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Oswalt's first career two-hitter leads Astros to five in a row

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Roy Oswalt made quick work of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Oswalt pitched his first career two-hitter, leading the Houston Astros over the Blue Jays 3-0 Sunday in the quickest game in Minute Maid Park history.

Oswalt (7-7) retired 24 of the final 25 batters he faced and needed only 88 pitches for his sixth straight home win. The game took just 1 hour, 50 minutes.

"They just kept attacking and I just tried to keep the ball down and today it worked," Oswalt said. "When you come into the league and they haven't seen you, you can do things they haven't seen before. I threw a lot of strikes. It's never easy. The best thing is it was a short game."

Oswalt pitched his second complete game of the season and seventh of his career. He struck out three and walked none in the Astros' season-high fifth straight victory.

Jason Lane homered for the Astros, who completed their third series sweep of the season and won for the 11th time in 16 games.

"Any time Roy throws like that, it's nice to be out there," Lane said. "It's nice to get right back in the dugout. When you have to stay in the field a long time sometimes you get stale, but Roy's tempo is just amazing. It was nice to get him one run early because he was throwing great."

Craig Biggio also enjoyed Oswalt's fast work.

"When you work quick, it keeps guys in the game," Biggio said. "It's an infielder's dream. When you work as quick as Roy does, it's a lot of fun to play behind him."

Oswalt had lost five of his previous seven decisions overall, but improved to 6-1 at home. His only loss at Minute Maid Park this season was April 5 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I've never seen him before except for once in spring training," Toronto's Eric Hinske said. "He's the nastiest guy I've seen all year. No offense to the rest of the pitchers in the league."

Oswalt allowed a leadoff single to Shea Hillenbrand to start the second inning, but didn't allow another runner until Alex Rios' double with two outs in the ninth. He got defensive help in the seventh from shortstop Adam Everett and first baseman Lance Berkman.

With one out, Vernon Wells hit a grounder toward Everett, who ran to his left, and threw leaping off his feet to first base, where Berkman made a long stretch and stab to nip Wells. Hillenbrand then hit a grounder to third baseman Morgan Ensberg, whose high throw forced Berkman to leap off the bag and tag the runner.

"That's as good of a game as you can pitch," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He hit every corner, was throwing everything for strikes. He had overpowering stuff. That's as good of a game as we've had thrown against us. He hit every spot he wanted."

Josh Towers (5-5) allowed leadoff singles by Willy Taveras in the first and Berkman in the second, but held the Astros scoreless until the fifth, when Lane hit a full-count pitch for a homer and a 1-0 lead.

Houston added two more runs in the seventh on a two-run single by Taveras, his third hit. Taveras also had three hits in Saturday's 4-2 victory.

Towers allowed nine hits in seven innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Lane also had three hits.

"This was one of his best games," Astros manager Phil Garner said of Oswalt. "This is the kind of game Roy can pitch when he's got his good stuff. When he can locate his pitches, he'll get a lot of outs."

Notes

  • Notes: Craig Biggio needs two hits to reach 2,700 for his career.
  • Ten of Russ Adams' last 16 hits have been for extra bases.
  • Orlando Hudson is hitless in 16 at-bats.
  • Taveras extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single.
  • The Blue Jays finished their road trip 4-9.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Houston's Roy Oswalt pumps his fist after pitching his first career two-hitter.  (AP)
Houston's Roy Oswalt pumps his fist after pitching his first career two-hitter. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

J. Lane
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

R. Oswalt
IP 9.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 0
K 3
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF4010000 .282
Frank Catalanotto, LF4000001 .306
Vernon Wells, CF3000000 .250
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B3010010 .308
Eric Hinske, 1B3000021 .261
Aaron Hill, SS3000001 .338
Gregg Zaun, C3000001 .248
Orlando Hudson, 2B3000000 .242
Josh Towers, P2000000 .000
    Justin Speier, P0000000 .000
   a- Russ Adams, PH1000000 .229
Totals29020034 
a-grounded out for Speier in the 9th
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (11, Oswalt)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Hill-Hinske, Hillenbrand-Hudson-Hinske
E - Orlando Hudson (3, throwing error)
Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Towers (L,5-5) 7932231 4.42
Justin Speier 1000000 4.05
IBB - Ausmus by Josh Towers
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Towers 97-63, Justin Speier 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Towers 6-11, Justin Speier 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Towers 31, Justin Speier 2
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4031010 .297
Chris Burke, LF4000014 .198
Craig Biggio, 2B4010000 .275
Lance Berkman, 1B3010100 .254
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4000013 .277
Jason Lane, RF4231001 .243
Adam Everett, SS3000003 .245
Brad Ausmus, C2100102 .225
Roy Oswalt, P2010001 .143
Totals303922314 
Batting
2B - Craig Biggio (18, Towers), Jason Lane (14, Towers)
HR - Jason Lane (8, Towers)
SH - Roy Oswalt (3)
RBI - Willy Taveras (11), Jason Lane (24)
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras (4)
SB - Craig Biggio (5, 3rd base off Speier/Zaun)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (W,7-7) 9200030 2.85
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 88-65
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 16-8
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 29
Game Information
Attendance - 30584
Game Time - 1:50
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Terry Craft, Third Base - Ted Barrett