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Everett, Astros end Twins' eight-game win streak

HOUSTON (AP) -- Adam Everett's return to form is paying off for
the Houston Astros.

The light-hitting shortstop had two doubles and two RBI to lead
the Astros to a 5-3 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night,
snapping the Twins' eight-game winning streak.

Everett hit .173 in May (17-for-98), ending the month on a
5-for-47 skid. Searching for answers, he started breaking down
videotape of himself batting in 2004, when he hit .273.

After two weeks of tinkering, Everett is 11-for-22 over
Houston's last six games.

"I've just tried to set up and go through the same routine, the
way I did in '04," he said. "My hands are a little higher and my
leg kick is back. I just feel a lot better at the plate and I'm
seeing the ball better."

Preston Wilson hit a checked-swing single off reliever Kyle Lohse (2-5) to start the Astros' two-out rally in the eighth that
led to their 10th win in 14 games. Eric Munson walked before Jason Lane muscled a soft liner into right to score Wilson.

Lane, who's also climbing out of an early season slump, went
1-for-3 with a walk. He also struck out twice.

"I've widened out a little bit and shortened up my swing,"
Lane said. "I've just tried to simplify things."

Everett followed Lane's hit with a double off the left field
wall to score Munson and knock Lohse out of the game before he
retired a batter.

Earlier, Everett tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI double off
Twins' reliever Juan Rincon.

He would have never gotten the tying hit if he hadn't failed to
lay down a bunt early in the 11-pitch at-bat. He fought off four
foul balls in the duel before hammering the 3-2 pitch to the base
of the fence.

"When I didn't get that bunt down, I was determined I was going
to move the runner along some way," Everett said. "I was really
disappointed in myself. I don't know why I didn't get the bunt
down."

Dan Wheeler (1-4) pitched a perfect eighth for Houston before
Brad Lidge worked the ninth for his 19th save.

Lance Berkman gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the first, launching
a 3-1 pitch from starter Carlos Silva just inside the foul pole in
left. His 20th homer of the season was the 200th of his career and
extended his hitting streak to nine games.

Lew Ford tied the game in the second with an RBI single that
scored Michael Cuddyer, who led off with a single. Jason Bartlett's
RBI single scored Torii Hunter to make it 2-1. Bartlett has hit
safely in seven straight games since he was recalled from Triple-A
Rochester on June 14.

Ford led off the fourth with a double to left that bounced in
front of a diving Wilson. Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez then
nicked Bartlett's shoulder with an inside fastball.

The runners moved up on Luis Castillo's groundout and Ford
sprinted home for a 3-1 lead when an outside pitch from Rodriguez
bounced off Munson's glove.

Ford, a native of nearby Port Neches, went 2-for-4.

"It was a thrill," he said. "I had a lot of high school
coaches and classmates make the trip up here. It was exciting for
everybody."

Silva settled down after Berkman's homer, allowing one
baserunner and striking out three over the next four innings. Silva
retired 12 consecutive batters before Everett's two-out single in
the fifth.

Chris Burke, hitting .388 since June 4, clanged a double off the
metal scoreboard in left leading off the sixth. Burke went to third
on Berkman's groundout, then beat a throw home on Mike Lamb's
sacrifice fly.

Chad Qualls, who gave up a game-winning three-run homer to Doug Mientkiewicz on Sunday, relieved Rodriguez with two outs in the
seventh and got Cuddyer to ground out.

Houston manager Phil Garner praised Rodriguez, though he allowed
three runs and six hits with three walks.

"He didn't have his best location, but he hung tough and kept
us in the ballgame," Garner said.

Silva walked Lane leading off the seventh and was replaced by
Rincon, who had not allowed an earned run in his last 16
appearances. Lane took second on a wild pitch before tying the game
on Everett's hit.

"We kind of let that one get away from us," Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "We couldn't finish them off."

Game notes
The Astros snapped the Twins' 12-game streak of scoring
four or more runs, Minnesota's longest since 1995. ... The
switch-hitting Berkman has hit 17 of his 20 homers from the left
side. ... 3B Morgan Ensberg sat out as he continues to nurse a
nagging right shoulder injury. Ensberg missed six games after
bruising the shoulder diving for a foul ball on June 9. He returned
on June 15, but is 1-for-9 since and Garner said the injury is
still bothering him. ... Silva's single was his first hit of the
season and third of his career.