Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 7/2)

Game 1: Friday, July 2
Texas5Final
Houston7
Game 2: Saturday, July 3
Texas8Final
Houston10
Game 3: Sunday, July 4
Texas18Final
Houston3

Rangers 5

(44-33, 19-21 away)

Astros 7

(41-38, 21-19 home)

8:05 PM ET, July 2, 2004

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

123456789 R H E
TEX 200100020 5 9 0
HOU 10000402 - 7 10 0

W: R. Oswalt (7-6)

L: C. Almanzar (6-1)

S: B. Lidge (5)

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES