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Timing couldn't be better for Ensberg, 'Stros

HOUSTON (AP) -- Morgan Ensberg hit a two-run homer in the eighth
inning, his first of the season, to lead the Houston Astros over
the Texas Rangers 7-5 Friday night.

Carlos Beltran had an RBI in his home debut for Houston, and Roy
Oswalt earned his 50th career win. Lance Berkman singled in a run
and snatched away Alfonso Soriano's bid for a homer in the fourth
with a terrific leaping catch.

Ensberg's shot to left off Carlos Almanzar (6-1), which almost
sailed out of the park, was his first home run since Sept. 27. It
ended a curious drought for a player who set an Astros record for
third basemen with 25 home runs last season.

Texas' David Dellucci hit a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth
to tie the game at 5.

Ensberg finished with three RBI, and Brad Lidge pitched a
perfect ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.

Beltran was acquired in a trade with Kansas City last week, then
went on a six-game road trip. He got a standing ovation from the
sellout crowd of 41,897 before his first at-bat.

He drove in the Astros' first run on a first-inning groundout,
but his career-high 15-game hitting streak was snapped. Beltran
went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Oswalt (7-6) did enough to win his third straight start but
looked nothing like the pitcher who threw eight scoreless innings
in a 1-0 win over the Rangers on Sunday.

The right-hander, named NL co-player of the week last week,
allowed five runs and eight hits in eight innings. He had a
season-high 11 strikeouts and did not walk a batter.

Oswalt gave up a two-run homer to Mark Teixeira in the first,
but things really got tough for him in the fourth.

Berkman prevented a leadoff homer by Soriano, reaching high over
the fence to snag the ball. But Oswalt gave up four straight
singles, and the final one by Rod Barajas drove in a run and loaded
the bases.

Oswalt got out of the jam, however, by striking out Jason Conti
and Ryan Drese.

Drese, who gave up only one run in nine innings in a 1-0 loss to
Houston on Sunday, started out strong but fizzled in the sixth.

The right-hander had retired 11 in a row before the Astros
finally chased him by scoring four runs, giving Houston a 5-3 lead.

Jose Vizcaino had an RBI double, and the Astros got run-scoring
singles from Berkman, Ensberg and Raul Chavez.

Game notes
The Astros had their 14th sellout of the season, more than
double the six they had in 2003. ... Beltran had homered in three
straight games.