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Astros pull off first 4-game sweep in Philly in 11 years

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- There's something about the Phillies that brings out the best in the Houston Astros.

Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven sharp innings, Carlos Lee homered and the Astros beat the Phillies 5-1 Thursday to complete their first four-game sweep in Philadelphia in 11 years.

"Houston has been a team that for years has given us problems," Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "Doesn't matter if they're good or bad, they give us problems."

The Astros have owned the Phillies in recent years. They are the only NL team with a winning record (30-16) against Philadelphia since 2004.

The two-time NL champion Phillies fell three games behind idle Atlanta in the NL East and trail San Francisco by a half-game in the wild-card standings.

Rodriguez (10-12) allowed one run and five hits, striking out six. The left-hander is 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA since June 24.

"It's hard to find a better pitcher over the last couple of months," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

The spoiler Astros got major contributions from three former Phillies -- pitchers Brett Myers and J.A. Happ and All-Star outfielder Michael Bourn -- to become the first team to sweep a four-game series in the seven-year history of Citizens Bank Park. They last did it in Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium in September 1999. The Astros also swept a four-game series from the Phillies in Houston last September.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (8-7) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He's 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA in his last three starts.

Philadelphia has struggled against the lesser teams in the majors, going 21-19 against clubs that are 10 games or more below .500.

The Phillies' inconsistent offense is struggling again, scoring two runs or less in seven of the last eight games.

"We say we're resilient," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have to come out of it."

The Phillies are heading to the West Coast for the next six games, starting with a three-game series against the West-leading San Diego Padres.

Rodriguez allowed only one baserunner on a walk until Jayson Werth lined a single to left to start Philadelphia's fifth. Raul Ibanez followed with a double, but Rodriguez pitched out of the no-out jam without allowing a run.

Shane Victorino struck out. Brian Schneider then lined out to right fielder Hunter Pence, who easily nailed Werth at the plate.

"I had real good location and my breaking ball was very good," Rodriguez said.

The Phillies finally broke through in the fifth. Chase Utley lined an RBI double into the right-field corner to cut it to 4-1.

The Astros scored a run in each of the first four innings, getting key, two-out hits for the first two. Anderson Hernandez singled and scored on Lee's double to left in the first. Angel Sanchez singled and scored on Bourn's single to right in the second.

Lee connected with one out in the third, hitting a drive to deep left for his 18th homer and a 3-0 lead.

Sanchez led off the fourth with a double and scored when Rodriguez ripped a single off the scoreboard in right.

The speedy Bourn stole a run in the seventh. He reached on an infield single, stole second base despite getting picked off, and scored from second on an infield single.

"Bourn was outstanding," Mills said. "God gave him some great legs and it's nice to see him use them."

Notes

  • The four-game losing streak is Philadelphia's longest at home this season.
  • The Phillies had won their last eight day games.
  • A crowd of 44,958 was the 107th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park.
  • The Astros are 16-7 in Philadelphia since the Phillies moved out of Veterans Stadium. It's the best record among NL teams.
  • Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is 3 for 24 with 12 strikeouts since returning from an ankle injury.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Carlos Lee homers to help the lowly Astros become the first team to sweep a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park. (AP)
Carlos Lee homers to help the lowly Astros become the first team to sweep a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

C. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 6
 

Related Video

Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF5131000 .254
Anderson Hernandez, 2B5121014 .244
Hunter Pence, RF4010002 .285
Carlos Lee, LF4122001 .247
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
Chris Johnson, 3B4000011 .336
Brett Wallace, 1B4000000 .181
Angel Sanchez, SS4220010 .270
Jason Castro, C4020001 .195
Wandy Rodriguez, P2011000 .216
    Jason Bourgeois, LF1000001 .222
Totals37513503  
Batting
2B - Carlos Lee (24, Kendrick), Angel Sanchez (8, Kendrick), Jason Castro (4, Herndon)
HR - Carlos Lee (18, Kendrick)
SH - Wandy Rodriguez (7)
RBI - Michael Bourn (29), Anderson Hernandez (3), Carlos Lee 2 (73), Wandy Rodriguez (3)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Bourn (15), Anderson Hernandez (1), Carlos Lee (30)
SB - Michael Bourn 2 (44, 2nd base off Romero/Schneider, 2nd base off Herndon/Schneider)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
DP - Pence-Castro
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wandy Rodriguez (W,10-12) 7511160 3.87
Jeff Fulchino 1000110 6.02
Fernando Abad 1200000 3.60
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 111-68, Jeff Fulchino 14-8, Fernando Abad 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 9-5, Jeff Fulchino 1-1, Fernando Abad 1-2
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 26, Jeff Fulchino 4, Fernando Abad 5
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS4100001 .242
Chase Utley, 2B3011100 .272
Placido Polanco, 3B4000002 .314
Ryan Howard, 1B4000021 .283
Jayson Werth, RF4010010 .300
Raul Ibanez, LF3030100 .268
Shane Victorino, CF4010014 .254
Brian Schneider, C3000013 .208
   a- Carlos Ruiz, PH1000002 .291
Kyle Kendrick, P1000010 .098
   b- Ben Francisco, PH1010000 .252
    J.C. Romero, P0000000 .000
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
   c- Domonic Brown, PH1000010 .229
    David Herndon, P0000000 .000
Totals3317127  
a-flied out for Schneider in the 9th
b-singled for Kendrick in the 6th
c-struck out for Contreras in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chase Utley (15, Rodriguez), Raul Ibanez (27, Rodriguez)
RBI - Chase Utley (40)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Polanco-Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Kendrick (L,8-7) 6944011 4.64
J.C. Romero 1211000 4.03
Jose Contreras 1000000 3.20
David Herndon 1200020 4.47
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Kendrick 90-60, J.C. Romero 20-13, Jose Contreras 5-4, David Herndon 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Kendrick 8-7, J.C. Romero 3-0, Jose Contreras 1-2
Batters Faced - Kyle Kendrick 25, J.C. Romero 5, Jose Contreras 3, David Herndon 5
Game Information
Attendance - 44958
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Brian Knight