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Ryan Howard's RBI single in 15th gives Phillies 2-1 win over Astros

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PHILADELPHIA - A poor offensive effort spoiled another strong start by Dallas Keuchel.

Ryan Howard singled in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 15th inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

The interleague matchup between teams with two of the four worst records in the majors lasted 5 hours, 5 minutes.

Keuchel and Philadelphia's Kyle Kendrick each allowed one run in seven innings. Keuchel's only mistake was a pitch that Howard hit out of the park in the second inning.

"I had faced him before and had some success against him," Keuchel said. "I know he's not having the kind of year he'd like to have, but he's still dangerous."

Hector Neris (1-0) tossed a perfect inning to earn the win in his major league debut.

Grady Sizemore led off the inning against Jake Buchanan (1-2) with a hard one-hop single under second baseman Jose Altuve's glove. After Ben Revere sacrificed, Jimmy Rollins flied out and Chase Utley was intentionally walked.

Howard then ripped a 1-2 pitch to right and Sizemore slid in safely ahead of right fielder Robbie Grossman's throw.

"A really tough game," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "We just couldn't get the offence going. Keuchel was really on his game."

Jon Singleton's RBI single in the seventh tied it at 1. The Astros had runners at first and third with no out, but couldn't get the go-ahead run. Matt Dominguez flied out to shallow right and Jake Marisnick grounded into a double play.

HUNTER PENCE HAUNTS

The Phillies acquired Pence, an All-Star outfielder, from the Astros on July 29, 2011 for Singleton, Cosart, outfielder Domingo Santana and right-hander Josh Zeid. They were 50-30 at the time and finished with a club-record 102 wins before losing to St. Louis in the NLDS.

Pence was traded the following July to San Francisco for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, pitcher Seth Rosin and catcher Tommy Joseph.

Clearly, the Astros and Giants were big winners in both trades with the Phillies.

OWNING PHILLY

The Astros are 16-13 at Citizens Bank Park since it opened in 2004. That's the best record by an opponent that's played at least 25 games in Philadelphia over the past 11 seasons.

SAVE THAT BALL

Santana walked with two outs in the 10th, reaching safely for the first time in his career on his 22nd birthday. He was 0 for 13 with 11 strikeouts before drawing a walk.

STARTING TIME

Keuchel (10-7) has allowed just two earned runs in his last three starts, but is only 1-1 in that span. The lefty lowered his ERA to 2.89.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: Outfielder George Springer, on the disabled list since July 20 with a strained left quad, made his second rehab appearance at Single-A Quad Cities. Springer could be called up before the series ends Thursday.

UP NEXT

Astros: Right-hander Brad Peacock (3-7, 4.93) will come up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Wednesday night. He's replacing Jarred Cosart, who was traded to Miami last week. Peacock gave up seven runs in 3 2-3 innings in his last start on July 23, a 9-7 loss at Oakland.

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