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Rodriguez outstanding as Astros cruise by Padres

Jul 27, 2007 - 4:43 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- When Wandy Rodriguez pitches at home, victories usually follow for the Houston Astros.

Rodriguez pitched seven outstanding innings and the Astros homered three times in a 7-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday.

Carlos Lee and Morgan Ensberg hit back-to-back homers in the first inning and Craig Biggio later added a solo blast for Houston, which has won three straight.

After allowing a run in the first inning following a leadoff single to Brian Giles and an RBI double by Mike Cameron, Rodriguez (7-9) settled down, allowing just three more hits and two walks for his fourth straight victory here.

The lefthander is 6-2 with a 1.77 ERA in 10 starts at Minute Maid Park.

"I also feel really good when I am pitching on the road," Rodriguez said. "I just don't know what it is about pitching here because when I am on the road, I don't feel any different. I feel good at home."

Like Rodriguez, Astros manager Phil Garner cannot explain the home success by his winning pitcher.

"I just don't have an explanation for it," Garner said. "I was a little concerned about his first inning tonight, but he really settled in and pitched a nice game. I just don't know what it is about him being at home."

Rodriguez has won six of seven here, yielding a run or less in those victories. It is a different scenario on the road where the 28-year-old is 1-7 with a 7.43 ERA away from home.

Trailing, 1-0, after the top half of the first, the Astros got on the board quickly.

In the bottom of the frame, Lance Berkman hit a two-out double before Lee drilled an 0-1 pitch from David Wells just over the left field wall to give Houston a 2-1 lead. It was Lee's fifth homer since the All-Star break and the sixth of his career against San Diego

On the very next pitch, Ensberg blasted a drive over the home run marker in left center to increase the lead to 3-1.

"Tonight, we just did a really good job of not letting (Wells) get off the hook," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "It was nice that we got those two big blows in the first. I really like it when Morgan swings the bat. Good things happen to him when he swings the bat most of the time."

It was just the second time the Astros have hit back-to-back homers this year.

"I think the first inning really set the tone tonight," Padres manager Bud Black said. "(Wells) just left some pitches over the plate and the Astros didn't miss. Lee got a pitch that was up in the zone and then ball that Ensberg hit out was high as well."

With one out in the second, Biggio and Mark Loretta hit consecutive singles before Berkman's second double scored Biggio from third for a 4-1 lead.

"Right now, I am just seeing the ball really well and making consistently better contact," Berkman said. "It's hard to explain. If I know what it was I would have been able to get out of this season-long funk sooner. I still feel that I am far behind where I should be, but I feel like I have some momentum."

After Lee was intentionally walked to load the bases, Ensberg drew a walk from Wells to score Loretta. A sacrifice fly by Jason Lane made it 6-1.

One inning later, Biggio hit a two-out smash into the left field seats to finish the scoring. It was Biggio's seventh homer in 2007 and 288th of his career.

Wells (5-7) was tagged for seven runs, seven hits and four walks in just three innings.

"I left everything over the middle of the plate," Wells said. "Leaving it up and down the middle. You are not going to win many games like that when you are in that zone.

"I just couldn't throw anything. I couldn't hit the corners. Everything was up and you saw the result."

It was the second straight game the veteran lefthander had surrendered a season-high seven runs. It also matched his second shortest outing this year.

Giles had two hits for the Padres, who have lost two straight and six of seven.






  • 10
    roots
    Elephande Added 5 roots

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 10:32 PM


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

    BATTERIES: SDG - DAVID WELLS, CLAY HENSLEY (4TH), JOE THATCHER (7TH), DOUG
    BROCAIL (8TH) AND JOSH BARD
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, CHAD QUALLS (8TH), BRIAN MOEHLER
    (9TH) AND BRAD

    Jul 26 10:24 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CRAIG BIGGIO (7) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF DAVID WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, HOUSTON 7
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.298, 1-FOR-2)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 9:08 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 1 0 1 2 0
    HOUSTON 3 3 6 6 0 (TOP 3)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SDG - DAVID WELLS
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: B GILES (.295, 1-FOR-1)
    M CAMERON (.255, 1-FOR-1, RBI)
    M BRADLEY (.362, 0-FOR-1)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 9:00 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO MORGAN ENSBERG SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M ENSBERG ON FIRST, C LEE ON SECOND, L
    BERKMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J LANE (.167, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 8:56 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, M LORETTA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.294, 1-FOR-1, HR, 2 RBI)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 8:52 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MORGAN ENSBERG (8) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF DAVID WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J LANE (.167, 4 HR, 10 RBI)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 8:29 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (21) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF DAVID WELLS SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M ENSBERG (.226, 7 HR, 28 RBI)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 8:28 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 1 1 2 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SDG - DAVID WELLS
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.250, 6 HR, 35 RBI)
    M LORETTA (.296, 2 HR, 30 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.257, 15 HR, 61 RBI)

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 26 8:20 PM
  • 5
    roots
    TulowitzkiFan Added 5 roots

    Padres vs. AstrosJul 25 10:51 PM