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Oswalt fires two-hitter, improves to 10-2 against Padres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Roy Oswalt is rounding into form.

The Houston Astros' ace dominated the San Diego Padres again, pitching a two-hitter and retiring his final 18 batters in a 3-1 victory Monday night.

It was Oswalt's 17th career complete game and second in three outings.

"I feel better than I did at the beginning of the season," Oswalt said. "It seems like I'm throwing the ball better, the balls have a little more carry and hopefully I can carry on the rest of the year."

Ivan Rodriguez homered and Oswalt (4-4) helped himself with two hits at the plate. The right-hander improved to 10-2 with a 2.68 ERA against the Padres in 15 career appearances, including 13 starts. His .833 winning percentage is the highest among active pitchers with at least 10 decisions against San Diego.

"He was dealing," said Rodriguez, Oswalt's batterymate. "He was throwing in and out, breaking balls, sliders in great locations."

Rodriguez hit his seventh home run, a solo shot to center field off starter Josh Geer (1-3) that tied it at 1 in the fifth inning.

The Astros went ahead with two runs in the sixth on consecutive singles by Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, and a sacrifice fly by Geoff Blum.

"That was a great performance by Roy," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "With the exception of the fourth inning, he was in total command. Even in the fourth, I thought he really pitched well to get out of there with just one and probably should have got out of there with none. He did a great job and was in command all night long."

The Padres pushed across their lone run in the fourth on a bases-loaded wild pitch. David Eckstein was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to third on a double by Scott Hairston. Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked to load the bases.

After Kevin Kouzmanoff popped up for the first out of the inning, Oswalt threw a curve to Chase Headley that bounced in the dirt and got away from Rodriguez. Eckstein raced home from third.

Oswalt struck out Headley and Eliezer Alfonzo to get out of the inning, then never allowed another runner.

"For them to come out with just one, it was a lot better than giving up a hit there or two or three runs," Oswalt said. "The guys came back the next inning. And after that I tried to take control and not get behind hitters and not put any guys on base. And I was able to do that."

Oswalt finished with eight strikeouts and two walks. The only hits he gave up were doubles by Hairston and Everth Cabrera.

"He was making the pitches he had to," said Gonzalez, who walked twice but struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the game. "He made great pitches on my last at-bat. He threw some great fastballs on the outside corner."

Geer allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out two and walked one.

It was the second time this season the Padres were held to two hits. Seattle's Felix Hernandez also did it on June 16 at Petco Park.

Notes

  • Cooper said his team will go with a six-man rotation until the All-Star break. Left-hander Mike Hampton is scheduled to come off the disabled list Tuesday night and pitch against the Padres. To make room for him on the roster, Houston optioned LHP Wesley Wright to Triple-A Round Rock.
  • The Astros also placed right-hander Brandon Backe on waivers.
  • Padres ace Jake Peavy will have his right ankle re-examined Tuesday by team doctors. Peavy has a strained tendon and has been on the DL since June 15.
  • Gonzalez leads the majors with 63 walks, including 32 in June. Gene Tenace holds the club record for a month with 34 in July 1977.
  • Oswalt hit Eckstein with a pitch for the second time this season and the third time in his career, tying for the most times Oswalt has hit a batter.
 
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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The Padres still can't figure out Roy Oswalt, who improves to 10-2 against San Diego in 13 career starts.  (AP)
The Padres still can't figure out Roy Oswalt, who improves to 10-2 against San Diego in 13 career starts. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

R. Oswalt
IP 9.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 2
K 8
Houston

C. Lee
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4000002 .295
Miguel Tejada, SS4110001 .329
Lance Berkman, 1B4120010 .256
Carlos Lee, LF4021001 .302
    Darin Erstad, LF0000000 .158
Geoff Blum, 3B3001011 .266
Hunter Pence, RF4010002 .315
Ivan Rodriguez, C4111002 .249
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3000010 .243
Roy Oswalt, P3020000 .167
Totals3339303  
Batting
HR - Ivan Rodriguez (7, Geer)
SF - Geoff Blum (4)
RBI - Carlos Lee (45), Geoff Blum (19), Ivan Rodriguez (30)
CS - Hunter Pence (5, 2nd base by Meredith/Alfonzo)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Matsui-Tejada-Berkman
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (W,4-4) 9211280 4.02
IBB - Gonzalez by Roy Oswalt
HBP - Eckstein (by Roy Oswalt)
WP - Roy Oswalt (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 110-74
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 7-11
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 31
San Diego Padres
Tony Gwynn Jr., RF4000011 .300
David Eckstein, 2B3100000 .267
Scott Hairston, CF4010020 .309
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B2000210 .269
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3000004 .242
Chase Headley, LF3000022 .238
Eliezer Alfonzo, C3000012 .217
Everth Cabrera, SS3010010 .319
Josh Geer, P2000001 .158
    Greg Burke, P0000000 .000
   a- Will Venable, PH1000000 .129
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
Totals2812028  
a-flied out for G. Burke in the 8th
Batting
2B - Scott Hairston (12, Oswalt), Everth Cabrera (3, Oswalt)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Kouzmanoff-Eckstein-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Josh Geer (L,1-3) 7733021 5.68
Greg Burke 1100000 4.05
Cla Meredith 1100010 3.48
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Geer 98-66, Greg Burke 8-6, Cla Meredith 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Geer 10-9, Greg Burke 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Geer 28, Greg Burke 3, Cla Meredith 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15671
Game Time - 2:11
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Laz Diaz