Pat Burrell has been in a slump.
So has Ryan Howard.
But both came up big in last night's 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Burrell had hit just .143 with a home run and two RBIs in his previous 15 games. He had started chasing breaking balls outside the strike zone again, and had watched his average plummet from .330 on May 4 to .271. But then he hit a pinch-hit, go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning.
Howard went 3 for 5 with a double, home run and two RBIs last night to move over .200 for the first time since April 21 in Colorado. He is 6 for 10 with two doubles, three home runs, and six RBIs in his last two games. He is hitting .207. And since Howard reached a season-low .163 on May 7, he is hitting .304 (17 for 56) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs and 15 RBIs in 14 games. He also has had his first back-to-back multihit games since Aug. 25-28, when he had more than one hit in four consecutive games.