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Texas (16-27)000001000160
Houston (21-21) «00100500x6100

Astros take advantage of missed call, topple Rangers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros made the most of a missed call to pull away from the Texas Rangers.

Lance Berkman hit a two-run single after an umpire erred with two outs in the sixth inning, and the Astros went on to beat the Rangers 6-1 Saturday night.

The Astros won for the seventh time in 10 home games, scoring three runs after the decisive rally should've ended.

The game was tied at 1 when Hunter Pence and Morgan Ensberg led off the Houston sixth with singles against John Koronka (0-1), who was called up from the minors earlier in the day to make his first start of the season.

Jason Lane beat out a bunt to load the bases and Texas manager Ron Washington brought in reliever Scott Feldman, who balked home a run the previous night. Brad Ausmus grounded into a double play, with Pence scoring the go-ahead run. Pinch hitter Mike Lamb walked and Craig Biggio hit an RBI single for a 3-1 lead.

Shortstop Michael Young then fielded Mark Loretta's grounder and flipped to third baseman Travis Metcalf, who touched the bag to clearly force out Lamb. Third base umpire Tim Timmons called Lamb safe, however, and Washington argued.

Washington said Timmons told him that Metcalf swiped at Lamb and missed. Washington took that to mean Timmons wasn't looking at Metcalf's foot.

"I thought the call at third base was a blown call," Washington said.

Even Lamb admitted Timmons botched it.

"You guys saw the replays," Lamb said. "I mean, good grief. I didn't need to see the replay."

C.J. Wilson relieved and Berkman hit a sinking liner that Sammy Sosa couldn't reach in shallow right field. Carlos Lee drove in Loretta with Houston's fourth straight single.

"It turned out to be really important," Lamb said of the pivotal call. "It gave us a little breathing room."

Young, who went 1-for-3 with a double, said the call had no impact on the game's outcome.

"We would have lost 3-1 instead of 6-1," he said.

Wandy Rodriguez (2-3) allowed four hits and struck out seven in six innings. Rodriguez has won two of his past four starts -- and the Astros have won all four of those games -- since snapping a 12-start victory drought.

"I felt good. I had good location, too," the Spanish-speaking Rodriguez said through a translator. "My breaking pitches were working really good and I was using my changeup, too."

Brad Lidge retired six of the seven batters he faced in relief and Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless ninth for Houston. The Astros' bullpen has allowed only four runs in 29 innings.

The Rangers got their only run in the sixth after Young led off with a double. He later scored on a bloop single by Nelson Cruz, giving him five RBI in his past eight games.

Texas lost for the ninth time in 12 games and mustered fewer than four runs for the eighth time in their past 13.

Koronka, the Rangers' first left-handed starter this season, didn't allow a hit until Biggio beat out a bunt leading off the third. Loretta sacrificed and Koronka grazed Lee with an 0-2 pitch.

"It took me a while to get comfortable," Koronka said. "I didn't feel I had command the first three innings. I thought my mechanics got better as I went along."

Pence singled up the middle to score Biggio, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Called up from the minors on April 27, Pence came into the game leading NL rookies with a .348 average. The run-scoring single gave him 16 RBI this month.

Notes

  • Pence got multiple hits for the third time in five games.
  • Biggio has 2,970 hits in his career.
  • Lee has 40 RBI.
  • The Astros have won five of their past seven.
  • Lidge struck out two, going over 500 for his career.
  • Biggio is the Astros' career leader in bunt singles, with 90.
 
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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Wandy Rodriguez strikes out seven in six innings of work to improve his record to 2-3.  (AP)
Wandy Rodriguez strikes out seven in six innings of work to improve his record to 2-3. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
 
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4020002 .232
Michael Young, SS3110102 .236
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000033 .286
Sammy Sosa, RF4000022 .259
Nelson Cruz, LF3011010 .207
    C.J. Wilson, P0000000 .000
    Willie Eyre, P0000000 .000
   a- Ramon Vazquez, PH1000000 .600
Gerald Laird, C3010101 .212
Kevin Mahar, CF4010011 .231
Travis Metcalf, 3B2000110 .000
   b- Matt Kata, PH1000002 .255
John Koronka, P2000022 .000
    Scott Feldman, P0000000 .000
    Victor Diaz, LF1000000 .235
Totals32161310  
a-flied out for Eyre in the 9th
b-grounded out for Metcalf in the 9th
Batting
2B - Michael Young (14, Rodriguez)
RBI - Nelson Cruz (11)
2-OUT RBI - Nelson Cruz (4)
SB - Ian Kinsler (6, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Ausmus)
CS - Nelson Cruz (2, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Young-Kinsler-Teixeira
Texas Rangers
John Koronka (L,0-1) 5633320 5.40
Scott Feldman 0.2233100 7.94
C.J. Wilson 1.1200000 2.25
Willie Eyre 1000010 4.70
HBP - Lee (by John Koronka)
Pitches-Strikes - John Koronka 107-63, Scott Feldman 10-5, C.J. Wilson 23-17, Willie Eyre 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Koronka 6-7, Scott Feldman 1-0, C.J. Wilson 3-1
Batters Faced - John Koronka 25, Scott Feldman 4, C.J. Wilson 6, Willie Eyre 3
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B5221001 .245
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Mark Loretta, SS-2B3110100 .343
Lance Berkman, 1B4012022 .278
Carlos Lee, LF3011001 .317
Hunter Pence, CF4121002 .356
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3110102 .214
Jason Lane, RF4010001 .197
Brad Ausmus, C3000100 .264
Wandy Rodriguez, P2010002 .188
   a- Mike Lamb, PH0100100 .345
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
   b- Adam Everett, PH-SS1000010 .190
Totals32610543  
a-walked for Rodriguez in the 6th
b-struck out for Lidge in the 8th
Batting
SH - Mark Loretta (1)
RBI - Craig Biggio (16), Lance Berkman 2 (23), Carlos Lee (40), Hunter Pence (16)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Biggio (7), Lance Berkman 2 (10), Carlos Lee (17), Hunter Pence (9)
Team LOB - 8
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,2-3) 6411270 3.99
Brad Lidge 2000120 3.32
Chad Qualls 1200010 3.05
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 97-56, Brad Lidge 31-18, Chad Qualls 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-7, Brad Lidge 2-2, Chad Qualls 1-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 23, Brad Lidge 7, Chad Qualls 5
Game Information
Attendance - 41990
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Tim Timmons