A night of heroes at Minute Maid Park

The Astros’ 5-3 win over the Padres was truly a team win in every sense. Nelson Figueroa had a good start, the bullpen came through nicely and Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence had terrific diving catches.

Then was the bottom of the seventh, when the Astros rallied for a pair runs and got a pinch-hit RBI single by Joe Inglett, with Matt Downs going hard into second base earlier in the inning to break up a potential double play.

“You need things like that,” manager Brad Mills said. “You have great plays and timely hitting and guys hustling on the bases and beating plays and diving in the outfield. Things of that nature are huge. This team is capable of doing that, and they really did a good job tonight.”

The Astros can win their first series of the season and even their 10-game homestand at 5-5 if they can win Sunday’s finale.

Here are some postgame notes from Saturday’s game:

  • Saturday was the Astros’ first win this season while hitting a home run. They had come into the game 0-5 in games in which they had at least one home run.
  • RHP Nelson Figueroa did not factor into the decision after pitching 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. He tossed a season-high 111 pitches, the fourth-highest pitch count for an Astros starter this season.
  • RHP Mark Melancon tossed one-third of a scoreless inning, stranding two inherited runners en route to the win. He has now tossed eight innings over nine appearances this season without allowing an earned run. By stranding two runners, Melancon has stranded all seven of his inherited runners this season and since being acquired by the Astros, Melancon has inherited 14 runners without allowing any of them to score.
  • CF Michael Bourn has now reached base safely in 12 straight games and in 13 of his 14 games this season. Since last season, Bourn has reached base safely in 51 of his last 53 games.
  • Bourn collected his seventh steal of the season and has now stolen 15 consecutive bases without being caught (dating back to Sept. 4, 2010).
  • 3B Chris Johnson connected for his first home run of the season tonight, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. The homer snapped an 0-for-10 streak and an 81-at-bat homerless streak. Johnson went 22 games between home runs.
  • RF Hunter Pence collected his ninth RBI of the season at Minute Maid Park and his 11th overall in 2011. Entering the game, Pence ranked tied for sixth in the Majors in RBIs at home
  • LF Carlos Lee went 1-for-4 and has now hit safely in his last four games and in seven of his last eight.

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