for this game

Rodriguez outduels Wellemeyer as Astros top Cards

Aug 31, 2008 - 10:04 PM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Astros' chances at the playoffs may be slim, but they certainly haven't given up.

Wandy Rodriguez pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings before exiting with an injury and the bullpen took over from there, leading the Astros to a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

Ty Wigginton hit his 21st homer in the eighth for Houston, which has won five straight and finishes August with a 21-9 record.

"In general, we've done a terrific job all the way around this month," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Pitching well has been the biggest key. But Ty has been tremendous."

Houston (71-66) still has mathematical hope for a playoff spot, trailing Milwaukee (80-56) by 9 1/2 games in the wild card race.

"When you get good pitching and good defense like we've had, good things happen to you," Wigginton said. "With the way our pitching has been going, it seems like we're each batting every inning. We have a lot of veterans who understand the game and know you have to come out and give it your best on a daily basis."

Rodriguez (8-6) struck out four and scattered seven hits before leaving with a right oblique strain. The lefthander, who is listed as day-to-day, snapped a string of three starts without a win and lowered his ERA to 3.76 - the best mark among Houston starters.

"I felt a pain in my side," Rodriguez said. "I felt it when I was throwing to (Albert) Pujols. I was trying to throw him inside and I threw too quick. But I'll be all right. I don't plan to miss a start."

Chris Sampson and LaTroy Hawkins combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings before handing the ball to closer Jose Valverde, who set down the side in the ninth for his 37th save.

"We got a great job of pitching," Cooper said. "Wandy and everybody pitched well. Sampson made some big pitches and Hawkins and Valverde came in and pitched well. It was a great day all around for our pitching."

The Astros grabbed the lead on Hunter Pence's RBI single in the second and provided some insurance in the eighth when Wigginton tied the franchise record with his 12th homer in August. Wigginton matches Jeff Bagwell's August of 2000 in the record book.

"Wiggy's staying on balls better than he was before," Cooper said. "He's hitting them to center and to right. We don't have a Carlos Lee (who suffered a fractured finger and was placed on the disabled list on August 10) but we have a Carlos Junior."

"That's all (Cooper)," Wigginton said. "Nobody is going to replace Carlos Lee. He's a great offensive player and has been doing it for a long time."

Todd Wellemeyer (11-6) suffered the loss, allowing one run and four hits in seven frames.

"There is not really much I can do, but I do wish I could have gotten that bunt down (in the seventh after a leadoff single by Aaron Miles)," Wellemeyer said. "That probably would have given us a chance to tie it and maybe made things a little bit different. But that is about it.

"In the first inning, I was all over the place, but once I got settled down, I was fine. I felt pretty good out there today. Everything is pretty much working for me right now."

The setback dropped the Cardinals (74-63) to 6 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the wild card race.

"This was just a very frustrating three games and we need to identify where we can get better and do it," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "I would rather have hits and scoring opportunities than no hits and no scoring chances, but really I would rather have fewer hits like they did and get more runs."








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

    BATTERIES: STL - TODD WELLEMEYER, RON VILLONE (8TH), RYAN FRANKLIN (8TH) AND
    YADIER MOLINA
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, CHRIS SAMPSON (6TH), LATROY
    HAWKINS (8TH), JOSE VALVERDE (9T

    Aug 31 4:47 PM
  • 28
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Cardinals 0, Astros 3  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 31 4:35 PM
  • 63
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 0, Astros 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 4:33 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TY WIGGINTON (21) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF RYAN FRANKLIN SCORED DARIN ERSTAD.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.282, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals 0, Astros 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 4:33 PM
  • 58
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 0, Astros 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 31 4:13 PM
  • 53
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals 0, Astros 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 31 4:01 PM
  • 18
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 18 roots

    Cardinals 0, Astros 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 31 3:17 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: D NEWHAN (.261, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    Cardinals 0, Astros 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 31 2:33 PM