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Los Angeles at Houston

Scoreboard
L.A. Dodgers0000200035101
Houston «01321010x8131

Astros 8, Dodgers 5

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Wandy Rodriguez has a good feeling every time he starts for the Houston Astros, expecting that his teammates will score plenty of runs for him.

They backed him again Wednesday, with Lance Berkman hitting a two-run homer and Chris Burke adding two RBI in the Astros' 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rodriguez (4-0) tied his career high with six strikeouts, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings. The Astros have averaged 6.4 runs in his five starts.

"I feel confident going out to the mound, knowing what those guys will do for me," Rodriguez said. "They're scoring runs for me and that's making my job a lot easier."

Berkman also had an RBI single and Burke had a career-high three hits as the defending NL champions capped a 7-2 homestand with their ninth win in 11 games.

"Whatever happened last year to propel us to the run that we made, it's really carried over to this year," Burke said. "Guys expect to win ballgames and that's showing up in the plays we're making."

The Astros have won six of seven series this year and matched their best start since 1986. They face the Reds on Friday in the opener of a three-game series in Cincinnati that is shaping up as an early duel for first place in the NL Central.

"Looking at our schedule, it was not out of the realm of possibility," Berkman said of Houston's 15-6 record. "Now we need to move on from here. Cincinnati's playing well and so are we, so we'll see what happens."

Los Angeles loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth off Ezequiel Astacio. Dan Wheeler relieved and allowed Jose Cruz Jr.'s RBI grounder and Ricky Ledee's two-run single before retiring Bill Mueller on a game-ending groundout.

Odalis Perez (3-1) gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He dropped to 0-4 with a 12.91 ERA in six starts against Houston and failed for the third straight season to win his next decision after a 3-0 start.

"I have no idea why," Perez said about his struggles against the Astros. "I don't think I've ever pitched against this team at home, but it's nothing with the field. When I pitch against these guys, they just really hit it well."

A night after Houston beat Los Angeles in a 14-inning game that lasted 4 hours, 48 minutes, Little rested regular starters Rafael Furcal and Kenny Lofton.

Little said his whole team was "taxed," but avoided using fatigue as an excuse.

"The lineup on the field had nothing to do with the outcome of the game," he said. "Their starting pitcher had a better game than our starting pitcher."

Burke, a reserve making his first career start at shortstop, doubled with two outs in the second and scored on Brad Ausmus' single - his 14th hit in his last 30 at-bats. Burke was starting in place of Adam Everett, hit on the left hand by a Brad Penny pitch a night earlier.

Burke has worked on moving closer to the plate when he bats and the subtle change has worked.

"I've really felt comfortable in all my at-bats and fortunately, that's shown up in results," said Burke, off to an 11-for-25 start.

Craig Biggio led off the third by reaching for an infield single on a sharp grounder that third baseman Mueller had to backhand behind the bag. Cruz misplayed Willy Taveras' drive into the left-field corner and Biggio, still speedy at age 40, slid home just ahead of the throw.

Berkman then sent a 3-2 pitch over the railroad tracks in left field for his eighth homer, his second batting right-handed.

He's only hit 19 of 188 career homers right-handed.

"I was just trying to get a base hit," Berkman said. "I don't hit very many of those right-handed, so it was pretty nice to get that one."

Taveras and Berkman hit RBI singles in the fourth for a 6-0 lead, drawing Little out of the dugout to chat with Perez.

"He got some pitches where he didn't want them, but I never saw him unravel," Little said. "The guy kept battling. He gave us all the effort we could expect."

Jason Repko hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Burke atoned for a throwing error in the top of the inning with an RBI single in the bottom half. Burke added an RBI double in the eighth off Franquelis Osoria.

Notes

The Astros have yet to lose a series this year. They split two games in San Francisco on April 13, a doubleheader forced by two straight rainouts. The teams will make up the third game on May 8. ... The Astros didn't get win No. 15 last season until May 17 -- then lost seven in a row to drop to 15-30. ... Garciaparra went 1-for-12 in the series. His only hit was the ninth-inning grand slam off Brad Lidge in Monday's opener.

 
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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Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Repko
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Jason Repko, CF4222020 .333
Jose Cruz Jr., LF5011001 .250
J.D. Drew, RF4010012 .333
    Tim Hamulack, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Kent, PH1000002 .197
Nomar Garciaparra, 1B3000013 .188
    Franquelis Osoria, P0000000 .000
    Ricky Ledee, RF2022000 .286
Bill Mueller, 3B5010022 .320
Ramon Martinez, SS4000002 .217
Dioner Navarro, C3010111 .233
Oscar Robles, 2B3210103 .143
Odalis Perez, P1000000 .000
    Olmedo Saenz, 1B2110000 .300
Totals3751052716 
a-lined out for Hamulack in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Cruz Jr. (5, Rodriguez), Ricky Ledee (3, Qualls)
HR - Jason Repko (3, Rodriguez)
SH - Odalis Perez (1)
RBI - Jason Repko 2 (11), Jose Cruz Jr. (4), Ricky Ledee 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Ricky Ledee 2 (7)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
PB - Dioner Navarro (1)
E - J.D. Drew (1, Wild throw)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Odalis Perez (L,3-1) 4.11176131 5.61
Franquelis Osoria 2.1211040 4.38
Tim Hamulack 1.1000220 1.00
HBP - Ausmus (by Franquelis Osoria)
Pitches-Strikes - Odalis Perez 94-63, Franquelis Osoria 42-26, Tim Hamulack 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Odalis Perez 6-4, Franquelis Osoria 2-1, Tim Hamulack 1-1
Batters Faced - Odalis Perez 25, Franquelis Osoria 10, Tim Hamulack 6
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B5110013 .321
    Ezequiel Astacio, P0000000 .000
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
Willy Taveras, CF5222010 .295
Lance Berkman, 1B4133100 .358
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3000222 .338
Preston Wilson, LF5000023 .213
Jason Lane, RF4220001 .233
Chris Burke, SS4132001 .440
Brad Ausmus, C3121011 .353
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000013 .100
   a- Mike Lamb, PH1000011 .167
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Eric Bruntlett, 2B0000000 .300
Totals3681383915 
a-struck out for Rodriguez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Willy Taveras (2, O. Perez), Jason Lane (2, O. Perez), Chris Burke 2 (6, O. Perez, Osoria)
HR - Lance Berkman (8, O. Perez)
SH - Wandy Rodriguez (2)
RBI - Willy Taveras 2 (5), Lance Berkman 3 (24), Chris Burke 2 (6), Brad Ausmus (7)
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras (4), Lance Berkman (10), Brad Ausmus (2)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Chris Burke (2, Wild throw)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,4-0) 7522261 2.53
Chad Qualls 1100010 6.75
Ezequiel Astacio0333000 27.00
Dan Wheeler 1100000 2.45
HBP - Repko (by Wandy Rodriguez)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 122-78, Chad Qualls 18-15, Ezequiel Astacio 13-8, Dan Wheeler 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 8-8, Chad Qualls 2-0, Dan Wheeler 2-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 30, Chad Qualls 4, Ezequiel Astacio 3, Dan Wheeler 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32874
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez