for this game

Rodriguez sharp as Astros shut out Pirates

Jun 4, 2008 - 3:12 AM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Wandy Rodriguez returned to his pre-injury form and the Houston Astros returned to winning.

Making his second start since returning from a stint on the disabled list due to a strained left groin, Rodriguez pitched six shutout innings as the Astros broke a five-game losing skid with a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night in a steady rain at PNC Park.

Kazuo Matsui went 4-for-4 and scored both runs and Chris Sampson, Doug Brocail and Jose Valverde each pitched a perfect inning to preserve the five-hit shutout for Houston, which was coming off getting swept for the first time this season. It was Valverde's 16th save.

"Wandy was just outstanding," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "It's been a pretty rough trip for us, so we needed that big outing from Wandy."

Jack Wilson had two hits and starter Phil Dumatrait pitched six effective innings in a losing cause for Pittsburgh, which was the only National League team yet to be shut out this season. The Texas Rangers remain the only team in baseball to be held scoreless for a game.

Houston scored the game's first run when Lance Berkman hit a fly ball down the right field line with Matsui at second and two outs. Xavier Nady attempted to slide to make the catch near the fence in front of the stands, but the ball ricocheted off his glove for an RBI double.

Berkman owns an eight-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in 28 of his past 30 games. Matsui, who also had a sacrifice bunt, broke out of a 2-for-17 slump in his previous four games.

"Sometimes I can hit and sometimes I cannot," said Matsui through a translator. "That's how it goes. I just keep focusing on each day, that's all."

The Astros added a second run in the sixth when Miguel Tejada drove in Matsui with a double into the right field corner. Houston has scored only eight runs in its past six games but that would be the only offense the Astros needed Tuesday.

"That's our whole deal now, huh, that our offense is scrappy," Berkman said. "But if we lost 3-2, the offense would still stink. Tonight we were 'scrappy,' so thanks, Wandy."

The Pirates' best chance to score came in the sixth. They loaded the bases with two outs, but Adam LaRoche's well-hit line drive was right at Tejada at short. Earlier in the inning, Jason Bay's fly to right was too shallow to score Wilson from third.

"We hit some balls hard," Pirates manager John Russell said. "Adam hits the ball right on the nose but it's right at the shortstop. That was one of the few great opportunities we had. We just couldn't get anything going offensively."

That was the final inning for Rodriguez (2-1), who permitted only five hits and a walk with three strikeouts in winning his third consecutive start against the Pirates, dating to last season.

"Tonight I was ahead in the count and throwing pitches for strikes," Rodriguez said. "I had a good rhythm."

Rodriguez had allowed only two earned runs combined in the three starts prior to being injured in April.

Dumatrait (2-3) had given up only one earned run in his past two starts combined. The rookie allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings, striking out four.

"I'm definitely feeling more comfortable," Dumatrait said. "Their pitcher threw the ball well. He kept us off-balance. You've got to tip your hat to him. It's a tough loss."








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

    BATTERIES: HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, CHRIS SAMPSON (7TH), DOUG BROCAIL (8TH), JOSE
    VALVERDE (9TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS
    PIT - PHILLIP DUMATRAIT, JOHN GRABOW (7TH), TYLER YATES
    (8TH) A

    Jun 3 9:49 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIGUEL TEJADA SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEJADA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.386, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Astros 2, Pirates 0  Top 6, 0 OutsJun 3 8:29 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ
    PIT - PHILLIP DUMATRAIT

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.312, 13 HR, 42 RBI)
    J WILSON (.281, 0 HR, 2 RBI)
    F SANCHEZ (.238, 2 HR,

    Astros 1, Pirates 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 3 7:17 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. PiratesApr 2 4:26 AM