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Pittsburgh at Houston

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Pittsburgh (38-47)000000000050
Houston (41-42) «00230000x5130

Astros' Rodriguez throws CG, ties career high with 11 K's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Well over 100 pitches after eight innings, Wandy Rodriguez was determined to stay on the mound.

After all, he reasoned to Houston pitching coach Dewey Robinson, he was about to get a week off.

He got his wish, pitching a five-hitter and tying a career high by striking out 11 as the Astros beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 Wednesday.

"I have vacation, so I said, 'I want to finish the game,"' Rodriguez said, referring to his time off for the All-Star break. "I felt strong, too."

The 30-year-old Rodriguez threw his second career complete game, having shut out the New York Mets two years ago.

He needed a career-high 125 pitches to finish this one, topping the 122 he threw in 2006.

"I thought the fastball had a lot of life today," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "We started out the day today by throwing strike one quite a bit. When Wandy can throw strike one with his fastball, he could be a dominating kind of pitcher. He's got that kind of stuff."

Rodriguez (8-6) won his third straight decision. The lefty is only one victory behind his total from last season. He's battled inconsistency in his career, but said a game like this helps increase his confidence.

Lance Berkman doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs. The Astros won two of three, leaving the Pirates without a road series victory since May 18-21.

Charlie Morton (1-2), traded last month in the deal that sent Nate McLouth to Atlanta, struggled in giving up five runs and 10 hits in four innings. In his previous outing, he earned his first win with the Pirates by pitching six scoreless innings.

"It was one of those games where they got to him," Pirates manager John Russell said. "But I still really like his stuff and he should be fine."

Rodriguez gave up a pair singles with one out in the second before retiring the next 10 batters. He didn't allow another hit until Ramon Vazquez singled with two outs in the fifth.

"He threw the ball really well, located his fastball and his breaking ball was really effective," Russell said. "The difference in speed, it was 91-93 [mph] and his breaking balls were 76-77, which is a big difference. It keeps you off-balance."

Delwyn Young singled with two outs in the ninth before Rodriguez struck out Garrett Jones to end the game. The crowd of more than 29,000 rose to its feet and cheered loudly.

"When I [saw] that I had nine strikeouts, I said, 'Hey, I can do two more,"' he said. "So that's what I did."

Michael Bourn had a run-scoring triple, Carlos Lee had an RBI double and Miguel Tejada drove in a run for the Astros, who finished with 13 hits.

Bourn tripled in the third and scored on a single by Tejada to put Houston ahead 1-0. Berkman followed with a double, but Tejada was thrown out at the plate. Lee's double made it 2-0.

Bourn hit an RBI single in the fourth. Tejada singled to load the bases before Berkman's double to right field scored Rodriguez and Bourn.

Notes

  • Retired Panamanian boxing star Roberto Duran attended the game and threw out the first pitch. Duran is perhaps best known for defeating Sugar Ray Leonard in a 15-round decision for the WBC welterweight title in 1980.
  • Pittsburgh 2B Freddy Sanchez missed his sixth consecutive start with back spasms. He is expected to return on Friday against the Phillies.
  • Pirates C Ryan Doumit, on the disabled list with a wrist injury, is 0 for 17 in five rehabilitation games in the minors after going 0 for 5 with a walk as the designated hitter for Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.
  • Pittsburgh optioned RHP Steven Jackson and IF Steve Pearce to Indianapolis and activated LHP Donnie Veal from the disabled list after Wednesday's game. The Pirates will announce the corresponding move to Pearce's spot Friday.
 
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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Quite a night for Wandy Rodriguez, who ties a career high in strikeouts while notching his second career CG.  (AP)
Quite a night for Wandy Rodriguez, who ties a career high in strikeouts while notching his second career CG. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 11
Houston

M. Bourn
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000020 .291
Jack Wilson, SS4000010 .270
Delwyn Young, LF4010020 .315
Garrett Jones, RF4010011 .290
Andy LaRoche, 3B3010001 .269
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010000 .259
Robinzon Diaz, C3000022 .295
Ramon Vazquez, 2B2010112 .243
Charlie Morton, P1000010 .000
   a- Steve Pearce, PH1000011 .083
    Steven Jackson, P0000000 .000
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   b- Brandon Moss, PH1000001 .253
    Jeff Karstens, P0000000 .063
Totals30050111  
a-struck out for Morton in the 5th
b-grounded into a double play for Meek in the 8th
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Andrew McCutchen 1
DP - Vazquez-J. Wilson-LaRoche
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton (L,1-2) 41055130 4.29
Steven Jackson 2100110 3.44
Evan Meek 1000030 2.76
Jeff Karstens 1200100 4.85
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 84-49, Steven Jackson 28-16, Evan Meek 15-9, Jeff Karstens 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 7-1, Steven Jackson 3-2, Jeff Karstens 2-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 22, Steven Jackson 8, Evan Meek 3, Jeff Karstens 5
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3221200 .286
Miguel Tejada, SS5021002 .330
Lance Berkman, 1B4122011 .273
Carlos Lee, LF4021012 .300
Geoff Blum, 3B4010011 .266
Hunter Pence, RF4010010 .300
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4120023 .236
Humberto Quintero, C3010103 .243
Wandy Rodriguez, P4100013 .030
Totals35513537  
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman 2 (18, Morton, Morton), Carlos Lee (14, Morton), Humberto Quintero (3, Karstens)
3B - Michael Bourn (7, Morton)
RBI - Michael Bourn (21), Miguel Tejada (46), Lance Berkman 2 (51), Carlos Lee (48)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Bourn (11), Lance Berkman 2 (20), Carlos Lee (13)
SB - Michael Bourn (28, 2nd base off Jackson/Diaz), Hunter Pence (9, 2nd base off Jackson/Diaz), Kazuo Matsui (8, 2nd base off Morton/Diaz)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman, Matsui-Tejada-Berkman
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,8-6) 95001110 2.96
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 125-85
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 7-7
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 31
Game Information
Attendance - 29243
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Brian Gorman