WASHINGTON -- Brandon Backe pitched seven innings and helped
himself with a pair of hits Sunday, leading the Houston Astros to a
5-0 victory over the Washington Nationals in a pre-All-Star break
battle of last-place teams.
Backe raised his batting average to .345 while lowering his ERA
to 4.76. He scored after leading off the third inning with a
double, then singled and scored in the seventh. He even attempted a
suicide squeeze in the fourth, but fouled the pitch off and then
Undeterred by spending so much time on the basepaths on a hot
summer day, Backe (6-9) supplemented his first multihit game of the
year with his best game to date on the mound. He allowed only five
hits, walked four and struck out five.