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Los Angeles at Houston

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L.A. Dodgers (12-4)000000000063
Houston (6-10) «24031002x12120

Astros avoid sweep, blank Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Wandy Rodriguez has had a great start for the Houston Astros.

Unfortunately, errors and a lack of run support kept the left-hander winless through his first three starts.

On Sunday it all came together for Rodriguez. Jordan Schafer hit his first career grand slam on a shot that bounced off the glove of Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, and the left-hander pitched three-hit ball through seven innings as the Astros romped past Los Angeles 12-0.

The Astros avoided a sweep and handed the Dodgers their most-lopsided shutout loss since a 13-0 defeat by the Angels in June 2004.

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It's the largest shutout win for Houston since beating Colorado by the same score in July 2007, a game where Rodriguez also allowed three hits in seven innings.

Rodriguez (1-2) struck out six and walked three to lower his ERA to 1.42. Fernando Rodriguez and Brandon Lyon pitched an inning each to complete the shutout, which was the first of the year for Los Angeles.

The Astros committed four errors in each of Rodriguez's first two starts and were shut out in his last outing, a 1-0 loss to Washington.

"I feel good because last time I threw a good game but I didn't win," Rodriguez said. "Today I threw a good game and I won, so I feel very good."

Carlos Lee got things going for the Astros with two-run homer in the first inning. Schafer's slam came an inning later and was just the second career grand slam Chad Billingsley (2-1) has allowed in his seven-year career and the first since 2008.

"Wandy threw a great game today," Lee said. "We probably only needed one [run]. He continues to pitch great and keep us in the games."

Rodriguez said the early lead made things much easier for him.

"I felt very comfortable when I saw the score at 6-0," he said. "I tried to make all my pitches, tried to throw on the corner and throw everything."

Billingsley, who entered the game 4-0 with a 1.78 and ERA in four career starts at Minute Maid Park, allowed four hits and nine runs -- five earned -- in 3 1/3 innings.

He has been dealing with a groin problem, but said that had nothing to do with his performance.

"It wasn't an issue," he said. "I just couldn't throw strikes. It's one of those days you just have to forget."

Matt Kemp, who leads the majors with nine homers and 22 RBIs, went 0 for 3 to break a 10-game hitting streak. It was only the second hitless game this season for Kemp, who is hitting .450.

The Astros led 2-0 in the second when Chris Johnson singled and Jason Castro walked. A one-out walk by Rodriguez loaded the bases and prompted a short visit to the mound by the pitching coach.

Then came Schafer's grand slam that deflected off Ethier's glove and into the right-field stands.

"When he went up and came down I thought he had it, but luckily he didn't," Schafer said.

Ethier didn't think it was going all the way to the wall at first.

"It carried a little bit farther; I kind of under-jumped, too, because I didn't think it was going that far and I didn't want to over-jump on it," he said.

Schafer has reached safely in each of his 16 games this year, the longest string for the Astros since Craig Biggio started the 2000 season with a 17-game stretch.

A sloppy fourth inning by the Dodgers, who finished with a season-high three errors, helped the Astros add three more runs. Castro tripled on a long fly that sailed just past a sprinting Kemp, who lost his cap as he dashed up Tal's Hill in center field to retrieve it.

Jose Altuve walked before an error by shortstop Dee Gordon allowed Rodriguez to reached and a run to score. A wild pitch and a walk allowed Houston to make it 8-0 and chase Billingsley.

"Obviously our offense didn't do anything to take some pressure off the staff, and obviously we didn't do anything defensive-wise to come up with some big plays to get us out of the innings," Ethier said.

Reliever Jamey Wright plunked Johnson on the backside in the fifth inning and he later scored on Castro's single for a 10-0 lead.

Johnson and Altuve each had RBI singles in the eighth.

Notes

  • The Dodgers' 12-4 record is their best start since starting with the same record in 2005.
  • Schafer's four RBIs on Sunday were a career high. ... Gordon turned 24 on Sunday.
  • Uribe was in the starting lineup on Sunday after missing the last four games with an injured left wrist.
  • The Dodgers open a series with Atlanta on Monday and the Astros travel to Milwaukee.
 
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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Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez gives up just three hits through seven innings to earn his first win of 2012.  (AP)
Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez gives up just three hits through seven innings to earn his first win of 2012. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

J. Schafer
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 3
K 6
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dee Gordon, SS4000021 .217
Mark Ellis, 2B3020101 .264
Matt Kemp, CF3000013 .450
    Tony Gwynn Jr., CF1010000 .263
Juan Rivera, 1B-RF3000114 .255
Andre Ethier, RF3000012 .279
    Adam Kennedy, 1B1000000 .071
Jerry Hairston Jr., LF3020101 .296
Juan Uribe, 3B4000014 .211
Matt Treanor, C3000002 .083
Chad Billingsley, P1000000 .000
    Jamey Wright, P1000010 .000
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .000
   a- James Loney, PH1010000 .217
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Totals3106037  
a-singled for Elbert in the 8th
Batting
2B - Tony Gwynn Jr. (1, F. Rodriguez)
SB - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Castro)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Juan Rivera (1, Throwing), Dee Gordon (5, Missed catch of throw), Juan Uribe (2, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chad Billingsley (L,2-1) 3.1495422 3.04
Jamey Wright 2.2211110 2.25
Scott Elbert 1200020 5.40
Mike MacDougal 1422010 7.71
HBP - Johnson (by Jamey Wright)
WP - Chad Billingsley (1), Jamey Wright (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 72-39, Jamey Wright 49-29, Scott Elbert 24-14, Mike MacDougal 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 4-6, Jamey Wright 7-1, Mike MacDougal 1-1
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 20, Jamey Wright 13, Scott Elbert 5, Mike MacDougal 7
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4214011 .263
   a- Justin Maxwell, PH-CF1010000 .294
Jed Lowrie, SS4110102 .229
    Fernando Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
J.D. Martinez, LF5001012 .309
Carlos Lee, 1B4112001 .234
    Matt Downs, 1B1110000 .250
Brian Bogusevic, RF4110110 .200
Chris Johnson, 3B4221003 .279
Jason Castro, C4221112 .243
Jose Altuve, 2B4111112 .321
Wandy Rodriguez, P2101101 .000
   b- Marwin Gonzalez, PH-SS2010012 .250
Totals3912121156  
a-singled for Schafer in the 7th
b-singled for Rodriguez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Brian Bogusevic (1, MacDougal)
3B - Jason Castro (1, Billingsley)
HR - Jordan Schafer (2, Billingsley), Carlos Lee (2, Billingsley)
RBI - Jordan Schafer 4 (7), J.D. Martinez (14), Carlos Lee 2 (11), Chris Johnson (5), Jason Castro (5), Jose Altuve (6), Wandy Rodriguez (1)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (7), Jose Altuve (2)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Altuve-Lee, Gonzalez-Altuve-Downs
PB - Jason Castro (1)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wandy Rodriguez (W,1-2) 7300360 1.42
Fernando Rodriguez 1200010 3.68
Brandon Lyon 1100000 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 107-63, Fernando Rodriguez 15-11, Brandon Lyon 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 9-5, Fernando Rodriguez 1-1, Brandon Lyon 2-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 26, Fernando Rodriguez 5, Brandon Lyon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23948
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - D.J. Reyburn