Houston at Arizona

W: E. Astacio (2-4) L: J. Vazquez (9-10)
HR: HOU - M. Ensberg (28)   ARI - None

Astros 7, Diamondbacks 0

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

PHOENIX -- Morgan Ensberg is putting up some impressive numbers. Still, the only ones he cares about are in the standings.

Ensberg hit his 28th homer and five Houston pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout to lead the surging Astros past the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-0 Wednesday night.

"Individual accolades are something that when your career is over you can look back on," said Ensberg, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs. "What I'm excited about is how the team's playing as a team. We're a team of nobodies and we're playing solid baseball."

Ezequiel Astacio (2-4) won his second straight decision for the Astros, who won for the 15th time in 17 tries to maintain a two-game lead over Washington in the NL wild-card race.

Astacio scattered four hits, three of which never left the infield, and allowed only one runner to reach third base. He walked three and struck out one in five innings.

"He did a good job of making pitches when he needed to," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "We'd like to see him pitch ahead a bit more. He got behind a lot of hitters. But he did a pretty good job of making the pitches when he had to."

Astacio, who has allowed three runs or fewer in all four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, credited catcher Brad Ausmus with his turnaround.

"(Garner) told me he's been in the big leagues a long time and to listen to him," Astacio said. "He's taught me a lot."

Russ Springer, Mike Burns, Dan Wheeler and Chad Harville each worked a scoreless inning to close it out.

Arizona lost for the fifth time in seven home games and squandered a chance to move into a first-place tie with San Diego in the NL West. The Padres lost 9-8 to Pittsburgh before the Diamondbacks took the field.

Astacio was in trouble only once, when consecutive infield hits with one out and a line-drive single loaded the bases in the fourth. But he struck out Chris Snyder and retired pitcher Javier Vazquez on a fly to center.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the second on Chris Burke's sacrifice fly, then broke the game open with a four-run sixth against Vazquez (9-10).

Ensberg led off with a 450-foot shot off the batter's eye in center, and a bloop RBI double by pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro with two outs made it 3-0.

Willy Taveras' major league-leading 53rd infield single scored Ausmus, who reached on a fielder's choice. Palmeiro scored on a throwing error by first baseman Conor Jackson.

Pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino's RBI single in the eighth extended the lead to 6-0. Adam Everett added an RBI double in the ninth.

Vazquez allowed five runs -- two earned -- and nine hits with five strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings.

"We all didn't play well today," Arizona's Luis Gonzalez said. "We didn't make plays behind him when we had to and we didn't get hits. We didn't score runs. You can't win with zero runs."


  • The Astros have seven pinch-hit doubles, a franchise record.
  • Gonzalez ran full speed into the left-field fence to catch Jason Lane's drive in the fourth. Gonzalez appeared shaken but remained in the game. "I thought that was really going to be an emotional play in the game for us," manager Bob Melvin said.
  • Astros 1B Lance Berkman was scratched from the lineup shortly before the first pitch with an undisclosed illness and replaced by Mike Lamb.
  • Arizona RHP Russ Ortiz, making a rehab start at Class-A Lancaster, allowed 10 runs and 12 hits in 2 1/3 innings. Ortiz has been on the disabled list since June 16 with a stress fracture of his right rib cage.
Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

M. Ensberg
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

A. Everett
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4011111 .290
Craig Biggio, 2B5000023 .272
    Chad Harville, P0000000 .000
Mike Lamb, 1B5120012 .222
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4231100 .291
Jason Lane, RF5120014 .256
Adam Everett, SS4121022 .252
Chris Burke, LF4001015 .234
Brad Ausmus, C4110003 .243
Ezequiel Astacio, P1000010 .273
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1111000 .338
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Mike Burns, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Vizcaino, PH1011000 .243
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Eric Bruntlett, 2B0000000 .206
a-doubled for Astacio in the 6th
b-singled for Burns in the 8th
2B - Adam Everett (23, Worrell), Orlando Palmeiro (15, Vazquez)
HR - Morgan Ensberg (28, Vazquez)
SF - Chris Burke (3)
SH - Ezequiel Astacio (2)
RBI - Willy Taveras (20), Morgan Ensberg (79), Adam Everett (40), Chris Burke (15), Orlando Palmeiro (13), Jose Vizcaino (12)
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras (10), Adam Everett (20), Orlando Palmeiro (4), Jose Vizcaino (4)
SB - Adam Everett (16, 2nd base off Bruney/Snyder)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Biggio-Everett-Lamb
Houston Astros
Ezequiel Astacio (W,2-4) 5400310 6.33
Russ Springer 1100010 5.92
Mike Burns 1100000 3.32
Dan Wheeler 1100010 1.65
Chad Harville 1000010 5.28
Pitches-Strikes - Ezequiel Astacio 81-51, Russ Springer 21-13, Mike Burns 17-10, Dan Wheeler 15-10, Chad Harville 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ezequiel Astacio 7-7, Russ Springer 1-1, Dan Wheeler 1-0, Chad Harville 2-0
Batters Faced - Ezequiel Astacio 22, Russ Springer 4, Mike Burns 4, Dan Wheeler 3, Chad Harville 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, 2B3020100 .267
Chad Tracy, RF3000102 .296
Luis Gonzalez, LF3000103 .280
Troy Glaus, 3B4000012 .253
Shawn Green, CF4020002 .289
Conor Jackson, 1B4010001 .333
Royce Clayton, SS4020000 .268
Chris Snyder, C3000024 .218
   a- Alex Cintron, PH1000000 .265
Javier Vazquez, P2000003 .256
    Mike Koplove, P0000000 .000
    Buddy Groom, P0000000 .000
   b- Quinton McCracken, PH1000000 .238
    Brian Bruney, P0000000 .000
    Tim Worrell, P0000000 .000
   c- Tony Clark, PH1000010 .329
a-grounded out for Snyder in the 9th
b-fouled out for Groom in the 7th
c-struck out for Worrell in the 9th
DP - Clayton-Counsell-Jackson
E - Troy Glaus (18, Misplayed grounder), Luis Gonzalez (1, Misplayed grounder), Conor Jackson (2, Wild throw)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Javier Vazquez (L,9-10) 5.2952251 4.24
Mike Koplove 0.1000000 5.01
Buddy Groom 1000000 4.73
Brian Bruney 1111010 6.46
Tim Worrell 1311030 6.75
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WP - Javier Vazquez (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 80-51, Mike Koplove 1-1, Brian Bruney 21-15, Tim Worrell 23-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 9-3, Mike Koplove 1-0, Buddy Groom 1-2, Brian Bruney 1-1
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 28, Mike Koplove 1, Buddy Groom 3, Brian Bruney 5, Tim Worrell 6
Game Information
Attendance - 22283
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Terry Craft, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Rick Reed