houston postseason record
with his five RBIs. He had a run-scoring single
in the first, a two-run single in the third, another
RBI single in the seventh and walked with the
bases loaded in the eighth, when the Astros sent
11 batters to the plate against Chris Reitsma,
John Foster and Jim Brower.
Houston scored only 13 runs in six regular-sea-
son games against the Braves, losing five of those
meetings - two by shutout. But those games came
early in a season that began miserably for the Astros,
who bounced back to capture the wild card.
Atlanta got homers from Andruw Jones and
Chipper Jones - usually a formula for success.
The Braves went 44-6 when both connected during
the regular season.
But this is the postseason, which has provided
plenty of misery for a franchise with 14 straight
division titles but only one World Series champion-
ship during that amazing run.
The Braves went down in the opening round the
last three years, each time starting with a Game 1
loss at Turner Field. Now, they're in the hole again.
Atlanta tried to change its playoff fortunes by
ditching the normal white home jersey in favor of
a red top, which debuted this season and had been
used only for Sunday home games.
It didn't work.
Hudson got off to a rough start. Biggio singled up
the middle on the second pitch of the game, moved
to second on a bunt and came home on Ensberg's
single to center.
Chipper Jones tied it in the bottom half on
an opposite-field homer to right, but the Astros
reclaimed the lead with two runs in the third. Once
again, Biggio got things started - this time with a
double - and Ensberg finished up with a two-run
single to left.
Pitching coach Leo Mazzone made a trip to the
mound and the Braves got their bullpen throwing,
but Hudson escaped further damage by getting
Adam Everett to ground out with the bases loaded.
Biggio was at it again in the fourth. Brad Aus-
mus led off with a double and was bunted to third
before the leadoff hitter managed a sacrifice fly to
medium center. Andruw Jones had a shot at the
slow-running Ausmus, but the throw home sailed
way over the head of catcher Johnny Estrada, giv-
ing the Astros a 4-1 lead.
Andruw Jones, who ended the season in a 6-of-
51 slump, brought the Braves to 4-3 with a two-run
homer in the fourth.
Hudson was actually fortunate that Houston
didn't build a bigger lead. He escaped the first-
inning jam with a double play, and surprise starter
Brian Jordan made a brilliant play in left field in the
second to deny Everett a two-run homer.
Jordan, who played just 76 games and was hob-
bled much of the season by a sore knee, drifted
back to the warning track, timed his leap perfectly
and caught the ball before his glove slammed into
the yellow line atop the wall.
At the end of the inning, Andruw Jones lingered
on the field to pat Jordan on the back. The 38-year-
old outfielder was mobbed by the rest of his team-
mates when he got to the dugout.
Houston relief pitcher Mike Gallo pitched the ninth inning in yesterday's 10-5 win over Atlanta.
SMALL TALK WITH PLAYOFF CHOKERS
With the playoffs two days in, Daily Sports asked perhaps baseball's two most
infamous figures, Bill Buckner and Shoeless Joe Jackson, how they expect
things to go down over the next month.
DS: What do you think of the battle of the Sox?
BB: I was pretty happy the Red Sox won last year, if for no other reason than they can finally
leave' me the hell alone. But there's no way they deserve a second title. Simple as that.
SJ: I'm happy to see Chicagoans get their hopes up because it's going to fall apart soon enough.
DS: Will the other three semi-finalists be the same as last year - Yanks, Cards and Astros?
DS: Fellas, last question. Who screwed up worst?
BB: Oh, it's got to be Shoeless Joe. I mean, he threw the World Series. What he did changed the
SJ: Look, I did what I did, but people forget that I had a great series. Did a ground ball ever roll
through my legs?
Reliever Bobby Jenks pitched two innings to save game two for the White Sox.
Red Sox gaffe helps
White Sox take lead
- Ready admission
- 4 1/2 yrs. In English
" No MCAT
- 105 year old University
- USA Recognized Reputed
China Medical Schools
" Practice in US
- US, Caribbean Schools
Too Costly - ($240,000)?
Toooo Long (4+4=8)?
CHICAGO (AP) - Boston needs
another big comeback, this time just
to get out of the first round.
Tadahito Iguchi hit a go-ahead,
three-run homer off David Wells
after a costly error by Red Sox sec-
ond baseman Tony Graffanino, and
the Chicago White Sox rallied for a
5-4 victory over Boston on yesterday
night to take a 2-0 lead against the
defending World Series champions in
their AL playoff series.
The Red Sox, 14-2 losers in Tues-
day's opener, took a 4-0 lead in the
third, then were shut out on three
hits for the final six innings by Mark
Buehrle and Bobby Jenks.
Graffanino hit a one-out double in
the ninth, but Jenks got the save by
retiring Johnny Damon on a foulout
to the catcher and Edgar Renteria on
Games 3 and possibly 4 in the best-
of-five series are at Fenway Park on
Friday and Saturday. A fifth game,
if necessary, would be at Chicago on
After a 19-8 loss to the New York
Yankees in Game 3 of the AL cham-
pionship series a year ago, the Red
Sox won eight straight games to cap-
ture their first World Series title since
1918. Boston has won eight of its last
nine games when facing postseason
Wells, who dropped to 10-4 in
postseason play, allowed just two hits
through the first four innings.
But after the White Sox scored
twice in the fifth and closed to
4-2, Graffanino let Juan Uribe's
potential inning-ending, double-
play grounder go through his legs
- bringing up memories of first
baseman Bill Buckner's error on
Mookie Wilson's grounder in Game
6 of the 1986 World Series against
a single and scored from first when
Aaron Rowand doubled into the
left-field corner. Rowand moved up
on a grounder before Joe Crede sent
an RBI single through the box to
make it 4-2.
Uribe's grounder went right to
Graffanino, who played for Chicago's
previous playoff team in 2000, and
the ball went through his legs, putting
runners at first and third.
After Graffanino went to the
mound, Wells retired Scott Podsednik
on a foul pop for the second out. Igu-
chi, a 30-year-old major league rookie
who played eight seasons in his native
Japan, connected for the home run.
Buehrle, who started and won the
All-Star game for the AL with Bos-
ton's Terry Francona as his manager
and Jason Varitek as his catcher, was
hit hard by the Red Sox in two regu-
lar-season starts, giving up 22 hits and
nine earned runs in 13 innings.
He went seven innings, giving up
four runs and eight hits. Wells allowed
five runs - two earned - and seven
hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Boston went right after Buehrle.
Damon's leadoff grounder went
under Crede's glove at third and
was ruled a hit, and Renteria fol-
lowed with a double.
After David Ortiz struck out,
Manny Ramirez lined a two-run
single over Podsednik in left.
Damon singled in the third and,
one out later, Ortiz double to left
and just beat the throw to sec-
ond. The White Sox intentionally
walked Ramirez to load the bases,
and Varitek hit an RBI single.
Trot Nixon followed with a run-
scoring grounder, beating the relay
throw from second to avert a dou-
The beefy Wells, the front of his