for this game

Oswalt lifts Astros over Dodgers

Jul 1, 2008 - 4:22 AM By Andrew J. Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Roy Oswalt and Brad Ausmus teamed up in several ways to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-1, on Monday night.

Before leaving the game with a left hip abductor strain after the sixth inning, Oswalt dominated the Dodgers, allowing just one earned run on six hits while while striking out nine and walking no one.

Ausmus called a great game for the Astros and drove in a pair of runs in a three-run fourth inning that gave Oswalt and Houston all the runs they needed against an anemic Dodgers offense.

The Astros only needed six hits to improve to 4-0 against Los Angeles this season. Houston has won eight of its last 10 games against the Dodgers and improved to 16-9 this season against teams with records below .500.

After striking out in the sixth, Oswalt went back to the mound and nearly completed all of his warmup pitches before summoning Ausmus to the mound. Houston manager Cecil Cooper paid a visit and quickly removed his ace from the game and called upon former starter Chris Sampson.

"I hope it ain't too bad," said Oswalt, who added that he has never had this type of injury before. "I think I came out before it got too bad. I felt it on the last pitch of the sixth inning, and I should have told them before I went up there to bat, but I felt like I could go out there and pitch the seventh.

"I just hope it's nothing but a hip pointer where your ribs hit your hip."

Ausmus only got one hit Monday, but he drove in Miguel Tejada and Mark Loretta with two outs off Dodgers rookie starter Eric Stults (2-1). Ausmus entered the game hitting just .214.

Asked if pitchers were going to have to start pitching around him, like Ramon Troncoso did in the sixth, Ausmus just smiled and deflected any praise.

"No, that is a Catch-22 because Roy hits pretty well too," Ausmus deadpanned. "That is a double-edge sword."

Ausmus, however, was much more worried about Oswalt, whom he though could have gone much deeper Monday night.

"He had really good stuff tonight, his pitch count wasn't too high, but he wasn't able to finish and the bullpen came in and did a really nice job for us," Ausmus said.

After a dominating performance in his last start, Stults did not make it out of the sixth inning Monday. He shut out the Chicago White Sox on June 25, but the Astros got their first run right away when Lance Berkman hit his 22nd homer of the season in the first inning.

Houston made it 4-1 in the fourth when Loretta singled home Berkman, who drew a one-out walk before Ausmus followed with his 11th and 12th RBI of the year two batters later.

"I left a lot of pitches up tonight," Stults said. "My changeup was high in the zone quite a bit out there, and that is what really hurt me tonight. I just made two bad pitches to Loretta and Ausmus and they both got hits."

Sampson worked around four hits after taking over for the injured Oswalt. He gave up two leadoff hits, but retired the next three Dodgers in the seventh and got Jeff Kent to ground into a 6-4-3 double play in the eighth.

"The first thing that went through my head was that I just hope that Roy was OK. He is our ace," Sampson said. "But then you go out there and to have a 4-1 lead, I wanted to just pitch and nail it down. I didn't want them to come back on my watch."

Jose Valverde got the last three outs of the game for his 22nd save. Valverde has now pitched in three straight games and has six saves since June 20.

The Dodgers, who just took two of three games from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim while only scoring seven runs in the series, got their only run in the first inning. James Loney hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Andre Ethier, who hit a one-out double off Oswalt.

"This is starting to get very frustrating," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We're struggling right now, and we haven't been able to put many hits together. The thing I have to keep my eye on right now is to make sure our mental position stays were we think we can still go out there and win these games."

The Dodgers' bullpen added 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief after Stults left the game, giving the team 15 2/3 straight scoreless innings dating to last Tuesday against the White Sox.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 11 0
    HOUSTON 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 x 4 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LOS - ERIC STULTS, RAMON TRONCOSO (6TH), JOE BEIMEL (7TH), CORY WADE
    (8TH) AND RUSSELL MARTIN
    HOU - ROY OSWALT, CHRIS SAMPSON (7TH), WESLEY WRIGHT
    (8TH), JOSE VALV

    Jun 30 11:04 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Dodgers 1, Astros 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 30 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRAD AUSMUS SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA AND MARK
    LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B AUSMUS ON FIRST, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: R OSWALT (.235, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 1, Astros 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 30 9:05 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, M TEJADA ON SECOND, C
    LEE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.276, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 1, Astros 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 30 9:01 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (22) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF ERIC STULTS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.279, 18 HR, 62 RBI)

    Dodgers 1, Astros 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 30 8:21 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LOS - ERIC STULTS
    HOU - ROY OSWALT

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.232, 4 HR, 15 RBI)
    H PENCE (.269, 10 HR, 40 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.364, 21 HR, 67 RBI)

    Dodgers 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 30 8:15 PM