for this game

Bradley, Byrd power Rangers past Astros

May 18, 2008 - 4:01 AM By Jay Miller PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) - Milton Bradley and Marlon Byrd helped the Texas Rangers get back to respectability.

Bradley and Byrd each hit early two-run homers Saturday as the Rangers cruised past the Houston Astros, 6-2, in interleague play.

Vicente Padilla pitched seven excellent innings and David Murphy and Gerald Laird also drove in a run apiece for Texas, which secured its seventh consecutive series win and returned to the .500 mark (22-22) for the first time since April 11.

"(The .500 mark) is very significant because of the way that we've had to play to get there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We've been playing some great baseball to get back there."

The Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 games, claimed two of three against the Astros after also hammering them, 16-8, on Friday.

With a runner on and Houston trailing by a run in the bottom of the first, Bradley belted a 1-2 offering from Roy Oswalt (4-4) into the seats in right field to give the home team a 2-1 lead.

An inning later with one on and one out, Byrd lifted a pitch from Oswalt over the right-field wall to increase the Rangers' lead to three.

"I needed to put the barrel on the ball and have good at-bats," Byrd said of his first start since returning off of the 15-day disabled list on May 14. "Before I got hurt, I felt like I had five or six good at-bats. Tonight, even the flyouts felt good."

The homers by Bradley and Byrd were their seventh and first, respectively.

The four runs were more than enough for Padilla (6-2), who allowed two runs, five hits and three walks for his third straight winning decision. The righthander, who struck out six, has yielded two of fewer earned runs in six of his 10 starts in 2008.

"With (Kevin) Millwood being down, he's been anchoring our pitching staff," Washington said. "The Astros worked him pretty good a few times there for five innings, but the last two he threw were very efficient.

"After the sixth, Vicente said, 'I got one more inning.' He went out there and got it done."

Padilla, who gave up an RBI single to Miguel Tejada in the first, surrendered a solo homer to Lance Berkman in the fourth.

"I feel happy for the job I did tonight, but I have to feel happy for my teammates too," Padilla said. "They've helped me out in every defensive situation, but I'm glad about what I've done so far."

Oswalt, who departed in the bottom of the seventh inning with a strained right groin, officially gave up six runs, 11 hits and a walk while striking out one in six-plus innings.

"I felt it in the sixth a little bit," Oswalt said. "They said to go back out there for one more inning and I didn't make it."

When asked about his expected recovery time, Oswalt wasn't sure.

"We'll have to wait and see, he said. "I'll throw some the next day or two and see how the area feels."

Berkman, who went 2-for-3, extended his hitting streak to 16 games while homering for the fourth time in his last six contests.

"It's an amazing streak," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Lance continues to swing the bat well. He's a special guy."

A hit by Hunter Pence in the eighth inning extended his hitting streak to 15 games.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
    TEXAS 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 x 6 14 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - ROY OSWALT, TIM BYRDAK (7TH), FERNANDO NIEVE (7TH) AND BRAD
    AUSMUS
    TEX - VICENTE PADILLA, JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH), EDDIE
    GUARDADO (9TH) AND GERALD LAIRD

    HOME

    May 17 10:09 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GERALD LAIRD SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G LAIRD ON FIRST, D MURPHY ON SECOND, M
    BRADLEY ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    TEXAS 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.250, 1-FOR-3)

    Astros 2, Rangers 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 17 9:40 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID MURPHY SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D MURPHY ON FIRST, M BRADLEY ON SECOND, M
    YOUNG ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    TEXAS 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.272, 0-FOR-3)

    Astros 2, Rangers 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 17 9:36 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (16) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF VICENTE PADILLA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2, TEXAS 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.293, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 2, Rangers 4  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 17 8:23 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARLON BYRD (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF ROY OSWALT SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, TEXAS 4
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.329, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    Astros 1, Rangers 4  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 17 8:01 PM


  • ML
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MILTON BRADLEY (7) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF ROY OSWALT SCORED JOSH HAMILTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: D MURPHY (.286, 5 HR, 26 RBI)

    Astros 1, Rangers 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 17 7:47 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - ROY OSWALT
    TEX - VICENTE PADILLA

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.299, 3 HR, 20 RBI)
    M YOUNG (.289, 4 HR, 23 RBI)
    J HAMILTON (.314, 10 HR, 49 RBI)

    Astros 1, Rangers 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 17 7:37 PM