for this game

Astros score five in sixth to beat Rangers

May 20, 2007 - 5:45 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Wandy Rodriguez posted another stellar outing as the Houston Astros used a five-run sixth inning en route to a 6-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in an interleague contest.

Outstanding rookie Hunter Pence continued his hot hitting for the Astros, helping to break up a pitching duel between Rodriguez and Rangers starter John Koronka, who was making his season debut.

Rodriguez yielded just a run and four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts to win his second straight start. After going winless in 18 consecutive starts, the lefthander allowed a run and four hits in five innings in Sunday's 5-2 triumph over Arizona.

"It is encouraging. All the things you want to see in how a pitcher matures, he's doing," Garner said. "He's growing into the role. He's using his pitches very well, he's controlling his fastball, he's making good breaking ball pitches.

"He's using his changeup and his sinkers when he does have a little bit of a letdown. Those are good signs. I like the way he seems to, in tough situations, get tougher."

After Texas scored a run in the top of the sixth, Houston got to Koronka in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases on consecutive singles by Pence, Morgan Ensberg and Jason Lane, who reached on a bunt single after a miscommunication in the infield.

Scott Feldman relieved Koronka and got Brad Ausmus to hit into a double play that plated the go-ahead run. After a walk to Mike Lamb, Craig Biggio lined a base hit to right to provide a 3-1 edge.

Controversy ensued on the following sequence as third base umpire Tim Timmons called Lamb safe at third when it appeared as Rangers shortstop Michael Young's throw had easily beat him.

Texas manager Ron Washington saw it the same way.

"I thought the call at third base was a blown call," Washington said. He (Timmons) told me that (third baseman Travis Metcalf) was swiping. "His (Metcalf) foot was all over the bag. (Timmons) undoubtedly was not looking at his feet."

Lance Berkman followed with a short line drive to right field that Sammy Sosa trapped, bringing home two runs for a 5-1 edge. Carlos Lee then singled in another run to cap the scoring.

Pence has been fantastic since being recalled from Class AAA Round Rock. He is riding a seven-game hitting streak (15-for-25) and leads all National League rookies with a .356 average. Earlier this week, the righthanded hitter had a streak of seven consecutive hits - one shy of the franchise record.

"They had just scored a run, kind of late in the ballgame to tie it up," Pence said. "Lane just said, 'All right, lead us off.' I put the ball in play, Morgan crunched the next one, we got a good bunt from Lane and the rally just kind of kept going.

"Wandy's been pitching great. To get him a win and get him some run support, because it was looking kind of slow there at the start, feels good. Our offense came through."

Koronka was charged with three runs and six hits in five-plus frames. The southpaw went 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA in eight starts at Class AAA Oklahoma City prior to his promotion.

"It took me a while to get comfortable. I didn't feel I had command the first three innings," Koronka said. "I thought my mechanics got better as I went along.

Last season, Koronka made 23 starts for Texas, posting a 7-7 record with a 5.69 ERA.

Nelson Cruz knocked in the lone run for the Rangers, who have lost five of their last six contests.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 0 x 6 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - JOHN KORONKA, SCOTT FELDMAN (6TH), C.J. WILSON (6TH), WILLIE
    EYRE (8TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, BRAD LIDGE (7TH), CHAD QUALLS
    (9TH) AND BRAD

    May 19 10:09 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, C LEE ON FIRST, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.361, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Rangers vs. AstrosMay 19 9:27 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED MIKE LAMB AND CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, M LORETTA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.313, 0-FOR-2, HBP)

    Rangers vs. AstrosMay 19 9:22 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED MORGAN ENSBERG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C BIGGIO ON FIRST, M LAMB ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.338, 0-FOR-1, BB, SAC)

    Rangers vs. AstrosMay 19 9:11 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BRAD AUSMUS HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ENSBERG ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: W RODRIGUEZ (.188, 1-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. AstrosMay 19 9:06 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.207, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Rangers vs. AstrosMay 19 8:54 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, C LEE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M ENSBERG (.211, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rangers vs. AstrosMay 19 8:03 PM