for this game

Rodriguez solid as Astros beat Marlins

Apr 13, 2008 - 10:24 PM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Roy Oswalt may still be struggling, but there are encouraging signs that the Houston Astros' pitching rotation is beginning to produce.

Wandy Rodriguez gave Astros starters a win for the second straight day and J.R. Towles and Michael Bourn each hit home runs Sunday to lead the Astros to a 5-1 victory over the Florida Marlins.

Rodriguez pitched seven solid innings, allowing just five hits and one run while striking out seven.

"I feel very confident I can throw any pitch on any count," Rodriguez said. "I've been working on my control since the end of spring training.

"I feel really good at home ... I don't know what the deal is. I just feel good here."

The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Darin Erstad's double to center and catcher Towles' blast to left, his third home run of the season.

Houston leadoff hitter Bourn then provided the Astros with a 3-0 cushion when he belted his first home run to lead off the third inning. That was more than enough for Rodriguez (1-0), who gave the Astros their second consecutive quality start.

On Saturday, Houston starter Brandon Backe pitched five scoreless innings in an Astros' victory.

Bourn was elated that he could help ignite the Astros' offense early.

"I was just trying to battle as much as I could," Bourn said. "I just go out there and grind every day.

"Hopefully, it will turn around, and I believe it will. More importantly, I just want to go out there and win. I think we've been playing good all along, but we've just made some mistakes here and there."

The Marlins scored their lone run when Josh Willingham pulled Florida within 3-1 with his third home run of the season, a deep shot to left to start the fourth.

Willingham was frustrated the Marlins couldn't produce any runs after roughing up Oswalt in the series opener.

"Wandy had a really good curve, we just couldn't get anything going against him," Willingham said. "It's been this way the last two games.

"Nothing against these guys, but we hit Oswalt around, and these guys (Backe and Rodriguez) come in and give us one run in two days. It's a funny game."

Towles drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning to increase Houston's lead to 4-1. The Astros added another run in the seventh on an RBI double from Lance Berkman.

Houston spoiled the starting debut of Florida pitcher Burke Badenhop (0-1). The righthander surrendered four runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking one in five innings.

Even so, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez couldn't have been much happier with Badenhop's start.

"I thought he pitched terrific," Gonzalez said. "Unfortunately, Wandy pitched a little better.

"Badenhop just threw one bad pitch in the second inning to Towles. The way we've been hitting, I thought that wouldn't stand up, but Wandy did a terrific job."

Badenhop felt good about his personal performance, but was disappointed in the team outcome.

"Anytime you lose, you don't like it," Badenhop said. "It could have been better, it could have been worse.

"The main thing is I went out and competed. It was the wrong pitch to Towles - it was a fat pitch. Otherwise, I felt pretty good."

Marlins leadoff hitter Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first-inning single.








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

    BATTERIES: FLA - BURKE BADENHOP, TAYLOR TANKERSLEY (6TH), LEE GARDNER (6TH),
    MATT LINDSTROM (7TH), KEVIN GREGG (8TH) AND MATT TREANOR
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, DOUG BROCAIL (8TH)

    Apr 13 4:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED MICHAEL BOURN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, M LORETTA ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.275, 1-FOR-3)

    Marlins 1, Astros 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 13 4:07 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO J.R. TOWLES SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J TOWLES ON FIRST, M TEJADA ON SECOND, C LEE
    ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: W RODRIGUEZ (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins 1, Astros 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 13 3:46 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSH WILLINGHAM (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF WANDY RODRIGUEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J CANTU (.261, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins 1, Astros 3  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 13 2:55 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MICHAEL BOURN (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF BURKE BADENHOP.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.257, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Marlins 0, Astros 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 13 2:48 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY J.R. TOWLES (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF BURKE BADENHOP SCORED DARIN ERSTAD.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: W RODRIGUEZ (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Marlins 0, Astros 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 13 2:37 PM