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Rodriguez, Pence power Astros past Rangers

Jun 27, 2008 - 4:09 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Wandy Rodriguez threw eight sharp innings and Hunter Pence had three RBI as the Houston Astros cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.

Pence opened the scoring with a bases-clearing triple in the first inning off Texas starter Kevin Millwood (5-4), scoring Michael Bourn, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee to give Houston a 3-0 advantage.

"You always want to score runs early and give your pitcher a cushion," Pence said. "But (Rodriguez) set the tone for us."

"I thought tonight was all about Wandy," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "He used his fastball really well. When you can hold that club to one run, he really baffled them tonight. When you get some run support, it makes it a lot easier."

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who was hit in the left hand in the first inning, left the game in the second. X-rays were negative and Hamilton is listed as day-to-day.

"I'm definitely happy it (his left hand) isn't broken," Hamilton said. "It's just a bruise, but it's sore. It didn't hurt that much until I got out in the field."

In the second, David Newhan smacked a two-run double to give the Astros a 5-0 lead. Berkman and Lee each had RBI singles in the four-run inning.

Playing for his sixth major league club and making his first start for Houston, Newhan finished 3-for-5 after adding singles in the fourth and sixth innings.

"He swung the bat well," Cooper said. "He's a good little player. He looked good in spring training. He's a good little middle infielder."

Houston called up Newhan Tuesday from Class AAA Round Rock to replace second baseman Kazuo Matsui, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The Astros signed Newhan to a minor league contract in January.

"I believe in myself and believe I can play here. I'm just glad I'm getting the opportunity," Newhan said. "If I didn't think I could play, I'd retire right now. If I didn't love the game, it would be tough to make those 3:30 and 4 a.m. wakeup calls in the Pacific Coast League and get on an indirect flight to the (next) city you're playing in.

"The travel gets rough. It makes it all worth it to come up here, no matter how much time you get. The big leagues is called 'The Show' for a reason."

Millwood allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. His ERA climbed from 4.61 to 5.08.

"I made a lot of bad pitches (in the first two innings) and they hit them," Millwood said. "After that I didn't make a lot of good pitches. The defense kind of picked me up the last two innings. I was coming off a good game. But tonight was totally opposite."

Rodriguez (3-3) permitted one run and five hits while striking out nine to pick up the win in his longest outing of the season.

Houston, which defeated Tampa Bay in two of three games over the weekend, won its second series in a row after losing seven straight series.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 7 0
    HOUSTON 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 7 15 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD, JOSH RUPE (6TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (7TH), JAMEY
    WRIGHT (8TH) AND JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, OSCAR VILLARREAL (9TH) AND
    HUMBERT

    Jun 26 10:35 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED CHRIS DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M RAMIREZ (.200, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 2, Astros 7  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 26 10:29 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY IAN KINSLER SCORED DAVID MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, I KINSLER ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.275, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 1, Astros 7  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 26 10:16 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C LEE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    HOUSTON 7 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.272, 1-FOR-1, 3 RBI)

    Rangers 0, Astros 7  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 26 8:47 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED DAVID NEWHAN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.276, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rangers 0, Astros 6  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 26 8:44 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DAVID NEWHAN SCORED HUMBERTO QUINTERO AND WANDY
    RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D NEWHAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 0, Astros 5  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 26 8:39 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED MICHAEL BOURN, LANCE BERKMAN
    AND CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, H PENCE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.272, 4 HR, 12 RBI)

    Rangers 0, Astros 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 26 8:27 PM