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Astros' Rodriguez baffles Mets

Jul 7, 2007 - 4:22 AM HOUSTON -- Wandy Rodriguez apparently gets juiced when he pitches at Minute Maid Park.

Rodriguez recorded his first career shutout of the season and Lance Berkman homered as the Houston Astros rolled to a 4-0 triumph over the struggling New York Mets on Friday night.

Rodriguez (6-7) entered with a 4-2 record and 2.13 ERA at home this season and continued that impressive pattern against the Mets as Houston snapped a two-game skid.

"I felt very happy to get my first shutout in the big leagues," Rodriguez said. "When I've been throwing in the bullpen in between starts, I've been working on mostly location. I just stayed focused out there and threw the ball where I wanted to."

"Wandy has had some pretty good outings here lately," Berkman said. "When he locates his fastball, when he's pitching like he did, controlling both sides of the plate, mixing his off-speed stuff, he's as good a lefty as there is in the league."

The Dominican lefthander yielded four hits with a season high-tying eight strikeouts en route to handing New York its third shutout of the season.

"I certainly wasn't thinking necessarily a nine-inning shutout, but I knew he was throwing the ball pretty well," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He had a good breaking ball that he threw for strikes early in the count."

Rodriguez threw 65 of 95 pitches for strikes and only faced trouble in the first inning, when Carlos Beltran belted a two-out double to left-center field.

"That's the best I've seen him pitch," Houston catcher Brad Ausmus said. "The Mets have a very good offensive lineup. (Rodriguez) did an excellent job of moving in and out with his fastball. He stayed out of the middle of the plate and he used his off-speed pitches effectively, especially his curveball."

"(Rodriguez) threw a great game - he was consistent in the zone," New York manager Willie Randolph said. "He got a a few calls, but he made pitches, too. He just executed his pitches very well."

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Ausmus beat out a slow grounder which Mets third baseman David Wright was unable to field. Ausmus took second on a sacrifice and stole third before scoring on Craig Biggio's run-scoring single.

In the fifth inning, rookie Hunter Pence hit an RBI double and scored on Berkman's 15th blast to left against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey (0-7) for a 4-0 advantage.

Pelfrey saw his troubles continue as he suffered his second straight loss since being called up from AAA New Orleans to remain winless since July 18, 2006.

Pelfrey pitched six innings, allowing four runs and seven hits with a career-high five strikeouts.

"I thought I threw pretty well except for a couple of mistakes," Pelfrey said. "I got the ball up on Berkman and he made me pay for it. You can't walk Ausmus to start the inning, and that hurt me."

Randolph had little patience with Mets All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, who was pulled after he failed to run out a ground ball for the last out of the eighth.

"I took him out for that reason," Randolph said. "If you can't hustle, then you sit. That (plate appearance) was pretty self-explanatory. It's unacceptable. You go out there every day and you play hard or you sit your butt. The key is to play hard all the time."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 x 4 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYM - MIKE PELFREY, GUILLERMO MOTA (7TH), AARON HEILMAN (8TH) AND
    RAMON CASTRO
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ AND BRAD AUSMUS

    HOME RUNS: NYM - NONE
    HOU - LANCE BERKMAN (15

    Jul 6 10:25 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (15) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF MIKE PELFREY SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.293, 0-FOR-2)

    Mets vs. AstrosJul 6 9:28 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.262, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Mets vs. AstrosJul 6 9:25 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BIGGIO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.344, 0-FOR-1)

    Mets vs. AstrosJul 6 8:46 PM
  • ZippyMcCONN1 mike just needs to calm down and regroup right now, or else his "brilliant" upcoming career could be greatly affected. Wright will have at least 2 hits tonight

    Mets vs. AstrosJul 6 6:43 PM