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Astros shut out Rangers, avoid sweep

Jul 1, 2011 - 5:58 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Jason Michaels went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI, helping the Houston Astros post a 7-0 win over the Texas Rangers and avoid being swept in the finale of a three-game interleague set at Minute Maid Park.

Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-4) worked seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits -- all singles -- while fanning four and walking three. David Carpenter, Fernando Abad and Mark Melancon worked the final two innings in perfect fashion to seal the four-hitter.

"It was nice to see Wandy work through and get out of some jams," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "I know in the third inning, he got two quick outs on seven pitches and he wound up throwing close to 30 pitches that inning when he loaded the bases and was able to get locked back in."

Carlos Lee added a home run and Clint Barmes collected three hits for the Astros, who snapped a five-game losing streak and an eight-game slide at home.

Elvis Andrus had a pair of hits, while Michael Young and David Murphy added the others for the Rangers, who had won the first two games of the series after scoring a combined 10 runs.

Matt Harrison (6-7) went six innings in defeat, yielding five runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking a pair.

Houston erased the scoreless tie in the fourth. Lee took a fastball from Harrison deep into the seats in left for a 1-0 lead.

Houston then broke the game open in the fifth, plating four runs. With a runner on second and two outs, Hunter Pence slapped a ground ball to Adrian Beltre at third. Beltre vacuumed up the ball, but made a low throw to first that couldn't be handled by Young, allowing Michael Bourn to score. After an intentional walk to Lee, Michaels roped an RBI double down the right field line. Houston wasn't done, however, as Chris Johnson smacked a two-run single up the middle to extend the Astros lead to 5-0.

The Astros added a pair of runs in the seventh on Michaels' two-run homer to left, his second home run of the season.

Texas' best chance to score came in the third inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, thanks to Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton walks and a bloop single by Andrus, Rodriguez got Beltre to fly out to right to end the inning.

"Wandy is Wandy, what you see is what you get," Hamilton said of Rodriguez's performance. "Heaters in, curveballs, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

Game Notes

Barmes is two RBI short of 300 for his career...Texas is 4-2 against Houston this season and clinched its fifth consecutive Lone Star Series...The Rangers streak of eight consecutive wins at Minute Maid Park was snapped...Houston is 4-8 in interleague play while Texas holds an 8-7 mark...Astros second baseman Jeff Keppinger was scratched because of illness... Bourn extended his hitting streak to nine games...Texas was shutout for the third time this season...Carpenter's appearance in the eighth was his major league debut.

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  • Jason Michaels one-out, two-run Home Run (2) to left scored Hunter Pence. Chris Johnson due up.

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  • Chris Johnson singled to center scored Carlos Lee and Jason Michaels with two out. Runner on first and Clint Barmes due up.

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  • Jason Michaels ground-rule double to right scored Hunter Pence with two out. On the play, Carlos Lee advances to third. Runners on second and third and Chris Johnson due up.

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  • Hunter Pence infield single to third. On the play, Michael Bourn scored on Adrian Beltre's throwing error with two out. Runner on second and Carlos Lee due up.

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