Postgame notes from Monday’s loss to Cubs

The Astros teased their fans on Monday night and nearly pulled off what would have been a terrific comeback. The Astros were trailing 5-1 in the seventh when they rallied for three runs off Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, getting a pinch-hit solo home run from Hall and a two-run homer by Angel Sanchez – the first of his career – to cut the lead to 5-4.

Then the frustration kicked in. The Astros were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, including 2-for-7 in the final three innings, and stranded a total of 12 runners.

“It’s tough when you have the record we have to take away moral victories,” Hall said. “Moral victories won’t get you in the playoffs, but at the same time we’ve got to take this momentum we did gain tonight and take it into [Tuesday].”

Here are some postgame tidbits:

  • Houston has recorded double-digit hits in each of the last four games and is hitting .324 in that span.
  • Astros starting pitchers posted a 1-1 record and a 3.77 ERA through their second turn in the rotation. In the first turn, Astros starters combined for an 0-4 record and a 9.62 ERA.
  • Houston’s bullpen combined for five scoreless, hitless innings and has not allowed a run since Saturday, a span 6 2/3 innings.
  • SS Angel Sanchez hit his first career Major League home run in his 317th career at-bat in the seventh inning. The game marked Sanchez’s second multi-RBI game of 2011 (April 5 at Cincinnati).
  • Matt Downs, who recorded a RBI-pinch-hit single in the fifth, is 3-for-7 with three RBIs in his last three games.
  • Bill Hall hit his sixth career pinch-home run in the sixth inning with he clanked one of the right-field foul pole. It is his first pinch-hit homer since May 14, 2010 at Detroit, and the first by an Astros player since Jason Michaels on Aug. 1, 2010 against the Brewers.
  • Bill Hall has an extra-base hit in each of his last three games (double, triple and homer).
  • CF Michael Bourn and Bill Hall each extended their hitting streaks to a team-leading six  games. During their streak, Bourn is hitting .320 (8-for-25) and Hall is hitting .368 (7-for19).
  • RHP Mark Melancon tossed one scoreless inning and has not allowed a run in his six appearances this season, covering five innings.
  • Monday’s s attendance of 20,175 is the second-smallest crowd in Minute Maid Park history, trailing a crowd of 18,594 on April 8, 2003 against the Reds.
  • All fans with a valid ticket to tonight’s game will receive a free sandwich at Chick-fil-A on Tuesday courtesy of Bill Hall’s seventh-inning home run, which hit the right -field foul pole.

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