for this game

Volstad tosses gem; Marlins rough up Oswalt early

Sep 17, 2008 - 3:56 AM By Christopher Stock PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Facing a rookie did not seem to help the fading Houston Astros.

Chris Volstad pitched eight solid innings and Jorge Cantu powered the offense with a three-run homer as the Florida Marlins posted their sixth consecutive win, a 5-1 triumph over Astros on Tuesday.

Cody Ross and Mike Jacobs each had an RBI double for Florida, which extended its longest winning streak since claiming seven in a row from May 4-11.

"This ranks right up there with that first start against L.A.," said Volstad, who limited the Dodgers to one run and five hits in 8 2/3 innings in his first career start on July 11.

"I couldn't ask for anything more than eight innings and one run against an Astros lineup that is very good."

Kaz Matsui drove in the lone run for Houston (80-70), which trails the New York Mets (83-67) by three games in the wild card race with 12 to play. They also trail the Milwaukee Brewers (83-68) by 2 1/2 games.

The Astros' playoff hopes were dealt a severe blow by Volstad (5-3), who allowed one run and four hits while striking out four. The 21-year-old righthander threw 63 of his 98 pitches for strikes, lowering his ERA to 3.07.

The 16th overall pick of the 2005 draft, Volstad easily handled Houston, which has dropped three straight and scored just two runs in the last 30 innings.

The Astros were no-hit by Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano on Sunday. That game was played at Miller Park in Milwaukee, which was deemed a neutral site after the Astros were forced to vacate Houston in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

"We have got to find a way to get our offense going," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Either they are making good pitches or we are not making good swings or some thing's not happening. We are kind of miffed as to why it is happening all of a sudden."

Houston must have felt comfortable with ace Roy Oswalt on the hill, as he entered with a franchise-best 32 1/3 scoreless innings streak. However, It came to a grinding halt in the first frame.

Hanley Ramirez reached on an error by shortstop Miguel Tejada, and John Baker singled before Cantu launched a three-run shot to left field for his 27th homer of the season. Dan Uggla later walked and scored on a double by Ross for a 4-0 lead.

"They are a young team and the guys are real aggressive and try to swing early at fastball counts," Oswalt said.

Jacobs added an RBI double in the second, and Volstad did the rest.

The Marlins (78-72) moved within five games of New York for the wild card, but have just 12 games remaining.

"We are running out of games so this is the one (streak)," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "This is the one you would like to get to put together a real good winning streak together."

The Astros finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning as Michael Bourn led off with a double and scored on a groundout by Matsui.

Oswalt (15-10) had his four-start winning streak snapped. He allowed five runs -three earned - and six hits in six innings with 10 strikeouts.

Oswalt said Ike wrecked havoc on he and his teammates.

"A lot of people don't realize how bad a hurricane is until you actually participate in one," Oswalt said. "It's pretty tough."






  • 10
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Astros 1, Marlins 5  FinalSep 16 10:29 PM


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

    BATTERIES: HOU - ROY OSWALT, GEOFF GEARY (7TH), JOSE VALVERDE (8TH) AND BRAD
    AUSMUS
    FLA - CHRIS VOLSTAD, JOE NELSON (9TH), ARTHUR RHODES
    (9TH) AND JOHN BAKER

    HOME RUNS: HOU

    Sep 16 9:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Astros 0, Marlins 5  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 16 7:52 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE JACOBS SCORED HANLEY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M JACOBS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    FLORIDA 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: D UGGLA (.263, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Astros 0, Marlins 5  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 16 7:48 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CODY ROSS SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C ROSS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    FLORIDA 4 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A AMEZAGA (.258, 2 HR, 24 RBI)

    Astros 0, Marlins 4  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 16 7:29 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JORGE CANTU (27) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF ROY OSWALT SCORED HANLEY RAMIREZ AND JOHN BAKER.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, FLORIDA 3
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.243, 32 HR, 84 RBI)

    Astros 0, Marlins 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 16 7:23 PM