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News » Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-30


Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-30


Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-30
Slumping slugger Lance Berkman took early batting practice Wednesday, but manager Cecil Cooper kept him out of the starting lineup for the finale against the Cincinnati Reds.

Berkman snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a home run Monday, but he was 0-for-4 Tuesday night, lowering his batting average to .164 with 22 strikeouts over 73 at-bats. Although Berkman's 20 home runs and 50 RBIs at Great American Ball Park are the most for any opponent since the stadium opened in 2003, Cooper wanted to give his slugger a break.

"Well, it's difficult," Cooper said of sitting Berkman, who entered the night with a .354 career average and 11 doubles at Great American Ball Park. "You have to kind of look at the big picture. In this case I think we both agree that it probably was the best thing to do.

"Lance and I talked earlier, and this is probably the best thing to do. He needs a break. I mean, he really does. He needs a break. I don't like to do it at home in front of the home crowd. I really don't like doing it in Cincinnati because of the way he swings the bat, but he needs a break. He really does."

Berkman, who has 46 home runs and 127 RBIs in his career against the Reds, is admittedly going through a difficult period in his career.

"It stinks," he told the Houston Chronicle, "to stink."

He lined out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

REDS 3, ASTROS 0: The Astros didn't get another hit after Miguel Tejada's two-out double in the first, and that was the story on a night the Reds' Edinson Volquez dominated. RHP Felipe Paulino was effective, allowing two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings, but he couldn't match Volquez.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 30, 2009

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