Wandy Rodriguez had another strong outing, J. R. Towles and Michael Bourn homered to lead the Houston Astros to their first win streak of the season with a 5-1 victory over the Florida Marlins.
Rodriguez (1-0) pitched seven innings and allowed five hits, one home run, one walk and struck seven to record his first win of the season. Rodriguez said he feels good pitching at home.
"I feel very confident that I can throw any pitch that I want to," the Dominican left-hander said through a translator.
Houston’s manager Cecil Cooper said Rodriguez his last two outings have been strong performances.
"He was pretty much in command throughout," Cooper said. "He's looking like an ace right now."
The Astros gave Rodriguez run support early in the game. With two outs in the second, Darin Erstad doubled to right center. Towles hit a home run off Marlins’ starter Burke Badenhop to the Crawford Boxes in left, to put Houston on top 2-0. Bourn led off the third with a home run to right to increase the Astros’ lead to 3-0.
Josh Willingham got the Marlins on the board with a home run to left that cleared the stadium, cutting the lead to 3-1. This was the only mistake Rodriguez allowed the whole game.
The Astros got on the board again in the sixth inning. Lance Berkman walked to lead off the inning. Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada followed with singles to load the bases and to chase Badenhop out of the game. Taylor Tankersley relieved Badenhop and got Geoff Blum to pop up to short, and got Jose Cruz Jr. to foul out. Lee Gardner came in to pitch to Towles. Towles walked to score Berkman and increase the lead to 4-1.
Badenhop (0-1) made his first major league start and pitched five innings, giving up seven hits, four runs, one walk and struck out three. Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez was impressed with how Badenhop pitched in his first start.
"I thought he pitched terrific," Gonzalez said. "Unfortunately, Wandy pitched a little better."
Berkman drove in the Astros final run with a double to center scoring Bourn.
The Marlins who set a team record for home runs (6) Friday against Roy Oswalt, only scored one run the last two days. Willingham said its funny how things work at times.
"This is a funny game," Willingham said. "Not to say anything against these guys, but we hit Oswalt around and these guys come in and give up only one run in two days. We need to do better at situational hitting, getting back-to-back hits, sacrifice flies and stringing things together."
The Astros (5-8) have the day off Monday, and travel to Philadelphia to face the Phillies in a three-game series starting Tuesday at 7:05 pm EST. Shawn Chacon (0-0) will start Tuesday night for the Astros against the Phillies’ Adam Eaton (0-0).
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