PHOENIX (AP) -- The injury-depleted Houston rotation got just
what it needed from Wandy Rodriguez on Saturday night. And the
Astros' offense provided more than enough support.
Rodriguez allowed two hits through seven innings and three
Astros homered in a 10-0 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"This is Wandy Rodriguez's night," said Morgan Ensberg, who
was 3-for-4 with a homer and an RBI double. "The guy was
Rodriguez called it the best outing of his young major league
"My fastball tonight had a lot of movement," he said. "I
threw a lot of fastballs."
Rodriguez (2-0) struck out six and walked one.
"He had a pretty nice fastball and he was locating it pretty
good and they just stayed with it all night," Houston manager Phil
Garner said. "It was kind of an unusually pitched game. You don't
see a guy use primary fastballs but he was locating where he wanted
and they stayed with it and he did a nice job."
Arizona manager Bob Melvin said it was a combination of good
pitching by the Astros and a poor approach by the Diamondbacks'
"This is the first game we haven't been in," he said. "I
thought last night (a 5-1 victory) would be a good one to build on,
but we got very few good swings as a group."
Ensberg and Everett had leadoff homers, in the second and third
innings respectively, off the Diamondbacks' Claudio Vargas (1-1).
The Astros added three in the fourth. Ensberg led off with a
single, Preston Wilson walked and Lane singled to load the bases
with no outs. Eric Munson struck out, but Everett followed with a
two-run double and Rodriguez singled in another to make it 5-0.
Center fielder Eric Byrnes robbed Everett of an extra-base hit,
and saved at least one run, with a diving catch to his right to end
Damian Easley got the Diamondbacks' first hit with a two-out
double in the fifth. The other was Byrnes' leadoff double in the
Lane hit a two-run homer off Jason Grimsley in the seventh.
Vargas lasted 3 1-3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.
He struck out four and walked one.
"I think I threw good pitches tonight," Vargas said. "The
only one I think I missed was the first home run. The other base
hits and the other home runs I think were very good pitches. They
hit my good pitches. There's nothing I can do but just keep
pitching. Tonight was just bad luck." "
The only Arizona base runner through the first four innings was
Easley, who reached third on a three-base error charged to center
fielder Taveras leading off the third. Left fielder Wilson nearly
collided with Taveras on Easley's fly and the ball fell out of
Taveras' glove as Wilson brushed past.
Easley was stranded at third when Rodriguez struck out the next
two batters and Byrnes popped out to left.
Rodriguez allowed six runs in five innings in his only
other start against Arizona, on April 4 last season. ... The Astros
will have pitchers making their first major league starts the next
two games -- Fernando Nieve against Arizona on Saturday and Taylor
Buchholz against Milwaukee on Monday. ... Commissioner Bud Selig,
who has a home in Scottsdale, attended the game. ... Daigle's wife,
former Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch, is expecting the
couple's son any day. ... Biggio was the only Astros starter
without a hit.