San Diego at Houston

San Diego
W: W. Rodriguez (3-2) L: C. Gaudin (0-2)
S: L. Hawkins (4)
HR: SD - None   HOU - None

Astros 2, Padres 0 wire reports

HOUSTON -- It was not the Wandy Rodriguez the Astros have known before this season.

Manager Cecil Cooper was glad of that.

Rodriguez threw eight sharp innings and Hunter Pence's two-run single in the fifth lifted the Astros to a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

"He just pitched a terrific game," Cooper said. "It really shows me a lot. He is becoming a big-time, big-league pitcher.

"The difference this year is just the maturity," Cooper added. "There was a time when he would let things get away if something went wrong. He'd balk and then he'd lose focus. But now he just calms down."

In his longest outing of the season, Rodriguez (3-2) allowed five hits without issuing a walk. He struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 1.80, third-best in the league.

Rodriguez retired 16 in a row from the second through the seventh innings. The impressive streak came after he worked his way out of a jam with runners at second and third in the second inning with a strikeout and a groundout.

Rodriguez is one of four pitchers in the league not to allow a home run this year.

"Wandy was incredible," Pence said. "That's the reason we won tonight. When he pitches like that, it's tough to beat him."

The Padres were certainly impressed. Not even slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez could get a hit, failing to reach base for only the second time in 30 games this season.

"We had a couple of chances in the first two innings, but we could not cash in," manager Bud Black said. "Then [Rodriguez] found his groove and his curve ball was very good tonight. He kept his fastball and his changeup down and away and they were both very good pitches for him tonight. He was aggressive, threw strikes and we just could not get to him.

"I have not seen him a lot before tonight, but looking at his stats, he has 10 less hits than innings pitches and that tells you he has good stuff."

Padres outfielder Chase Headley couldn't agree more. He went 0-for-4 against Rodriguez.

"Any time a guy can throw three pitches for strikes, that is going to be a tough night for a hitter," Headley said. "Tonight, though, he just had really good control of his curve. It is one of those pitches that if he leaves it over the plate, you are going to hit it. But if he gets it under your hands it is going to be a tough night."

Ivan Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and Kaz Matsui walked before Pence hit a sharp liner to the right side of the infield for the eventual winning hit. Gonzalez dove and just missed stopping the ball as Rodriguez and Matsui scored.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five tries.

Chad Gaudin (0-2) went seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits for the Padres. He struck out five and walked three.

Gaudin was in trouble in four of the first five innings with men in scoring position each time, but managed to wiggle out of the jams.


Lance Berkman was a late scratch from the Astros lineup due to soreness in his left wrist. He's considered day-to-day. ... RHP Brandon Backe, has a strained left intercostal, was scheduled for his third rehab start at Double-A Corpus Christi on Friday night. ... C Humberto Quintero Rodriguez (strained right shoulder) started a rehab assignment in Triple-A Round Rock. ... Padres RHPs Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva (strained right forearms) will make rehab assignment starts this weekend with Triple-A Portland.

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

H. Pence
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

W. Rodriguez
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 0
K 7

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NL West Preview: San Diego Padres (2:24)
San Diego Padres
David Eckstein, 2B4010002 .257
Brian Giles, RF4000011 .158
Scott Hairston, CF4010020 .343
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000002 .297
Chase Headley, LF4000022 .243
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3000010 .232
Nick Hundley, C3020000 .270
Luis Rodriguez, SS3010001 .235
Chad Gaudin, P2000022 .000
   a- Edgar Gonzalez, PH1000000 .184
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Gaudin in the 8th
2B - Scott Hairston (7, Rodriguez), Luis Rodriguez (4, Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Hundley-Rodriguez
E - Chad Gaudin (1, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
Chad Gaudin (L,0-2) 7522350 4.08
Cla Meredith 1000010 3.38
HBP - Rodriguez (by Chad Gaudin)
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 103-60, Cla Meredith 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 9-6, Cla Meredith 1-1
Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 29, Cla Meredith 3
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3110100 .267
Michael Bourn, CF3000110 .287
Hunter Pence, RF4022012 .315
Carlos Lee, LF4020001 .303
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
Miguel Tejada, SS4000013 .298
Geoff Blum, 3B2000111 .262
Darin Erstad, 1B3000012 .161
Ivan Rodriguez, C2100010 .242
Wandy Rodriguez, P3000001 .000
    Jason Michaels, LF0000000 .261
2B - Carlos Lee (8, Gaudin)
RBI - Hunter Pence 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence 2 (3)
CS - Geoff Blum (1, 2nd base by Gaudin/Hundley)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,3-2) 8500070 1.80
LaTroy Hawkins (S,4) 1000010 2.63
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 116-82, LaTroy Hawkins 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 5-12, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 29, LaTroy Hawkins 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28139
Game Time - 2:19
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Greg Gibson